And so we come to end of another tour and what a tour it was. I’ve said it was a perfect tour and I really think it was; intimate venues interspersed with larger arenas, plenty of dates, laughs a minute, Alfie and Michael solo spots and fabulous, gorgeous vocals from both and last but not least, the chance to spend so much time with so many lovely friends and fellow fans. One of the best nights out in a very long while, Alfie related or not, was the first Bournemouth concert and the seemingly never ending quest to get a drink afterwards – we did manage it you’ll be pleased to hear and it was really lovely to be surrounded by good friends, discussing the important things in life. Namely, Alfie Boe and his music!
This week had Ball and Boe finishing the tour in the way in which they started: with lots of dates together. I was lucky enough to be at the final two shows, Manchester and Blackpool, both second shows at those venues and I honestly think Alfie and Michael saved the best for last. The audiences were brilliant, lots of dancing and singing along when requested and standing ovations galore – the second half seemed to consist of us standing up and down like yoyos on both occasions. In Manchester, there was a definite extra thrill knowing that the concert was being streamed live around the world, with the added bonus of catching up with tweets at the interval from Boe Buddies in Australia and USA amongst others.
Blackpool was always destined to be just that bit extra special, being the end of the tour (the third such date this time around!) and being Alfie’s home ground and so it proved to be. The mutual admiration and friendship between Alfie and Michael that has been apparent all the way through this tour was even more to the fore for this concert and came to a head during the Bond medley, both vying to outdo the other in saying “nobody does it better”, preceded by Alfie’s astonishing end note of Thunderball. In this case, the last line became “strikes like Michael Ball” – brilliant!
Two years ago at the end of the Serenata tour I mentioned that I wasn’t all that keen on Bring Him Home but Alfie’s emotional intensity simply bowled me over. This tour has given me a new way of looking at Alfie’s signature song but it still hadn’t brought me to tears until Blackpool – the Les Mis medley in its entirety was so beautiful, the tears just came. Although, in truth, they had been there for a while at this concert, Keep Me In Your Heart starting them off. Regular readers will be aware that this is my favourite Alfie song but the way it’s been sung on this tour doesn’t lend itself to provoking tears, rather it’s been a joyful, dancing and singing along moment before the heavy emotion and power of Love Reign O’er Me. Blackpool however, was different. Following a heartfelt speech from Alfie about the tour, Alfie launched into an acoustic version of the song with just MD Murray Gould accompanying to start (thanks to Linda W for sharing):
The tears came almost from the beginning and they weren’t far away in Love Reign O’er Me as well. I don’t have any more superlatives left to describe Alfie’s performance of this song so I’ll confine myself to a comment on the backdrop of the original Quadrophenia film. When I saw this in Hammersmith I said that it detracted from the overall effect but that may have been because I was sitting to one side and not front on to Alfie – this time I was practically dead centre to the stage and the film was the perfect accompaniment to the denouement of Alfie’s powerful vocals.
Love Changes Everything was another high spot in the Blackpool show and the tears were there the whole time, mainly because the elderly couple next to me started singing it to each other. I had Michael’s family on the other side of me and we ended both that song and the evening overall linking our waving arms, making it even more sweet.
What will I take away from this tour? Fabulous music and fabulous times with fabulous friends. Thank you to everyone who came and said hello, it was lovely to meet so many readers and fellow fans. Thank you to my guest reviewers: Carole, Roberta, Cecelia, Samantha, Heather Crosskey, Heather Moore, Barbara, Joan and Christine. Thank you also to the people who made it special: Linda A, Linda W, Karen and Richard, Pat, Sue, Carole, Jan, Rachel, Nicola, Jayne, Nikki, Janet, Cecelia, Sally, Paul and Pauline, Jo Cassidy, Roberta, Hannah, Gill, Geri, Linda Evans, Jen and Donna, Liz, Pauline H, Chelley Thompson, Carole and Eric, Annie and Mitsuko. If I’ve missed anyone out, I’m sorry! Super special thanks to Linda A for putting up with me throughout this tour especially when I was having 2017 ticket meltdown in a Manchester hotel room (we get to do it all again next year!!!) – and for giving me one of her meet and greet tickets so I could give Alfie and Michael the tour card from fans and get this photo:
Super special thanks to Linda W and Annie for taking and sharing their videos of the tour too – you can find them on the Together 2016 playlist on Alfie Boe on YouTube.
Click here for info on the 2017 tour dates.
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