Quadrophenia

All posts tagged Quadrophenia

Part of the appeal and fun of being an Alfie Boe fan is the friends I’ve made along the way…and there a lot of you out there that I would never have known had it not been for Alfie. Chatting to one of my closest friends recently, we were struck by how much the music we listen to now has been influenced by Alfie and his musical choices.  Some of you will be amazed to hear that I do actually listen to other artists (oh alright, it’s not often!) but a lot of the music I’ve discovered in the last couple of years has been driven by Alfie’s musical train.  So the next logical step was to write about it!

Looking through my iPod I now have music from Led Zeppelin, Bonnie Raitt, The Clint Boon Experience, The D’Oyly Carte, Emilia Mitiku, Laura Wright, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, John Owen-Jones, Ramin Karimloo, Al Vosper.  For me, this diverse group of artists has only one thing in common: Alfie Boe introduced me to them.

Obviously some are a lot more well known than others (I can just imagine the gasp of horror from Linda W at my only really listening to Led Zeppelin in the last year or so) and although I was aware of them I never considered listening to them until Alfie sang their songs or worked with them.  This is certainly the case with The Who and Quadrophenia which I listened to for the first time two weeks ago in preparation for Alfie Boe and Quadrophenia – I can honestly say that I really liked it and have listened to some of it again…and I didn’t have to!  It goes without saying that I prefer Alfie’s take on I’m One and Love Reigns O’er Me.

Alfie’s well known saying “there’s only two types of music, good and bad” has obviously rubbed off on me or maybe I’m just more willing to embrace new music as I find myself not only listening to but buying music I had previously discarded as being “not my thing”.  This is definitely the case with Clint Boon; I was not a fan of the Inspiral Carpets and wasn’t particularly keen to listen to the Clint Boon Experience albums even though Alfie was featured.  Of course, when I did listen, I liked it (and not just for Alfie!).  As I write this, the thought occurs that super fans can sometimes be categorised by their willingness to go and do whatever their favourite artist asks or mentions…I leave that with you for later discussion.

One of the joys of my musical education with Alfie has been finding out about extremely talented musicians who I would almost certainly never have heard of otherwise.  These include Laura Wright and John Owen-Jones who I have had the pleasure of interviewing and the awesome Al Vosper, Emilia Mitiku and Michael Boe.  They all produce the sort of music I have always listened to but I am absolutely sure their work would have passed me by without Alfie.

As always, I would love to hear about your musical education with Alfie – what do you now listen to that you didn’t before, or perhaps you have been drawn back to something you haven’t listened to for years?  Leave me a comment in the box!

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from the Storyteller tour, Jimi Hendrix’s Angel (thanks to Linda W for sharing):

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Back in July 2014 I posted 40 reasons to love Alfie Boe – another blog post mentioning 50 shades was recently suggested so here is 50 Shades of Boe…or 50 reasons to love Alfie!

Don’t forget to share everywhere so everyone else can also be Boe’d!

1. This is his most famous song – do you need another reason to love Alfie?

2. Nick Jonas’s (Marius in 25th Les Mis) brother Joe was in La Boheme on Broadway with alfie

3. Alfie hails from Fleetwood, Lancashire (although he was born in Blackpool in 1973).

4. Alfie is the youngest of nine siblings (4 boys and 5 girls) born to Alfred and Pat.

5. Alfie loves cooking and once considered becoming a chef (although he did once cut his finger on live TV!)

6. Other career changes considered include a personal trainer for the Salt Lake City police force.

7. Alfie is a Lyric Tenor which means his vocal range (excluding falsetto) is approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5) with the ability to extend a little to either side.

8. Alfie played Jean ValJean in the 25th Anniversary Les Miserables concert and at the Queens Theatre for 5 months in 2011 – but you all knew that one right?

9. When playing JVJ as The Mayor in Les Mis, Alfie used to wear the socks belonging to the convict JVJ costume in order to better inhabit the role.

10. Alfie once bunked off opera rehearsals in Strasbourg to see Bob Dylan in concert – apparently it was worth it!

11. Alfie is married to an American actress, Sarah Boe.  They met in San Francisco.

12. Alfie was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary in 2013.

13. Alfie once supported the Fron Male Voice Choir on tour.

14. David Miller of Il Divo was in La Boheme on Broadway with Alfie (they played alternate nights as Rodolfo).

15. Alfie recorded some demo Queen tracks at Abbey Road studios whilst a student – he listened back with obvious embarrassment on a recent documentary!

16. Alfie used to work at the Blackpool Opera House in a backstage / security role.

17. Alfie has recorded Empty Chairs, Empty Tables with two of the singers who played Marius: Michael Ball (original Marius and 10th anniversary concert) and Nick Jonas (25th anniversary concert).

