I was very much in a minority at the Lowry Theatre tonight as someone who had not seen Jane McDonald perform live before. She has a massive following and there was a real buzz in the air as we awaited her entrance. The lights dim, the band start to play, the stage bursts into brightness with a dazzling lighting set up, the backing vocalists appear.....the audience are on their feet and cheering, no, make that roaring, then wow
What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album, than watching the Mersey Beatles perform. They are the closest you’ll get to actually watching the Beatles these days, and that is an opinion shared by not just fans, but family members of the Beatles themselves as well.
There was more security at the Lowry Theatre tonight in view of the recent terrorist attack in Manchester which claimed 22 young lives and injured so many more and a visible police presence in the area which was reassuring to theatre goers. It did not feel disrespectful in any way to be attending a show, more a feeling that 'we will not be intimidated' and a collection was held at the theatre in support of those who lost their lives.
So who was this lady who strutted and pouted across the stage paying tribute to one of the biggest female rock stars of all time who is able to put on a show worthy of the title of Best Female Artist at the National Tribute Music Awards 2016? Whose dancers took the 'Best Choreography' and whose production team took 'Best Sound and Lighting at the same awards? Look no further than Justine Riddoch, a talented artiste who guarantees you a show that will leave you in no doubt that every attention to detail has been meticulously covered.
There was a party atmosphere tonight at the Epstein Theatre as the audience awaited The Beach Boyz Band but instead of the sun, sea and surf there was a distinct whiff of lager - this audience was ready to party. The majority of the crowd were of the white-, grey- or no-haired variety, but there were younger faces too.
As the audience take to their seats they are kept entertained by films and photographs of Michael Jackson and his meeting with Navi plus clips from a movie to be released soon, 'Searching for Neverland,' based upon the last three years of Jacksons life and in which Navi plays the starring role. Considered the world's number one Michael Jackson tribute, a claim supported by the fact he is the only impersonator to have performed for him having had the honour of being requested at Jackson’s 40th birthday party whereupon he received a standing ovation from the man himself. He was invited to Neverland (Jacksons home) and personally chosen by him to act as decoy over a period of many years.
The saying 'All good things come to those who wait' could not be more apt for singer songwriter Elio Pace. After a 30 year dream to be fronting a show and performing a collection of songs of his idol, that dream was realised in 2014 and he is currently touring the country for the fourth year delighting and entertaining audiences everywhere. Tonight at The Charter Theatre Preston with a five piece band it has all been worth the wait for the audience too. The band took to the stage alongside the incredibly talented Elio Pace and kicked off with 'Angry Young Man'. With the cheers, whistling and even some standing to applaud at the first song, this promised to be an evening not to be forgotten.
Halfway to Paradise – The Billy Fury Story – two hours of the British legend Rock and Roller, featuring the original members of his band Fury’s Tornados.
On vocals – Colin Gold The 1996 “stars in your eyes” performer, where after two weeks following the show one of the band members called Gold and since then they have formed together to keep Billy's name alive for 20 year. Drums, vocals – John Raynor, Bass, double bass, vocals – Graham Myvill, Guitar, vocals- Chris Raynor, Piano, keyboard, vocals and Fury’s musical director – Charlie Elston.
As the Easter weekend comes to a close, I found myself guilty of being rather over indulgent somewhat on chocolate... chocolate and more chocolate so I needed to get away from the remnants of eggs and wrappers and get burning off those calories and in doing so, found the perfect treat to finish the Easter celebrations. It came in the form of a concert, Not all concerts are the same; some live acts you will see disappoint you and never live up to your expectation, this was not the case with my choice; Billy Ocean live.
'Stand By Me' is possibly the most recognised title of a song recorded by Ben E.King which went onto being surprisingly, the only number one hit in the US (1961) for King and tonight opened the show to an appreciative audience. What a start! Fabulous vocals from all in particular Michael Williams, Ryan King and Davinia Thomas in this gospel church choir scene which continued throughout the whole show along with the other members of The Drifters.
Yorkshire-born broadcaster and singer Clare Teal graced Oldham Coliseum's stage for one evening only tonight, and despite the less than capacity audience, she received a warm welcome and many deserved rounds of applause throughout the evening.