Song number seven in our countdown to the Alfie Boe’s best live song in 2018 is one from that wonderful summer of 2012 and Alfie’s appearance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations:
I was a new fan to Alfie’s music then and I well remember lots of Twitter users voicing concerns over the sound quality – until Alfie started singing that is! After that, everyone watching realised that there was nothing wrong with the sound system – and the tweets also highlighted Alfie’s hip swinging antics…most appreciatively, I add.
This is the highest place so far for O Sole Mio / Now or Never, since the song first appeared in this poll in 2016. O Sole Mio goes a long way back for Alfie and he has performed it many times over the years although only for a period of twelve months or so in conjunction with Now or Never. Now or Never, of course, is a version of O Sole Mio, first recorded by Elvis and went on to be his second best selling single. The song went on to feature (albeit in a completely different arrangement) on Alfie’s Storyteller album – I loved that arrangement but I’m not sure too many other fans did; it’s never been flagged as anyone’s favourite song, for example).
Storyteller is available here:
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The summer tour is over but no need to cry because we are in the rather unusual position of having lots to look forward to! Performances in three countries, a new album, we’re in danger of being rather spoilt in the latter half of 2017.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at six more sensational songs, this time from Karen Rogers. I first met Karen, very briefly, at a Storyteller album signing in London’s Oxford Street and since then we have run into each other at several concerts, culminating in a memorable evening in Bournemouth last year. Ball and Boe were the warm up act for an absolutely hilarious evening with our Boe Buddies – how many Alfie Boe fans can you get into a single hotel room was the name of the game! Here are Karen’s six songs:
A Living Prayer, which appears in this series for the fourth time now. Karen says “I’m not religious in any shape or form but absolutely love this song. The words, even as a non believer are so very beautiful. The video that accompanies the song is lovely too and adds to the emotion.”
Bring Him Home at the 25th anniversary concert. Karen says that she chose it because “as Alfie’s signature song how could I not include it? However the reason I chose it was because of the memories it evokes. I never thought I would get to see Alfie, live, in Les Miserables but when he announced he would be reprising the role in New York I knew I had to get there. I went with the lovely Carole Hunt and we saw him 4 times. Each time was as special as the first. The picture in my head of him sat at the barricade with Marius at his side asleep as he sings it brings tears to my mind every time. Very special times.” We don’t have footage of his stage appearances so I chose this video as the next best thing.
Doctor Jimmy, from Classic Quadrophenia – what a fabulous evening that was. Karen says “I absolutely love this song for the totally shallow reason that Alfie says the f’ word!!! I know its awful to admit but I do. The raw emotion as he swears is amazing. As the wife of a Who fan who was totally bowled over by Alfie’s performance at the RAH I cannot put into words how special it all was.”
Run – Karen’s choice because “it’s a fabulous song with wonderful words but given the Alfie Boe treatment becomes an all time great anthem.”
It’s Only Love – another song that gets me up and dancing every time! Karen chose it as she “absolutely adored Alfie on the Storyteller Tour. It is as a Rock God that I adore him the most.His performance of the song as he charged from side of the stage to the other, jumping on the speakers in those tight jeans was sublime.”
O Sole Mio / Now or Never at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Karen says “again it shows his versatility as he goes from classic to rock and roll. The highlight for me of the Queens Jubilee. Rocking out in his tight black jeans (I do love him in tight jeans!) and lovely black shirt. Doing what no one expected him to do and bringing the house down in the process. Fantastic!”
Thanks Karen for six very different choices – I love seeing the songs people choose and the reasons why.
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Alfie’s at his jumping bean best here, really rocking out (longer hair ideal!) with Al Vosper, not to mention a bit of drumming with Karlos half way through. This was part of the wonderful summer of 2012 with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. It seems strange that at the time of this concert, I had never yet heard Alfie sing live and had only been a fan for a few short months. Little did I know how completely and utterly he was to change my life.
The line up of for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration concert has been announced today and it includes Alfie! Sharp eyed fans who noticed that Alfie’s current performance schedule for Finding Neverland shows a gap between 11 – 18 May won’t be surprised. The concert will be broadcast live on 15 May – it will be hosted by Ant and Dec so we may yet get to see Alf and Dec on the same screen! Alfie said he was “honoured to be involved in the celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II birthday celebration concert at Windsor Castle”.
Alfie seems to be a firm favourite with the Royal Family and has performed for them many times before but perhaps the most famous is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (thanks to Nikki for sharing):