18. Alfie recorded Barcelona with Katherine Jenkins for her 2014 album, Home Sweet Home – having first sung it live at Freddie for a Day with Laura Wright in 2013.

19. Alfie was a body mechanic at the TVR factory in Bispham – if you know nothing else about Alfie, you know that!!

20. After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Alfie went on to train at the National Opera Studio.

21. Won the Christie prize at Glyndebourne for Albert Herring.

22. Appeared on several Clint Boon Experience albums as “opera dude”.

23. Spent a few nights sleeping on a park bench in Hyde Park “in between digs” so to speak.

24. Played drums in a local rock band, Whisky Train as a teenager.

25. Alfie is an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and The Arts.

26. Alfie sang at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips. (Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus).

27. Alfie famously prefers to perform in opera, rather than listen to them – this is usually quoted incorrectly as “Alfie hates opera”.

28. Alfie often takes fans cameras and phones and takes photos of himself and the band on stage – perks of being front row!

29. New Zealand operatic trio Sol3 Mio supported Alfie on his recent UK tour – here they are singing Volare together:

30. Alfie auditioned (and was called back) for Raoul in Phantom of the Opera – the RCM beckoned though and we shall have to imagine his Raoul.

31. Won a Tony Award as part of the cast of La Boheme on Broadway.

32. First professional audition was for the D’oyly Carte Opera company – he sang You Are My Hearts Delight.

33. Moonwalked across the stage during final performance of Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House.

34. Appeared on Vanessa Feltz’s BBC Radio 2 programme as part of the Wednesday Words of Warmth – his tip to get through a Wednesday was to make a big bowl of meat pasta sauce.

35. West London Karaoke Champion 1994 singing Suspicious Minds.

36. Patron of Trinity Hospice, Blackpool.

37. First recording Alfie appears on is Die Fledermaus, with the D’oyly Carte company (in the chorus).

38. Suffered from chlorine poisoning whilst filming a projection for The Pearl Fishers at the ENO.

39. Brother Michael is also a talented singer, recent album is called A La Voix.

40. Alfie and Sarah’s first dance at the their wedding was Led Zeppelin’s Rain Song.

41. First, and so far only, performer, with Renee Fleming to sing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations).

42. Alfie was first introduced to La Boheme by his brother Michael – thank you Michael!

43. Alfie is great at comedy falls – as witnessed by viewers of Jonathan Ross show in October 2013!

44. Twitter often mentions how much Alfie looks like Declan Donnelly – maybe, but only without his beard – judge for yourself:

dec

45. Knows nothing about dancing – as evidenced by his appearances on Strictly It Takes Two!

46. First song with lyrics written by Alfie recorded for Serenata 2014: My Heart is Yours.

47. Singing the role of Jimmy in Classic Quadrophenia in July 2015 – another one you all knew surely!

48. Used 40lbs of ice in the ALS ice bucket challenge.

49. Has a golden retriever, Guinness and a black and white cat, name???

50. A photo of Alfie; together with his amazing voice, what other reason to you need to love Alfie Boe? (thanks to Carole Hunt who took this gorgeous photo and generously allowed me to use it on my blog – what a star xx)

alfie-carfest.jpg

 

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…I’m sure that you don’t need reminding that it was Alfie Boe’s Best Live Song (as voted by you), Don’t Stop Me Now, on Gary Barlow’s New Year’s Eve Celebration:

What a great end / start to the year that was!

So, to round off the year, I’m looking back at my top ten thoughtsofjustafan moments (in no particular order) – hope you enjoy.

1 – Alfie’s best ever recorded song countdown – some great songs nominated (click here for the longlist) and while the      result was never really in doubt, some of the top ten were very unexpected.  This was my most commented on post      of the year!

2 – Michael Boe’s interview and the release of the track list for his next album – great news, Michael told me that him       and Sean will shortly be back in the studio!  The release of the track list was the 3rd most viewed post!

3 – Serenata – my favourite track changes all the time.  The first post about the new album was the 2nd most viewed        post this year, sandwiched between the Alfie on the Royal Variety Show and Michael’s new album.

4 – Caruso live at Newcastle (thanks Linda for sharing):

5 – Symfunny stage door – so lucky to be able to chat to relaxed Alfie!  But it was so cold…in June!

6 – Getting published on the Huffington Post UK!  Such a thrill!

7 – Hearing Addio Sogni di Gloria at Classic FM live (thanks Marcia for sharing):

8 – Quadrophenia on tour – roll on Royal Albert Hall next July:

9 – Laura Wright’s interview.

