You could sense the excitement in the Theatre Royal before the show had even begun. From arriving there was a great atmosphere in the foyer with sequinned hats, gloves and flashing lights amongst the merchandise for sale. People wearing Michael Jackson T-Shirts, it all added to the anticipation of what was about to take place on stage.
Now if you are a true fan of Michael Jackson then you are in for a concert like no other tribute. Navi, The King of Pop has gone to extraordinary lengths to be the best impersonator there is of Jackson, even having plastic surgery to look like him. (Although not of Jackson’s later surgery) Originally from Trinidad and Tobago he has worked for companies such as Sony Music, MTV and Coca Cola in adverts and used as a decoy for Jackson several times. He is the only impersonator you could say is endorsed by Jackson as he was asked to perform for his 40th birthday and was humbled to receive a standing ovation from the man himself! He was also lucky enough to receive a personal invite to Neverland.
Tonight was the second night of Joe Longthorne’s ‘No Regrets’ tour after a battle with mouth cancer diagnosed in 2014 and for his fans a welcome return to the stage.
The show kicked off with comedian Mr Leye D,Johns giving a 25 minute performance first. This was followed by a 20 minute interval which was a little disappointing having expected to see Longthorne on the stage by now. However D,Johns was entertaining if a little old hat and predictable with his mainly camp jokes.
Irish Folk meets Jewish Klezmer in Manchester - and it rocks!
In the beautiful surround of a former Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, the evening is introduced by Richard Fay of the University of Manchester, as we are asked to imagine, if you will, back in the day towards the end of the 19th Century, the huddled masses in the valley of the river Irk in North Manchester. On the western side, the largely Jewish communities of Red Bank and on the eastern side the largely Irish dwellers of Angel Meadow. Differences in language, culture and religion meant immigrant communities kept themselves to themselves.
One of England's most influential and famous folk rock and electric folk bands. In fact it could be stated that it was Fairport Convention that 'invented' the English Folk Rock sound - and that was in 1967! And although the members of the band have swapped and changed around a little since then, their music is still as alive and as popular today.
However, before we were allowed to hear them play last night at Salford's Lowry Theatre, we were treated first to a support musician, who himself has won quite a few accolades. From 'humble' beginnings playing with Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band, this unashamed Yorkshireman now plays and sings self-composed folk music on guitar and occasionally the harmonica. His name, Roger Davies.
As the finale to the day long National Festival of LGBT History being held at The People's History Museum in Manchester, and part of the LGBT History Month, the Manchester Lesbian And Gay Chorus took the floor of The Engine Room by storm to sing some songs inspired by the themes of the day's conferences.
Under the guidance of choir master and group leader, Loz Kaye, who has a rather eccentric but extremely likeable and passionate style about him, the chorus sang music from The Beetles, Abba and the Musical Wicked to name just a few.
The RNCM offer several afternoon concerts, usually about one hour in length, from all of their departments. The concerts are usually free to attend and showcase some of the best and most talented up-and-coming musicians Manchester has to offer.
This afternoon was no exception. In this hour long concert three such soloists, all seventeen years old and already accomplished musicians, were performing a selection of works for their instrument with piano accompaniment by tutor, David Jones.
For most of us, we all have some sort of bucket list, a list of things to do or see before we die. I for one have a list of songs that I've always wanted to hear live, from Queen to AC-DC and tonight at the Classic Rock Show, a lot of that list got checked off dancing away in the Lowry.
The stage was set and the night kicked off with a fantastic rendition of 'Whole lotta love' and the standard just got better and better throughout the show.
Tucked away in a corner of Manchester University, the Martin Harris Centre hosts a regular lunchtime treat, performed by the talented students of the MU Music Society. The society itself is huge, and boasts a wide range of musicians and ensembles, performing over 50 concerts a year! These performing opportunities are invaluable for upcoming musicians, and the afternoon was fairly well attended by a mixture of fellow students and music lovers alike.
Not being a fan, as such, of The Bee Gees I made sure I was accompanied by someone who would be able to vouch for the authenticity and quality of the performances in this production at Theatre Royal Wakefield; I was well equipped with a mother in law who could arguably be Barry Gibb’s biggest fan, remembering fond memories of this band of brothers right back to the 1960s. This was indeed the first thing that stuck me when entering the theatre and seeing the pre-show montage of Bee Gees interviews and rolling images of CD cover after CD cover on the big screen at the back of the stage, which stayed prominent throughout the performance: This production would span 50 years of incredible music making (and let’s be honest it really was incredible) as you forget just how many number one hits these talented, high pitched, tight trouser, flare wearing, bearded men achieved in their careers; not just for themselves but also for a large number of other pop stars.
The Manchester-based Chinese Music Ensemble, Oriental Breeze, performed an hour long concert of music played on traditional Chinese instruments at St. Paul's Church in Sale, Greater Manchester this afternoon.
The ensemble comprises 14 musicians who all play a variety of instruments totally foreign to our usual and familiar Western ones. But what I did find rather incongruous and odd was that the ensemble included a cello. And oh how ugly the cello looked when placed next to these beautiful Chinese instruments!
Eagerly awaiting at the Lowry for Paul Carrack and onto the stage walks a solitary figure and announces he is Robert Vincent, puzzling as no mention of a support artist anywhere and picking up a guitar he launches into a song entitled Lady. This is followed by 5 more ‘sad and depressing’ so described by Vincent’s own admission for the lyrics written and sung by him tonight…. But it has to be said it was far from depressing to be in the audience and be entertained by him for 30 minutes with songs including Light of the Stars and my particular favourite The Bomb. With excellent vocal and an obvious talent for emotional songs Liverpudlian Vincent is definitely going to be one to watch out for in the future.
But I digress…… onto the main attraction on stage this evening Mr Paul Carrack.
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