Alfie Boe

All posts tagged Alfie Boe

Almost time for the new album – who’s getting excited about As Time Goes By?  I imagine one or two of the songs will feature in the list of Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Song 2019 but before we get to that, here is another one in the occasional series of our Six Sensational Songs.  This time it’s the turn of Betty May to tell us her choices.

Dimming of the Day, from Trust – with a great Tom Jones anecdote at the beginning of this clip from Cardiff.

Bring Him Home, this time from Fleetwood, bringing the number of times this song has featured in this series to ten.

The ever popular live song, Run.

A throwback to La Passione with Parlami D’Amore Mariu at Leeds 2015 – note the short hair in preparation for Les Mis on Broadway!

Come What May with West End star Kerry Ellis.

Tell Me It’s Not True, from Blood Brothers – all the way back in 2012!

Thanks Betty for sharing your six songs with us.

If you would like to see your favourite Alfie songs featured here, please fill in the form:

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Ten months into my New Year resolution to listen to more new and varied types of music and I have to admit that for October, I have cheated a bit – the music I’ve chosen this month is not new to me.  However, she’s been out of the limelight for a while and delightfully, I discovered a new EP from her when I researched this piece.

Emilia Mitiku first came to the attention of Alfie Boe fans, myself included, when she supported Alfie on his Storyteller tour in March / April 2013. She was heavily pregnant at the time and this gave way to an unexpectedly hilarious moment when Alfie introduced her, before their duet on Dimming of the Day.  Emilia also duetted with Alfie on Angel from Montgomery on that tour.

This version of Dimming of the Day is my favourite and is often chosen as one of fans’ six sensational songs.  I’m still not sure how I managed to leave it out of mine!

Emilia has released several albums but the one I’m concentrating on, and is probably most familiar to Alfie fans is 2012’s I Belong To You, a collection of what Emilia calls vintage pop.  A mixture of pop, overlaid with jazz and country sounds, the album showcases Emilia’s rich, velvety voice in a number of styles, all of which reflect the jazz, pop and traditional Ethiopian music she grew up with. The first song I ever heard from Emilia reminded me of Dolly Parton:

The subject matter of heartbreak and the country lilt of the music show Emilia’s mastery of styles, especially when compared to the upbeat, sparkling So Wonderful:

One song from this time that didn’t appear on I Belong To You, is Why Is He So Mean?

This was a highlight of Emilia’s live performances in 2013 and quickly became a favourite with the mostly female Alfie Boe audience, as only catchy, rhythmic songs about women surviving relationships can!  It’s impossible to sit still and listen to this – before you know it you’re up and dancing, whilst also singing at the top of your voice.

As I mentioned earlier, I was overjoyed to find new music from Emilia when researching this piece.  Blue, Blue, Blue, a four track EP was released in late 2017 and is pure, vintage Emilia Mitiku, stylistically similar to I Belong To You. Opening with a slow, silky cover of Rihanna’s We Found Love, the EP gets into it’s stride with the title track:

Upbeat, with a catchy hook, this is another song you’ll be quickly singing and dancing along to.  “Blue, blue, blue, that’s what I learnt from you” appears to take up where I Belong To You left off and is all the more welcome for it.  I would be happy if Emilia made this sort of music forever.

When Our Roads Cross and Forgetful Lover hark back to another era of music, reminiscent of Alfie’s forthcoming album, As Time Goes By – I would love to hear Alfie’s voice sing some of Emilia’s songs.  This record is so smooth and silky, it was over far too quickly; I hope 2019 sees more new music from Emilia Mitiku.

Blue, Blue, Blue is available here:

I have one copy of Emilia’s album, I Belong To You, to give away, just answer this question:

Which two songs did Emilia sing with Alfie Boe on his 2013 Storyteller tour?

Competition will close at Midnight on 7 November 2018 – good luck!

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Just three more weeks of the poll to find out your favourite Alfie Boe recorded song – and we come to his signature tune, Bring Him Home:

Bring Him Home is of course a constant in Alfie’s live performances and in this annual poll; twice being voted number one and never being lower than number four.  So much has been written about Alfie and this song (quote a lot of it by me!) and it’s always a challenge to come up with something new to say about it, so this time, I’ll let Alfie do the talking with an extract from his autobiography, My Story.  Alfie is talking about his life changing appearance at the Les Mis 25th anniversary concert:

I knew that Bring Him Home would be my moment, the golden key.  I knew that was it.  ‘Boy needs a song!’  It’s incredible, how that song came to me again, after our false alarm with the Festival of Remembrance.  We knew that was the one, but it disappeared, and we didn’t think of it again until Cameron Mackintosh knocked on the door.  And it is such a spiritual song, it’s so special.  When Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil write it they must have been excited.  They must have known they had something special…Herbert Kretzmer was really stumped with the lyrics, he didn’t know what words would fit to these three syllable lines.  The John Caird, the co-director, said the melody sounded like a prayer, and Herbert wrote it overnight.  It is a prayer, it’s acutally called The Prayer, it’s not officially called Bring Him Home, and I treat it as such every time I sing it.  I pray.  That’s what makes it work.

Beautiful words from Alfie – and for those who don’t know, Alfie sang Bring Him Home at the Festival of Remembrance in 2007 and Harvey Goldsmith said, “boy needs a song” after the performance.  It just took a few more years to really get hold of it!

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Celebrity and charity come hand in hand and the more successful the celebrity, the more charities he is asked to work with.  Alfie Boe is no different and with his recent huge level of success with Michael Ball, has become involved with more charities.  One such is Willow Foundation, founded by former goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson.  Alfie says “I’m delighted to join The Willow Foundation as an ambassador. I’ve known Bob Wilson for many years and it’s a pleasure to support a charity that does so much good work supporting young people with serious and life limiting illnesses.”

