MorganPochin

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Today saw Alfie appear on BBC Radio Wales and the Alan Titchmarsh TV show – the Radio Wales show was hosted by Eleri Sion.  Poor Wynne Evans is all I’m saying..and Eleri Sion has the dirtiest laugh in Wales!  The acoustic versions of Mambo Italiano and Buona Sera were out of this world.  Was lovely to hear from Murray too.  The inevitable subject of TVR came up but even though we have all heard it a million times before and Alfie is obviously sick of it, it’s such a great hook to get people interested so we’ll be hearing it forever; we have to remember that there will always be someone new to Alfie’s story who won’t have heard it.

Also, we got to hear Alfie’s most romantic ideas for Sarah – bet he has loads of them  – he better had, it’s her birthday tomorrow – happy birthday Sarah!  But in case he doesn’t quite cut it, fans can let him know their choice of romantic song and story and he’ll try to incorporate them on the tour.  Hm, Alfie Boe’s Guide to Romance rings a bell – When I fall In Love was your choice.  Perhaps Alfie will include it on the tour?  This was very timely, as one of Alfie’s jobs on the Alan Titchmarsh show (recorded back in September) was to role play in the Battle of the Sexes segment – apparently Alfie’s advice to stay happily married is to just keep quiet!

Linda, Annie and Sue were visible on screen, having their mobile phones confiscated by Alfie (yes, really) as a lead up to a bit of chat about phones going off in concerts.  Careful Alfie, we’ll all be setting our phones off on the tour if you’re going to come and answer them!

Alfie’s new album, Serenata, can be pre-ordered below:

serenata

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What a fabulous show James Morgan and Juliette Pochin, aka known as Morgan Pochin, put on this week at Symfunny, proving music and comedy are a natural fit. Although it’s fair to say that Alfie Boe fans were looking forward to seeing him sing live the most (the entire front row was peopled with Alfie fans), the whole evening was a joy from start to finish.

Al Murray proved to be the perfect host for the evening; I had heard that he has a great reputation for quick fire repartee with the audience but had not anticipated being part of it!  I suppose sitting on the front row of a comedy gig does lend itself to being picked on so I was relieved when Al picked on my lovely friend Linda (one of the famous Two Linda’s).  However, my relief didn’t last long as she was asked who she brought with her which then led to me…cue several laughs about teachers (Linda) and school dinners (me).   Still, poor Steve the banker came off far worse although he was a great sport.

Of the other comedy acts, Jason Manford and Armstrong and Miller were my favourites.  The only thing I can possibly say about Armstrong and Miller’s act is that it was fiendishly funny but unmentionable in polite conversation! Suffice to say I will never look at train toilets in the same light ever again.  Jason Manford was also very funny, even if he did call Alfie’s fans “relatively normal”.  However, his best bit came when he sang Volare with Alfie Boe, successfully reducing Alfie to giggles several times which reminded Alfie fans of his days appearing with Alfie on his Bring Him Home tour in 2011 / 2012. Thanks to Linda W for sharing this video (and watch James Morgan when Alfie misses his entrance):

In total, Alfie sang four songs: Wheels of a Dream, which most of us thought we’d never hear live again so thanks Alfie, Mamma, Volare and Mambo Italiano.  A week later and Mambo Italiano is still going round in my head – I don’t think Alfie will have any trouble at all selling huge numbers of his next album, Serenata.  Seeing Alfie and James Morgan work together again on songs they had just recorded was also special.

Other musical highlights were Rebecca Ferguson’s acapella  version of Amazing Grace and Juliette Pochin singing Carmen.  It was a delight to hear Juliette and also to see her and James working together on what has been a highly personal and emotional project.  James and Juliette conceived the idea for Symfunny after James was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s just over a year ago.  After keeping it a secret for a while, they finally decided to use their talent and contacts in the entertainment world to raise some money and awareness for this disease.  Just before the interval, the audience was shown a short video of another sufferer of early onset Parkinson’s, Shamsa, and her husband and daughter.  Shamsa was only 28 when diagnosed and her bravery in showing us her life is amazing.  James recorded an audience shout out to her and her husband, Sarfraz, so I hope it made them smile.

The evening was rounded off with Al Murray and Alfie leading us all in a rousing rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.  The perfect musical end to a concert that began with James conducting Good Vibrations which shows that he at least has a sense of humour about his situation.

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Announced this week, Alfie will be appearing at a charity concert in aid of Parkinson’s UK in June at the Royal Albert Hall.  The concert is the idea of conductor James Morgan who was recently diagnosed with the disease. James and his wife, Juliette Pochin have worked with Alfie in the past, notably on the Bring Him Home Tour of 2011/2012 and on the Bring Him Home album.  Other guests are Armstrong and Miller and Jason Manford.

This has caused considerable excitement amongst UK Alfie fans, so much so that one particular fan who shall remain nameless (Sally) who is notorious for never going anywhere near the front of the crowd at an Alfie event has broken her rule and is sitting in the front row!!! We are all amazed, especially since she booked it herself and didn’t have to be persuaded!

Here is a look back to Alfie and James having a laugh on the Bring Him Home Tour (and also a chance to hear Alfie sing with the lovely Laura Wright):