10 – Two (!!!) interviews from James Morgan – such a lovely man.

Last, but not least, thank you for all the support that you have given me since day one of this blog.  Thank you doesn’t seem adequate somehow but a huge big thank you hug for each and every one of you – some I’ve met, some I haven’t but your support is very much appreciated.  In particular, thanks to:

Debbie Bannigan for her unstinting support, encouragement and willingness to share her amazing fount of knowledge – thoughtsofjustafan truly would not exist in its current form without you xxx

Sue Black for sharing every single blog post ever published! xxx

Linda Wellington, Nikki Lewis, Marcia Studley for sharing their Alfie videos xxx

Carole Hunt for letting me use the banner photo of Alfie on the site xxx

Claire Smith and Michelle Keogh for sharing my Alfie survey on their facebook sites – and thanks to all who filled it in xxx

Cynthia Shepherd, Cecelia Powell, Linda McCann and Annie Lloyd for being my top commenters xxx

What are your top ten moments – leave me a comment!

Happy New Year to you all 

xx

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Wow is the word for Alfie Boe’s current UK Tour!  This was my first concert since the Newcastle opener on 29 November and it is good to see that the show is now much slicker and smoother.  Gone are the disjointed set changes which marked the first show, in fact, they are now so slick that I didn’t even notice them.

This week of course saw the official confirmation that Alfie is to appear in the premiere of Classic Quadrophenia next year and us lucky fans got a preview of two songs, I’m One and Love Reign O’er Me, as part of the encore. How on earth Alfie sings those two songs at the end of a two hour concert is beyond me – spine tingling is the only to describe them.  It is evident how excited Alfie is at the prospect of the role.  The addition of these two songs means that others had to go: Luna Malinconia, Parlami D’amore Mariu, Serenata Celeste and Glory, Glory, Hallelujah were the songs that made way but I don’t think the set list is any worse off.  Once again, Caruso was the first spine tingle, goose bump moment (so fantastic to hear Alfie sing these songs live) although I am a bit hard pressed to choose between that and Danny Boy.  Indeed, Cecelia, experiencing her first concert of this tour was moved to tears by the beauty of Alfie’s performance on that song.  You left the arena thinking it impossible to think of anyone singing it as well.

The musicianship of Alfie’s band (Murray, Matt, Richard, Dan and John) is simply outstanding; Richard’s piano accompaniment to Recondita Armonia and Nessun Dorma is breathtaking, whilst Murray and Matt’s guitar playing is stunning and leads perfectly into the rockier part of the show.  The audiences is Leeds and Manchester were a bit livelier than Newcastle and didn’t need much encouragement to dance and sing through Trust, Keep Me in Your Heart, Volare, Mambo Italiano and Buona Sera.  A highlight of this section was Alfie bringing Sol3 Mio onto the stage to sing Volare with him.  They did well (with what seemed like zero rehearsal) but Alfie easily outshone them.  It will be interesting to see how they fare next time, if there is a next time. Thanks Linda for the video:

Sol3 Mio are the support act for this tour and a very entertaining trio they are.  Having said that, their banter between songs didn’t change at all between Newcastle and Leeds so it was a pleasant change to hear them change it up a bit for Manchester.  Two tenors and a baritone comprise the group and they gave us a lovely insight into what audiences for their headline UK tour next year can expect.  My Way, Sole Mio, Yellow Bird and Nella Fantasia were good but the highlight for me was We Are Samoa which was by far their best song.

On the evidence of these two concerts, Alfie is going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next!

Don’t forget the Royal Variety Show Monday 8th December 7.30pm!

Alfie Boe’s new album, Serenata, is available below:

serenata

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Hot on the heels of the official confirmation of Alfie Boe’s Quadrophenia role, Alfie wowed fans at the Nottingham concert of his current UK Tour.  Here he is singing I’m One:

Going on this evidence Quadrophenia next July will be fantastic! If you don’t have a ticket yet, you might be out of luck, think it’s sold out!.

Alfie Boe’s new album, Serenata is out now:

serenata

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Updated post – pre-sale is now open!!!!!  got my ticket already! – click here for tickets.

Alfie Boe will star in a concert version of Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall next July!  Not sure if this is the secret he hasn’t been allowed to tell us but how fantastic is this!

The tickets are on general sale on Friday 5th December – click here.

Quadrophenia is Pete Townshend’s 1973 rock opera and has been orchestrated by Rachel Fuller and performed by the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra and the London Oriana Choir – Alfie sings the part originally sung by Roger Daltrey.  Check out this teaser:

Can’t wait to get a ticket!