As Alfie says, Willow works with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days and are the only national charity to do so.  These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever. To date, Willow has provided more than 15,000 Special Days for young adults diagnosed with a life-threatening condition such as cancer, motor neurone disease, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease.  Each Special Day provides a positive experience to be shared with a partner, parents, siblings, children or close friends. It costs around £1,250 to set up each unique Day and on average four people attend.

Bob Wilson and wife, Megs, founded Willow as a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged 31. Anna’s love of life and the enriching experiences of her own Special Days were the charity’s inspiration.

The Wilson’s and Alfie have been friends for many years, as Bob explains.

“I was promoting my autobiography at the BBC in London in 2003 when I first met Alfie. He was also doing the interview rounds, becoming well known for his incredible voice from singing before football and rugby matches. I followed Alfie’s career from that day. Our friendship developed and we often met up when he was in concert or on stage. One of the strangest meetings was in 2016 when Megs and I were celebrating what would have been our daughter Anna’s 50th birthday in a restaurant in the middle of London. Alfie and his wife were seated right next to our table. Alfie has always shown an interest in the work of the Charity and we’re delighted to have him officially join the ‘Willow family’.”

To find out more about Willow, click here. 

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On the homeward stretch of the 2018 countdown of the fans favourite Alfie Boe recorded song and we find a song at number four that topped the chart in 2016, fell to number three last year and is now at number four:

I’ve used this video more times that I can remember (the song has featured heavily in the Six Sensational Songs series) but the first version of Love Reign O’er Me remains spine tinglingly wonderful.  The whole Classic Quadrophenia album is amazing but this is definitely the best, showcasing Alfie’s vocal talents like very few other songs in his recent repertoire, either recorded or live.  Anyone who experiences (you don’t see or hear Alfie sing this live, you experience it) Alfie singing this live can never get enough of it again.  It’s simply spellbinding.

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We’ve reached the half way stage of the poll to find the best Alfie Boe recorded song 2018!  The song at number five is a new entry to the chart, having only been released in 2017.  The third song to feature Alfie with Michael Ball and taken from Together Again, the song is The Prayer:

Happily, this song was voted in at number five in this year’s Alfie Boe Best Live Song poll!

The song was written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, with Alberto Testa and Tony Renis for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot and was originally two solo tracks; English for Celine Dion and Italian for Andrea Bocelli. The song was then released as a duet by Dion and Bocelli and that is the version that is most well known.

Composer Foster had said that is is “a song that I just never get tired of playing, I never get tired of hearing it, and I never get tired of people telling me that they enjoy it. And it seems to mean a lot—it means a lot of different things to a lot of people. So it’s a powerful piece of music. I think it came through me, and I think Carole’s lyric is beautiful. And it’s very meaningful to me that when all is said and done, there is a piece of music like that, that will undoubtedly outlive me. It was a moment—that song was a moment for sure.”

The Prayer was was one of my standout songs of Together Again – it’s beautiful and is a treat for those who love to hear Alfie sing in Italian. Both Alfie and Michael excel here and it seems to be a fitting song for the troubled times we currently live in.

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In much anticipated news, Alfie Boe today announces a UK tour for next March and April!

To celebrate the release of his forthcoming album, As Time Goes By, the tour will start in March in Cardiff and end at the Royal Albert Hall mid April.

“I’m excited to get back on the road, especially with a new record that I’m so proud of. These songs are at their best when performed live!” says Alfie.  He adds, “We’ll be enjoying some great songs from my previous records, but I more than anything want to bring back to life an era when British audiences discovered a brand new kind of American music, full of energy, optimism and romance. I’d like to transport people to a time in their lives, a moment or even a style. I hope you all enjoy being transported there as much as I do!”

Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday 19th October 10am:

See tickets

Ticketmaster

Gigs and Tours

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Thoughtsofjustafan favourite John Owen-Jones has been recording his fifth album this year, to be released in 2019 and this is the first release from Spotlight:

From Beauty and the Beast, Evermore is perfectly suited to John’s beautiful voice, the soaring vocals are just sublime and really give the listener a taste of what’s to come with the album.  Alfie Boe fans will of course know that Alfie recorded Evermore as a bonus track on Together Again (with Michael Ball) and listening to the two versions one after the other, I found myself wishing for a recorded duet from Alfie and John.  After all, the impromptu duet of Bring Him Home at the Royal Albert Hall five years ago was absolutely sensational!

Spotlight will feature John’s unique take on tracks from musicals and more, with music performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of John’s long time musical collaborator, John Quirk. Fans can be part of being involved more in the recording of this album via a crowdfunding campaign on John’s Pledge Music web page.

Evermore is available here:

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Almost half way through our countdown to find the fans favourite Alfie Boe recorded song and we arrive at our second new entry, A Thousand Years, nominated this year by Karen Blower:

It’s the second song to feature Alfie’s collaboration with Michael but this is from their first album, 2016’s Together.

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!

Together is available here:

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It’s been a while since we had a competition here at thoughtsofjustafan so to celebrate the new album, let’s look back at an old one, from 2012 and Storyteller.

I have a selection of Storyteller goodies to give away, including a scarf, 4 signed programmes, 2 DVDs (UK) and a signed poster:

To win one of these bundles, all you have to do is answer the question below:

Which cities has Alfie performed live at in 2018?

Competition is now closed.

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