The Halle Orchestra continued their sensational seasonal concerts this evening with a lady who has collaborated with this orchestra several times already, even producing an album with them earlier this year. A northern lass, who reminding me very much of the late, great, Victoria Wood (only with a superior singing voice), and whose jazzy, bluesy voice filled the Bridgewater Hall entertaining a near capacity audience this evening. I write of course of Clare Teal.

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s2smodern

A Rich Musical Celebration of Culture and Heritage

 

With little known of its history, Klezmer is an Eastern European musical tradition largely consisting of dance tunes and instrumental pieces used for weddings and other celebrations and it was an absolute pleasure to convene in the beautiful surround of a former Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue for this end of year Klezmer celebration, now in its fifth year as Max Dunbar, CEO of the Manchester Jewish Museum, noted in his introduction along with the advice that any of the full house audience were welcome to get up and dance at any time during the evening.

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s2smodern

Many soap stars in history have become pop stars, some have asteroric rises to pop star fame such as Kylie Minogue and some become less successful cross over artists like Curly Watts out of Corrie, so this evening I'm at the Lowry theatre to see the latest soap star turned musical star; Catherine Tyldesley, the popular actress well known as playing Eva Price on the cobbles over at Coronation Street.

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Cara Dillon has been around on the professional Celtic and folk music scene since the early 1990s, initially with her own band Oige and then joining the folk group Equation in 1995, leaving that to form Polar Star with Sam Lakeman and then becoming a solo artist in 2001.   With a background in traditional Irish music, she started performing while still at school and won the All Ireland Singing Trophy at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann at the age of 14. Traditional Irish music still forms a significant part of her repertoire.

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“SHA-BOOM”   

 

Where do I start? This was the most amazing night of music. These boys have it all and can do it all.... The production took place at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and was their third night on this tour and it did not disappoint.

 

Music, dance, mic-ography was impressive....

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Now I have a confession here, I am not a rock fan by any means, okay I love Meatloaf (another of Steinman’s shows, but that's a different review!), I can appreciate some rock songs but you would never get me along to a full blown, head banging rock concert, so I was very reluctant to be dragged along to a Vampires Rock show a few years ago by my husband. Tonight, I attended my third such show willingly and in fact have been looking forward to it. As I glanced around the audience I commented on how ordinary most appeared, not your usual rock fans at all, but I spoke to soon as it became evident that many had been to these shows before and I was delighted to have seated next to me four people in complete costumes emulating characters from the show.

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This was my first visit to RCNM and very first piano recital. I was both excited and thrilled in equal measures. The RCNM building boasts a cathedral-like interior and I was reminded of the Denys Lasdun's National Theatre; with some sections of the venue revealing layered concrete sections. 

 

Entering into the intimate space of the Carole Nash Recital Room, tonight's performance was ‘Liaisons: Re-Imaging Sondheim for the piano’ with Anthony de Mare.

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The ground is still warm from the bonfire at Guy Fawkes but I'm at my first Christmas themed show of the show, the Eurovision Christmas Party at Stockport Plaza.

 

Now Eurovision is fun, cheesy and always a spectacular of a show, sadly the Christmas party falls very short of my expectations. The set list sounds like a who's who of Eurovision royalty with the likes of Katrina and the Waves and Bucks Fizz but it was a show of mixed efforts.

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I bet just hearing the name of this tribute band you are already singing the words to the Bee Gees classic in your head, no?.... 'It's just your jive talkin', you're telling me lies, yeah'..... and that's how the whole show goes when the group take to the stage with singing, clapping, swaying or dancing along from most of the audience tonight at the Charter Theatre, Preston.

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s2smodern

In the cold autumn months people are reluctant to venture out, even if it is to see a great performer in a beautiful art deco variety theatre like the Stockport Plaza. Sadly this, and perhaps the limited promotion by his team, clearly contributed to this happening tonight. It was such a shame that the stalls were not even half full!

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s2smodern

Love or loath TV talent shows I am eternally thankful to one of these shows, the X Factor, for introducing us to the fabulous Joe McElderry. In 2009 a good looking, shy, unassuming 18 years old lad from South Shields bowled the judges over at the auditions with his rendition of Luther Vandross's 'Dance With My Father Again' and from that moment on it was pretty obvious that someone special was appearing right before their eyes.

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