Fan Family

All posts tagged Fan Family

Wednesday night in Blackpool was followed by Friday night in Manchester and luckily, our New York roving reporter, Roberta Kappus was in Manchester and has just sent her guest review.  This is Roberta’s second visit of this tour and she must be a strong claimant to the title of fan who has travelled the most miles on multiple trips to see Alfie.  The fan who has travelled the furthest will always be Margie who has twice flown from Australia to see Alfie in concert…rumour has it she’s thinking about visiting again for Carousel.  Hope so Margie!  How fitting that these two fans (and I’m proud to say, friends as well) first featured on thoughtsofjustafan over three years ago, when I wrote about Alfie’s Fan Family.

What can one say about a show (Together) and two men (Alfie Boe and Michael Ball) about whom so much has been written already.  Sixteen shows (out of thirty) later the magic, the vitality and the electricity is stronger than ever.

As in all the venues to date,  after the brief Somewhere intro the two came bounding down the stairs to very enthusiastic applause and shouts. They had barely started Tonight when the audience joined right in with everyone feeling that this was no ordinary night. The singing was outstanding as always. It amazes me that these two singers are so extraordinarily brilliant venue after venue.

The evening had its comedic aspects, highlighted by a trip to the loo by Matt, a guest in a front row seat. Alfie was quick to spot him, pointing him out to Michael and the rest of the audience. Michael demanded to know why Matt had not gone before the show.  Matt’s reply was lost to audience laughter but from that point on it was obvious the show was not going to continue until Matt returned.  Alfie jumped off the stage and took Matt’s seat.  Michael followed and the house brought up the lights.  Matt finally returned walking casually down the center aisle. At this point Michael had started voicing concern as to how he was going to get back on stage.  After several attempts by Alfie to hoist Michael onto the stage several volunteers were recruited from the audience.  Michael made it back…Alfie easily lifted himself back onto the stage and the show continued.

As a footnote I would like to mention Keep Me in Your Heart with which everyone is familiar.  While you all probably know the audience participation part I don’t remember the orchestra being mentioned.  Alfie’s only accompaniment for this song is the piano and MD Murray. The rest of the orchestra is standing, clapping and joining in with the singing. It is a full participation song.
All in all there simply isn’t a better evening’s entertainment. My sincerest thanks to Mr. Alfie Boe and Mr. Michael Ball.

Thanks Roberta – not just for the great review but also for mentioning my favourite song at the end.  I agree, it’s so good to see the orchestra up and dancing and playing during Keep Me In Your Heart – they had to be encouraged at Bournemouth but as the tour has gone on, it’s become a part of the show.

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As we approach the 38th anniversary of Elvis’s death, it seems a good time to revisit Alfie’s special relationship with the King himself.  Fans of Alfie know that one of his longest standing musical influences is Elvis Presley; in his autobiography, My Story, Alfie mentions that he first started listening to Elvis through his brother Joe who was a big fan. He remains a fan to this day, choosing Burning Love as one of his tracks on James Watt’s Radio Stoke One on One interview in November 2014.  This made me very happy as it’s one of my favourite Elvis tracks – would love to hear Alfie sing this:

Other suggestions for Elvis songs we would like to hear Alfie sing are:

  • Jailhouse Rock
  • American Trilogy
  • Blue Suede Shoes
  • Wonder of You
  • Love Me Tender

Now I’m sure all the ladies reading this will be imagining Alfie singing Love Me Tender right now!  Maybe followed up with One Night With You!  Writing this, it occurs to me that there must be an Elvis song for any and every occasion – he had some repertoire.

Now, as we sadly don’t have Alfie singing any of these songs yet, here’s the next best thing and a playlist of Alfie Boe Singing Elvis (feel free to comment with any other videos you’d like to see there):

I can’t leave this Alfie and Elvis fest without once again recounting Cecelia’s story of meeting Elvis at the tender age of 5…on running up to him she got a kiss and a hug, swoon!  Upon meeting Alfie at an HMV album signing a couple of years ago she showed she hasn’t changed a bit in the intervening years by running across the room to hug Alfie (and did I mention that she gave Alfie a kiss the first time she met him?).  Gotta love Cecelia – to read her fan story, click here.

Alfie’s autobiography, My Story, is available here:

alfie autobio

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Twitter is a wonderful thing – it tells you things you always wanted to know, like today is International Day of Happiness!  You really all wanted to know that, didn’t you?

Thinking about this made me think about all the happy moments I’ve had with Alfie and his amazing fans – this is definitely one of the top:

Love this photo! Oxford Street HMV, November 2013

Love this photo!
Oxford Street HMV, November 2013

Watching my fellow fan and fabulous friend Cecelia scuttle across the room towards Alfie at this same event also counts in my top 5 Alfie moments!

