As Time Goes By

All posts tagged As Time Goes By

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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Happy New Year from thoughtsofjustafan – lots of exciting Alfie concerts to look forward to this year, the first one, Animal Requiem in just a few weeks.

In the traditional way, Christmas and New Year is the time when we look back at the previous year and I’m no different; luckily, it’s a delight to look back at Alfie Boe’s career in 2018 and choose my highlights.  In no particular order, here we go!

  • Alfie’s Homecoming concert at Fleetwood – an astonishing concert that will live on forever

  • Fundraising over £2,500 for Trinity Hospice through our Youtubeathon and for Alfie’s birthday.  I saw Alfie recently and he sent us this message:

  • Speaking to and videoing so many lovely fans at the London album signing

  • Chatting to a very relaxed Alfie in London, also at the signing, along with helpers (of the Three M’s), Linda and Cecelia

  • Two nominations and two wins at the Classic BRIT Awards for Alfie and Michael
  • As Time Goes By – love this album!
  • Meeting and greeting with Alfie at Kenwood and getting him to sign a Trinity hoodie
  • Exploring lots of new (to me) music – more about this to come in few weeks
  • Alfie’s video message to celebrate thoughtsofjustafan’s 4th birthday

Thank you to everyone who reads thoughtsofjustafan – your messages of support are very much appreciated.  Last year I reported that we had sailed past 250K hits…we’re now well over 300k!

As always, there are some special people to thank who make this whole thing happen:

Debbie Bannigan for believing in me and helping me go from strength to strength.

Carole Hunt for continuing to allow me the use of her photo for the site banner.

Linda Wellington for the use of her wonderful photos and videos. Thank you to everyone who allows me to use their videos here.

Roberta Kappus, Cecelia Powell, Claire Shorter and Annie Lloyd for being such wonderful guest reviewers.

Linda Anstee, Linda Wellington, Carole Hunt, Karen Rogers, Pat Watterson, Cecelia Powell, Sue Redfern for being there – thanks for keeping me sane with doughnuts.

Linda Anstee, Ellen Rook and Chris Coats for being my top social media sharers.

Cathy Haley, Sue Redfern and Cecelia Powell for being my top commenters.

Huge thanks to Andrea, Penny, Anis and Holly at Vector and to Ash and team at Decca – you’ve been amazing and a joy to work with.

Finally, it’s a massive thank you to Alfie for your unstinting support and generosity – without you, there would be no thoughtsofjustafan!

Have a very Happy New Year

xxxx

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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I’m One at Nottingham Arena:

From the fabulous Classic Quadrophenia, this is one of the first concerts we got to hear Alfie singing this music – I for one fell in love with it there and then, despite never being a Who fan before.

Since 2014, Alfie has done even more and been even more successful, with a run on Broadway and two number one albums to boot.  His first solo album for four years, As Time Goes By, has just been released and hit the top ten in the UK album chart in it’s first week.  If you haven’t got yours yet, what are you waiting for????

It’s available here:

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Almost a week since Alfie Boe’s new album, As Time Goes By was released and Alfie has been on full promotional detail with four album signings this week.  Starting with Manchester, Alfie then moved onto London before visiting Sheffield and Blackpool.

Thoughtsofjustafan was at HMV Oxford Street, along with two glamorous assistants, Linda and Cecelia, to film fans and find out some favourite tracks.  With thanks to Sally Sadler, Tienne Lockwood, Claire Shorter, Clare Lloyd, Rachael Hailey, Elaine C Roberts, Jean, Jo Cassidy, Lucy Goddard, Tove and Andreas, Ildi, Barbara Durham, Natalie Morgan, Sue, Sue, Pauline, Lesley Smith, Joolz Gray, Brenda, Miles, Nicky, Julie, Julie, Mark and Alexandra, here is the edit:

Of those asked, the track with most votes was Sing, Sing, Sing, with Moonlight Serenade coming a close second.  Minnie the Moocher, My Funny Valentine and The Way You Look Tonight were next but every song on the album was mentioned at least once, with the exception of Stompin’ at the Savoy.  Shame – I loved that one!

Friday sees the official album chart unveiled – wonder if Alfie will have improved on the midweek position of number 5?  Don’t forget to help him do just that by buying a copy here (and don’t forget Christmas presents!):

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and an exclusive video clip from Alfie

Two days until the release date of Alfie Boe’s new album,  As Time Goes By and it’s not a spoiler for this piece when I start by saying that it’s worth waiting four years for a solo album – it’s glorious.  The music of the 1920’s and 1930’s suits Alfie’s voice so snugly that you feel as if he’s always been singing this music.  These songs give the warmth in Alfie’s voice time to shine and the switch between big band sounds and the more intimate feel of the slower tempo songs showcase his extraordinarily wide repertoire.  The musicianship at work on this album is wonderful; it will be interesting to hear the differences on this and the live approach on Alfie’s tour next year.

