Alfie Boe

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Two weeks into our annual quest to find Alfie Boe’s Best Live Song, we come to a song that Alfie first sang on the Together Again Tour 2017 and again during the summer concerts of 2018. Featuring at number three in last year’s poll, it’s slipped a bit to number nine this time around:

One of the reasons so many of you love this song is the joy Alfie and his band members get from playing and jamming together – not only is it great to see Alfie playing guitar but to see the other band members get their moment in the sun.

Wagon Wheel has not been recorded by Alfie as of yet and currently, it’s difficult to see where it would fit, other than a radically different album to those of recent years.  Having said that, I would love to hear such an album!  Judging by these votes, I’m not alone in that.

Wagon Wheel is a song from a US country band, The Old Crow Medicine Show and is actually a hybrid of a chorus and melody from Bob Dylan (him again!):

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How much do you know about Alfie Boe and his music?  If you think you know everything there is to know, take the Alfie Boe Quiz 2019 and find out!

  1. What UK album chart position with As Time Goes By did Alfie achieve in 2018?
  2. On which bass baritone’s new album did Alfie guest on in 2018?
  3. How many summer concerts did Alfie do in 2018?
  4. Which song was voted number one in the latest best ever recorded song poll?
  5. Which TV show did Alfie host for the second year running in December?
  6. What was the name of the daytime TV programme Alfie was featured on in November?
  7. Alfie sang at St. George’s Chapel this year – who got married there in 2018?
  8. In which countries did Alfie sing live at in 2018?
  9. Which two Classic BRIT awards did Alfie and Michael Ball win?
  10. Which two charities did Alfie become ambassador for in 2018?

I have some more competition goodies to give away so please send me your answers here.  The winner will be drawn from all correct answers on 16 January 2019*

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Number ten in our first poll of 2019 means only one thing – An Evening with Alfie Boe kicks off in just ten weeks time (next Sunday to be precise).  Anyone excited yet??? I guess that’s all of you, then!

Number ten is a song that has featured in both best live song poll and best recorded song poll of 2018 and is A Thousand Years:

This is Alfie by himself…with a few comments about Mr Ball!

The song was originally performed by Christina Perri for the 2011 film Twilight: Breaking Bad Part One. Written by Perri and David Hodges, the song also featured on the soundtrack of Breaking Bad Part Two, as a duet with Steve Kazee. In addition to Alfie and Michael, the song has been covered by several other artists, many with millions of YouTube views!

In 2018, this song ended up at number six in both live and recorded song polls – and I only just realised now!

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Starting off 2019 as we mean to go on, here is your chance to vote for your favourite Alfie Boe Live Song!  We have four new songs this year:

  • In My Daughter’s Eyes, nominated by Chelley
  • Volare at Fleetwood, nominated by Janet
  • Radio Gaga, nominated by Roberta Kappus
  • We Are The Champions, (also Roberta)
  • Who Wants to Live Forever (Roberta again)

It’s a short voting period this time as the song at number ten will be revealed on Monday – here are all the songs on the list:

You’ve got until Sunday morning (UK time) to vote:

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It’s January 2019 and Alfie Boe fans around the world are already getting excited about his UK tour which starts in just over ten weeks!  Now, an Alfie Boe tour just wouldn’t be the same without our annual poll to find the best Alfie Boe live song.  in 2018 we had eight new songs nominated but the runaway winner was, again, Run.  Can it be topped at all? Whatever happens, it’s up to you to nominate and vote, so let’s do it!

These are the songs already nominated from previous years:

If your favourite Alfie Boe live song isn’t there, then nominate it on the form below:

Now, due to Alfie’s next tour getting underway in mid March, there’s only a short time to nominate before voting starts – so don’t miss out!

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Almost the end of another year and as Alfie will be appearing on Christmas Carols with ITV tonight at 11.45pm, let’s look back on Christmas Eve 2017:

This is a wonderful arrangement of a wonderful carol and as we know, was your favourite Alfie Boe Christmas song.

This year has been another amazing journey on the musical train that Alfie takes us on – we never quite know where we’ll end up but every minute is fabulous.  Alfie achieved another top ten album position with As Time Goes By and I’m thrilled to say that I have one signed copy to give away as a competition prize! To win, just answer the question (make sure you’re subscribed):

Who duetted with Alfie on As Time Goes By?

Winner will be drawn after New Year – good luck!

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Tis the season for Christmas music (oh yes it is) so today I’ve teamed up with Angry Baby Music to bring you some old and new favourite Christmas songs. Christmas albums don’t usually lend themselves to new music, perhaps because tradition is everything at this time of year and nostalgia reigns. However, we took a look through our version of the Christmas present cupboard and chosen a few tracks from a few artists, some of which may be familiar.

If you like traditional carols, then Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore’s take on O Holy Night will be to your liking; the combination of French and English makes it stand out from other, more familiar versions and the simplicity of Sean’s arrangement enhances the pure vocals from Michael. Beth Ford’s Silent Night has the same traditional yuletide sound. Beth’s voice, which is always described as ‘hauntingly beautiful’ and ‘mesmerising’ brings a whole new expression to this traditional carol.  Angry Baby and Beth are giving away a free download of Silent Night so click here to subscribe and get yours. Meanwhile, Gareth Malone’s own composition, A Child Is Born, Malone’s very first composition, with its traditional arrangement makes an excellent addition to the already full band of Christmas carols.