Some of my other top Alfie moments are:

Another fab friend and fan Sally sitting on the front row at Symfunny – she notoriously hates being at the front!

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Chatting to Alfie outside the Royal Albert Hall after Symfunny – amazing

Hearing Alfie sing Addio Sogni di Gloria at Classic FM Live – spine tingling

Hearing most of Trust at the Royal Festival Hall in December 2013

Seeing Alfie pop in to the Queens Theatre via the stage door (in Feb 2013) when we were least expecting it – the we being Costa Linda, one of the “two Linda’s”

Would love you to tell me what your top Alfie moments are – in person or not!  Let me know in the form below:

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January is a notoriously difficult month after the Christmas and New Year festivities and it is no different if you are an Alfie Boe fan.  As we are in an unexpectedly quiet time before the excitement of his small screen acting debut in Mr Selfridge on 23 February, I’m taking this opportunity to share two more stories of fab friends I’ve met through following Alfie.  I first met Sally and Cecelia at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2013 on the Storyteller tour and we quickly became firm friends, meeting up several times for dinner, wine and chat.  Indeed, Cecelia and I are shortly to spend a weekend with Sally where we can indulge our obsession to our hearts content!

First, here is how Sally came to follow Alfie:

I am 54 years old, a mother of two and a grandmother of three (at the last count). And until 2011 I had never been to a musical concert on my own……Back in 2007 I remember coming home from Brussels for the weekend and watching an impossibly young looking tenor named Alfie Boe sing Stranger in Paradise on Parkinson, and thinking ‘Blimey, he’s good.’  And promptly went back to Belgium again without taking it further.  More fool me!Then after 4 years away I came back to the UK in September 2010.  I had bought the 10th anniversary concert of Les Mis back in the day and had seen a lot of the blurb around the 25th anniversary production at the O2.    And then I caught Les Mis at 25 with Matt Lucas on the TV and thought I remember that man – where have I seen Jean Valjean before?  And so I got a copy of the concert.

It was a revelation.  Alfies’ voice, by turns soft and lyrical, then forceful and soaring was totally mesmeric – the show itself was wonderful with a fine supporting cast but it was the almost slight figure with the expressive eyes that kept my whole attention.  So then it was You Tube – I found the Parkinson show excerpt, discovered the making of La Passione (he does so many things in the kitchen you would think he had an interest in food!!!) and of course ‘Nessun Dorma’ in Matt Lucas’s kitchen.  I saw and read all the interviews, marvelled at his wonderful family life, laughed at his antics (his embarrassment on Loose Women still makes me giggle) and joined the ABUK forum.  And then came the news that he was going to be at the Queens Theatre as JVJ in Les Mis.  I booked the best ticket I could.  I was so excited. Bored all my friends and amused my family – I’m known for being quite pragmatic.  And on the due date turned up at the theatre only to find Alfie was sick.  I was devastated.  Jonathan Williams was an excellent replacement but what was I to do? I wanted to see Alfie but I had never seen a show twice before – I booked a ticket for the following Tuesday.  Got there, heart in mouth but no announcement.  Alfie was on and he was sublime; I was totally wrapped up in the tale of this man’s redemption and sacrifice.  And so was he.  There seemed to be no acting involved – he simply was Valjean.   I went back three times more, once to the Stage Door after a lot of encouragement from ABUK friends.  And then came the concerts, the Bring Him Home and Storyteller tours.   I have seen 9 in all from Aberdeen to Brighton via Blackpool and London and I have loved them all. I even went to Carfest South when my knowledge of cars could be written on the back of a jam pot cover. Alfie on his albums is wonderful to listen to but live, he is a tour de force, by turn serious, bawdy, energetic (he leaps over stages, boxes and barriers to get to his audience) and above all that glorious voice that seems to sing exactly what he tells it to whether it be classical, rock, blues or country.  My friends think I’m mad and my family think Alfie should take out a restraining order.  I don’t care.  I’m on the Alfie train and loving every moment of the ride.

Cecelia is originally from the USA but has lived in London for many years, having come to work and study and ended up marrying a wonderfully understanding Englishman.   I can confidently state that he is wonderfully understanding because this seems to be a necessity in husbands or partners of die hard Alfie fans!

Cecelia first heard Alfie sing at the Festival of Remembrance in 2008 and thought it was a lovely performance but did not send her scurrying to find out more about the cute singer. Instead, it was a couple of years later when she took her daughter to the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Mis at the O2 that Cecelia fell in love with Alfie Boe and his voice.  Like many other Alfie fans I may add!

Cecelia then saw him in concert at Watford and began following the forum chat on ABUK for a while before taking the plunge and joining in with the madness.  Her wonderfully understanding husband proved to be just that when he bought her tickets to the Storyteller tour at the Royal Albert Hall which brings me back to how we all first met, face to face. such happy memories!

Thanks for reading once again xx