So, to paraphrase the opening song of the Storyteller tour, It’s Over for Alfie Boe’s 2014 UK tour. Just writing that first sentence has taken me most of the day – sad the tour has finished but feeling incredibly thankful that I was able to see five concerts. Additionally, thanks to the incredible generosity of my lovely friend Linda I was able to get a photo and a hug with the man himself…I just about managed to keep upright! More about that in a later post!
Anyone who is an Alfie fan will be aware that for him to headline at London’s O2 arena is a very special moment in his career. As he acknowledged on Friday night, the last time he set foot on that stage was as Jean ValJean at the Les Mis 25th anniversary concert and of course it turned out to be a career changing role. A considerable number of Alfie Boe fans know him through the Les Mis connection and THAT Bring Him Home moment in particular so although that song always brings the house down wherever Alfie sings it, his rendition on Friday was even more powerful and emotionally charged for audience and Alfie alike. Here is where I can let you into a secret: I am actually a little bit over Bring Him Home these days. Sacrilege I know but I’ve heard it plenty and it’s not my favourite Alfie song. However, on Friday I was completely bowled over by the emotional intensity in Alfie’s performance – and so was the rest of the audience.
The set list had changed again from the last show I saw (Manchester), largely due to Alfie’s throat infection which sadly meant the postponement of Brighton, but I was thrilled that he still sang Nessun Dorma and the two Quadrophenia songs. Never heard them before but they are fast becoming firm favourites, and I’m really excited for the album and show next year. One or two of us were worried about Alfie’s voice but we really needn’t have been; he was in fine fettle. This was one hell of a performance and a resounding success – lots of tweets saying people had taken family members as a treat but been totally blown away and ended up fans themselves.
And so to the end of the tour, Cardiff. The evening started emotionally for me as Sol3 Mio (who trained in Wales) sang an impromptu Calon Lan which had me in tears…my Dad used to sing it to me when I was a child. Although their on stage banter could do with changing up a little before their 2015 UK tour, their performances have been outstanding and many Alfie fans have become Sol3 Mio fans too. The lucky Cardiff audience even got to see and hear them perform Volare with Alfie too – although only after a considerable wait while they were tracked down from somewhere around the venue!
Cardiff audiences are always great and this was no exception; however, even though Alfie invited us to stand up and dance, not many did and this led to some awkward moments for those of us who did want to dance. Concert etiquette is something I’ll definitely come back to at a later date – there are wildly opposing views on this!
The main change to the set list in Cardiff was the inclusion of Glory Glory Hallelujah from the Trust album – that really got the audience up and dancing. Alfie looked so happy during that song and the jumping bean dancing was well and truly unleashed! Apparently his nieces called it Dad dancing but we all loved it. The revelation for me on this tour was hearing Danny Boy. It is not one of my favourite songs, in fact I could easily say I can’t stand it…until I heard Alfie sing it. I have always said that Alfie could sing the phone book to me and I’d be happy but this is the first time that he has transformed a song I hate into one I love – albeit only when he sings it LOL. Danny Boy will be one of my tour highlights – I’d love to hear your tour highlights so please leave a comment. Thanks Linda for sharing the video:
Once again, Alfie gave us a fantastic show – every single person I have spoken to about it had only praise, not one single negative comment. In my experience, that is rare – such a shame there is no official DVD. The musicians in Boe’s Band, Murray Gould, Matt White, John Tonks, Richard Causon and Dan McKinna were incredible and more about them in a later post but outstanding.
Lastly, as with all Alfie Boe concerts / tours etc, it is not only Alfie but the friends we meet up with and make along the way. So, in no particular order (and apologies if I miss anyone, please let me know!) huge thanks to Linda W, Linda A, Janet, Nikki, Katie, Sally, Pat and Janet, Jan and Brad, Carole, Shelley, Sue, Pauline, Chelley, Cecelia and Cassie, Annie, Marcia, Tienne, Sonia, Marie, Geri, Linda E, Carole and Eric, Nancy and Marj, Andrea, Sally, Lea Ann, Roberta, Ellen, Emma, Nicola, Claire, Tracie, Margie, Gill and Malc, Karen and Richard, Gloria and Joan for making this tour so memorable and happy. Some of you were there only in my heart, some of you I’ve known for a while and are fabulous friends and some of you I met for the first time on this tour but you all played your part xxxxx
UK fans need not despair though as new 2015 dates are being added all the time – Hampton Court Festival has just been announced today.
Serenata is available here:
thanks for reading – don’t forget to tell me your tour highlights in the comments section!
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