…It’s Only Love on the last night of his Storyteller tour: Belfast. This was by no means the first time we had heard this song on the tour but as it was the last, they did it a bit differently (more material for the Rear of the Year competition too):
Every time Alfie gets a new band together, we all say how much we love them and how much we then miss them when they’re gone – just goes to show that Alfie knows how to pick the best MD’s and musicians.
When I first started this blog, back on a wordpress site in July 2013, I was happy to hit 100 visitors – the fact that I knew them all didn’t matter one iota. However, this blogging thing is just a little bit addictive and once I started, I couldn’t stop. The longer I went on, the more I blogged and the more I blogged, the more visitors came along and that’s when I made the scary decision to move from a purely wordpress blog to my own site. That was almost a year ago now and things have moved on somewhat!
When I moved to this current site, I had some targets in mind: how often to blog, to do some interviews, to feature some fan stories, to engage with as many Alfie Boe fans as possible and to share my passion with as many other fans as possible. One of my targets was to attract the same amount of visitors to the new site as visited the old site – that happened in the first 3 months of transferring! (Not bad considering the stats don’t transfer over, you have to start again).
Then, I had a new number in my head: 30,000 hits. Don’t ask my why I chose that particular number, it just popped into my head, same as pretty much everything else blog related pops into my head!
So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has visited this site since May 2014 – each and every one of you is appreciated. Especial thanks to everyone who has been with me since the beginning – you know who you are and I love you all.
And now we’re on our way to the next target – so spread the word! Sharing is caring so tweet and share on Facebook as many times as you like!
And don’t forget, if you want to see something on the blog – just leave me a comment or contact me here.
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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!