If you want a traditional song updated, then take a look at what Rachael Sage does with her cover of the classic Joy To The World. Weaving together her proven sounds of folk, pop, and jazz, Rachael brings new life to such a joyful song. As this time of year is also the time to celebrate Hannukkah and Rachael’s song, Hanukkah in the Village, a favourite with Rachael’s many fans is also beautiful.

Classical-crossover artist Mary-Jess last year released an album of Christmas songs that encompasses all types of Christmas music. I Fell In Love With A Snowman provides a theme-song for falling in love whilst Mary-Jess’s duet with Rhydian on The Sound Of Christmas maintains a refreshingly natural range and pitch within the mix. Prayer To A Snowflake , the title track of the album, brings something fresh to the seasonal catalogue. Easily the stand-out piece of a stand-out album, Mary-Jess’s juxtaposition of Chinese musicality and classical European vocals creates an addictively melodic offering.

Earlier we touched on Gareth Malone’s 2016 Christmas album and we return to it with a look at a song written by Malone and Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson. Paradise Street isn’t actually very festive but fits in perfectly to a Christmas album as it instantly calls to mind the magnificent Fairy Tale of New York that has been a Christmas staple since Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues took it to number one. Wilson is of course an extremely talented wordsmith and his bittersweet lyrics combine effortlessly with the melody to take the listener on a musical journey.

Continuing the theme of not especially Christmassy festive offerings, Robb Murphy‘s North Star conjures an atmosphere of lives shared through the simple things. Contrasting a lilting beat with Robb’s laid-back vocal style, you’re invited to hum – or whistle – along. Glisteningly wintery, warm and fuzzy, the song holds an entire landscape in the simplest of arrangements.

We’ll end as we began with a Boe brother – Alfie. Alfie hasn’t recorded many Christmas songs (although he’s sung a fair few in live performances) but one that isn’t much heard these days is Home for Christmas, from his appearance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2012. Beautiful.

If you’re still contemplating Christmas shopping and are unsure what to get the music fan in your life, then Angry Baby have the solution! They have teamed up with Robb Murphy and Beth Ford to produce a couple of bundles of music that they love and know you will too. Click here for Robb and here for Beth.

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O Holy Night came out on top, wiping the floor with the other songs, taking 49% of the vote.  The songs in second and third place were I Saw Three Ships and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, with 10% and 9% respectively. Alfie has recorded O Holy Night, with the Boston Pops, on an album called Sleigh Ride (thanks to Claire Smith for the video):

The lyrics of the O Holy Night were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847, having been asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn.  Needing music, he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams who then composed the melody. The carol was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight.

Don’t forget that Alfie will present Christmas Carols on ITV, Christmas Eve at 11.45pm again this year – hopefully we’ll have another song to choose from in 2019!

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This week, we’re looking at Helen Bird’s Six Sensational Songs.  Helen first saw Alfie at the Festival of Remembrance in 2007, a fresh faced young man, singing Bring Him Home.  At the time she just thought nothing of the singer, just that it was an apt song for Remembrance Weekend.  These are Helen’s six songs:

Pure Imagination from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Helen says ” I adore this film especially this song”.

I Vow To Thee My Country.  Helen says “This hymn reminds me of the many military church services I attended with my hubby whilst he was serving in the Army. I’ve chosen Linda Wellington’s footage of Alfie accompanied by The Central Band of The Royal British Legion at the First World War Commemorative Concert, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle as this sounds just amazing.”

If I Can Dream from Storyteller.  Helen chose this as everyone has hopes and dreams and this sums it all up.

O Holy Night from Boston Pops’ Sleigh Ride.  Helen says “This is a hymn that will always remind me of my dear departed Mum, albeit I first saw and heard it being sung by Mario Lanza in the film The Great Caruso when we watched films on a Saturday afternoon, usually whilst she did the ironing.”

Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quadrophenia.   This was the first time that Helen heard this song live, at Alfie and Michael’s outdoor concert at Walcot Hall in Shropshire in July 2017.  This was the second time Helen had seen Alfie live, the first being Birmingham in 2013.

Bring Him Home, Alfie’s signature song.  Helen says “I first heard him sing  this back in 2007. Although I didn’t start appreciating Alfie’s voice until my daughters brought home the DVD of the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables and I sat there transfixed to the TV, listening to the voice we all truly love. I decided to choose the 2007 Festival of Remembrance version because to me it brings to mind the importance of when it was performed and also because of my hubby’s military background. He lost several comrades during his time served and if he went away on exercise, I used to say to myself after he had left the house, bring him home safely.”

Thank you Helen for sharing your six sensational songs with us – three more new songs to add to our list!

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Not long now until Christmas and those of you with As Time Goes By to open on Christmas Day, you’re going to love it – no idea how you’ve restrained yourself from listening though!

In the meantime, let’s make the most of the Christmas spirit by voting for our favourite Alfie Boe Christmas song – you know how much we love a poll!  These are the songs that Alfie has either recorded or sung live somewhere – unfortunately, there aren’t as many as we might like:

The poll has now closed.

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xx