As Time Goes By is a balance of smooth, classy, slower tempo tracks and some big band, upbeat tracks and they’ve got that balance absolutely right.  You’re eased in with La Vie En Rose and Moonlight Serenade before Sing Sing Sing launches into a song that has you up and out of your seat and dancing around.  In some of the many promotional interviews Alfie has recently done, he’s described wanting to “get down and dirty” with some of these tracks and for me, that is best embodied with Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Minnie the Moocher.  Both have an almost gravelly feel to them and whilst Alfie’s voice could in no way be described as gravelly, the arrangements are so good that gravelly is what I hear.  Following on from Ain’t Misbehavin‘, Mood Indigo also has a bit of a down and dirty feel about it but the big band accompaniment juxtaposes exquisitely to give it a sound all of it’s own.  These two songs are the stand outs for me.

Prior to listening to this album in full, my favourite track was The Way You Look Tonight, probably helped along by a smouldering performance on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year!

Of the slower tempo songs, it’s still my favourite, although there isn’t a song out of place on the whole album.  These songs have such an intimate feel that you truly understand why the title of Alfie’s UK tour in 2019 is An Evening with Alfie Boe; they lend themselves to the kind of intimate feel a few lucky fans saw in the Isle of Man.  It remains to be seen whether the format stays the same – hope so!

There are three duets on this album and all three are delightful.  Alfie and Kelsey Grammer are clearly having a ball on Minnie the Moocher, you can hear the smiles and laughter in the singing.  Kara Tointon and Brennyn Lark on, respectively, Stompin’ at the Savoy and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square are featured on songs that suit their voices wonderfully.  Of the two, I prefer Stompin’ but it’s a close run thing.   It would be fantastic to see either of these lovely singers guest with Alfie at one or other of his shows next year.

Overall, this is a wonderful album – there is not one song that shouldn’t be there and I loved all of them.  You might think that you don’t need another big band / swing / jazz album in your life but you’d be wrong.  As Time Goes By is a must have album, not just for Alfie fans but for everyone who likes good music.  It’s definitely up there with Alfie’s best albums.

As Time Goes By is available here:

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Alfie Boe’s one off show on the Isle of Man was this week and regular reviewer, Cecelia Powell, was there for us.

On Tuesday 6th November some good pals and I trampled through lashing, windswept rain in Douglas, Isle of Man to the Villa Marina hall in all its Edwardian grandeur for what was billed as ‘An Evening with Alfie Boe’. Half the fun of an Alfie concert is meeting up with old friends and making new. Once you’re hit by the Alfie bug, you never know where he’s going to take you – musically, or for that matter, geographically! There were fewer familiar faces and the audience was predominately Manx residents, but there was a real buzz in the air. With a new album coming out, none of us was sure exactly what was to come.

The audience was warmed up by the talented Lauren Samuels, who treated us to musical theatre songs and the music of Burt Bacharach, ending her set with, what else, Bacharach’s Alfie.  After the break, four men walked on stage: Ross (the brilliant pianist who accompanied Alfie on his recent radio tour), Pete (the wonderful Australian guitarist who joined Alfie’s band for the summer concerts), Murray, (Alfie’s MD whom we’ve all learned to know and love) and the man himself. That was it. No backing singers, no horns, no drums. So from the beginning we knew we this was going to be a different performance to what we’ve been used to of late. Just four superbly talented men seated on a stage in a darkened concert hall. Dressed semi-casually in black trousers and jacket, with a white shirt hanging out and a pair of clunky boots, Alfie almost immediately asked for some lights to be turned on in the hall so that he could see the audience. And so the concert began.

First came a few of the new New Orleans jazz songs that have been trickling out from the new album: Sing, Sing, Sing, followed by Minnie the Moocher and Stompin at the Savoy, ending with The Way You Look Tonight. But these weren’t the big production numbers that we’ve been hearing from the album. The whole feel was much more intimate, much more inclined to draw you into the feel of that smoky jazz club where the music was originally heard. For these numbers, and throughout, Alfie contributed to the musical arrangements with a tambourine. People weren’t up dancing in the aisles, but feet were tapping, hands were clapping and the focus was entirely on the man and his music. The diamond in his pocket, Bring him Home, had to come, but he preceded it with a few cheeky bars from Master of the House because there had to be a bit of banter – like the fact that he’d dressed up as Jean Valjean for Halloween wearing his jacket from Les Mis, and everyone thought he was The Greatest Showman!

