The question has long been asked of performers who have ‘made it’: How do you know when you have indeed made it? Perhaps one answer would be ‘when you’ve got your own tribute act’. And so we can safely say that Alfie Boe has made it as I had the pleasure of talking to his very own tribute act, David Marshall, a few weeks ago.
David is a professional singer of many years, mostly working in the corporate arena and on the entertainment circuit with a classical / musical theatre repertoire. How he came to add the Alfie tribute to his act is remarkably similar to how Alfie first got started. Remember the customer at TVR who told Alfie about the D’oyly Carte auditions? Well, after a performance at the Belfry golf club a couple of years ago, a member of the audience asked David if he had ever considered becoming an Alfie Boe tribute act. In fact, David had never considered this and didn’t really change his mind…at that point. A year on, the same man again approached David and urged him to think about it again as there seemed to be a gap in the tribute act market. At that point, as with Alfie at TVR, David realised that there was an opportunity there and so he did some research and found no other Alfie Boe tribute acts. The idea was planted and having looked at Alfie’s back catalogue, David says that “I was already singing about 25 of Alfie’s songs so it wasn’t a stretch for me”.
This was in the middle of 2015 and since then David has been working on his voice to sound more like Alfie and has also spent many an hour watching clips of Alfie’s concerts on YouTube and of course, the concert DVDs. Apparently it has been quite hard to get the right tone as David has a slightly higher tenor range than Alfie. He is also quick to mention that die hard, super fans would “probably say that I haven’t got it quite right as yet – but I’m still working on it all the time.” See for yourself:
The main tribute repertoire that David includes in the show includes the more classical, musical theatre end of Alfie’s back catalogue as the audiences that book David as Alfie Boe are more interested and even request, those songs. Although there are some more modern songs included, there aren’t many as they don’t seem as popular with the audiences. The exceptions are Classic Quadrophenia and Queen, which David included as he know Alfie loves Freddie Mercury and the music of Queen. Happily for David, his own core audience is, broadly speaking, the same as Alfie’s and so he already has a natural audience for his new tribute act.
Alfie is apparently unaware of his new found ‘made it’ status with his own tribute act and so we don’t know what he thinks of it. I guess he knows now – would love to know his view!
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