A short break for people to get drinks and refreshments was followed by a selection of Neapolitan tunes. The sublime Parlalmi D’Amore Mariu from La Passione was followed by Serenata’s Mama, Volare and Mambo Italiano, and he left the stage to Buona Sera, which left us feeling like we’d all been kissed. There was banter, there was audience participation, but it was more the feel of being at a private party than at a concert.

Another short break, and we were treated to a folk/country section. First, Keep Me in Your Heart in the heart-wrenching way it’s sung on the album. But, of course, there had to be some audience participation on those Sha La La Las. When it came time to get the men to sing, and a voice cried out “Bring it on!” Alfie had the perfect foil. Little did Alfie know that Lester was a music teacher, and he not only joined in with the singing but belted out an accompaniment on the piano! Tom Petty’s evocative Wildflower came next, and then The Old Crow Medicine’s Show’s Wagon Wheel. Now this is a number that really allows his accompanists to shine, but there was ample time throughout the evening to let the musicians showcase their talents with fabulous guitar riffs and almost ragtime piano solos. This was topped off by a version of Guns & Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine. Not a rock star version, but one that was packed with so much raw emotion and longing it left me breathless. The Together albums that he recorded with Michael weren’t to be forgotten, of course. First Hero and A Thousand Years, and then He Lives in You, Pete joining in brilliantly on the vocals. The set ended with Run, for which Alfie called Lauren Samuels back on stage to join him. And then came the encore of Elton John’s Rocket Man. An extraordinary performance that took me up to the stars.

Over the course of the evening, there was plenty of interaction with the audience in his own inimitable northern style, including comments aimed directly at Manx residents that drew much laughter. My favourite was a story of his visit to the island as a ten-year-old lad on a school camping trip, on which the nuns kept the children in order by relaying tales of the “Moddey Dhoo”, a phantom dog said to haunt Peel Castle. And there was a collection taken up at the end of the evening for a hospice on the island, of which he is an ambassador and had visited that morning.

The man can sing absolutely anything so, unlike most performers, he attracts fans with very disparate tastes in music. Luckily for me, I love the man in all his musical guises. He can be any of them, or all of them. For me it’s all about the voice and where that voice takes me, and believe me I travelled a lot of miles that night! For this one night, we were treated to something that I found very, very special, and who knows if it will ever be repeated. Most of the songs were entirely delivered seated. There was power, but it was controlled. There was no razzle dazzle, no gimmicks, no distractions. The songs were stripped down to the bone. I heard things in familiar songs that I’ve never heard before and, as always, they were sung note perfect. It was like having a private gig with the man. I was sitting in packed concert hall, but it felt like he was singing directly to me. This really was Alfie unplugged, and for me the evening was magical. I was wrapped up in a musical bubble and floated out of the hall. In fact, I don’t think I’m still quite down on terra firma yet. For me, this concert was billed exactly right. We were treated to an evening with Alfie Boe, and I feel blessed to have been there.

What a fabulous review Cecelia and I’m sure I speak for many fans when I say that I wish I had been there.

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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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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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Last week saw the news that Alfie Boe’s new album, As Time Goes By (click here to order), will be released on 23 November and I’m sure there will be plenty of fans very much looking forward to hearing all the tracks.  Before then, however, we have the question that all fans are desperate to have answered:

What is the fans favourite Alfie Boe song 2018???

I’m happy to say that the vote is now closed, the votes have been counted and the results will be revealed over the next ten weeks, which will take us almost up to the week of the new album.  Anyone would think it was planned!

Without further ado, the song in at number ten is a song that featured in the first three charts but dropped out of the top ten last year.  From Onward, it’s A Living Prayer:

A Living Prayer shows off Alfie’s soaring vocals to perfection and is probably the reason why a song from one of Alfie’s lesser known albums has been eternally popular with fans, also being chosen several times as part of the Six Sensational Songs series.

A Living Prayer was written by bluegrass / country singer Alison Krauss and released on the Union Station album Lonely Runs Both Ways in 2004. The bluegrass roots are evident in this video of Krauss:

As evidenced from Alfie’s autobiography, he wasn’t too thrilled with the choice of songs for Onward, with the exception of A Living Prayer – hope he sings it again one day.

Onward is available here:

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