The audience at the Lowry theatre were certainly Dancing in the Streets after this evening’s performance of the Magic of Motown. The clue is in the name, a show featuring 36 of the biggest hits from Motown made famous by the likes of The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie.
It is easy to see why the Royal Northern College Of Music (RNCM) has the accolade of being one of the finest music conservatoires in the world. Their music tuition is second to none, as students from every nation on earth come to study here; but it is not just the 'stuffy' classical composers which are studied. The RNCM has, along with its mother organisation, the RCM in London, a long and proud history of tutoring students to become world class exponents in their chosen field, which to the uninitiated most probably would mean classical.
This six piece tribute band to the American rock band The Eagles, took to the stage on the first of a 100 date tour to an almost capacity audience. The stage is set simply with a raised platform for the drums and keys and fronted by five guitarists and accompanied again with simple, but effective lighting. Launching into their first number 'How Long' followed by 'Busy Being Fabulous' and then featuring songs from the iconic Eagles album 'Hotel California' which was released in 1976.
Entertainment In A Class Of Its Own
The Mersey Sound is one of the biggest selling poetry books of all time and over the years the names McGough, Henri and Patten have become synonymous with the city of Liverpool. The anthology captured the mood of the Sixties; energetic, raw and a true record of its era. Tonight’s show features Roger and Brian delivering a fine selection of vintage, classic and surprising poems, many of which have been set to the musical accompaniment of LiTTLe MACHiNe, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this iconic & top-selling book.
Winning a TV reality show such as ‘The X Factor’ can often be seen as somewhat of a poisoned chalice. Time after time hopefuls have entered the competition, won the coveted recording deal and then seemingly vanished from the industry. In 2010, Matt Cardle pipped Rebecca Ferguson to claim victory in the seventh series of the talent show.
Having played the leading roles in Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserable and Love Never Dies to name just 3 shows, it was hardly a surprise that tonight’s concert in the intimate Quays Theatre at the Lowry was a hit. Ramin Karimloo can literally sing everything such is his amazing vocal range. Famous musical hits are intertwined with his own writing much to the joy of the near capacity audience.
A slightly reduced-sized Halle Orchestra, all dressed in costumes reminiscent of Queen's heydays of the 1980s, or even dressed as the great man Freddie Mercury himself, took to the stage this evening to become the backing for a five-piece band and 4 singers who regularly work together on this show as it tours the world over, inviting local orchestras to play with them along the way. Tonight it was the turn of The Halle Orchestra, who, of course rose to this challenge superbly without even so much as a ruffled feather; and one plucky string player found his five seconds of fame as he walked onto the stage in Freddie Mercury drag and a hoover! It's the Festive Season, and it's the kind of concert which lends itself towards fancy costumes, and since the entire orchestra entered so wholeheartedly in to that spirit, it worked very well indeed.
From the first piano chord - the only accompaniment for the first 25 or so seconds, before being joined by a sole cello and then drum kit (a plume of smoke in the music video, matching the opening words “a scent or smell that lingers”) - the stunningly talented beauty that is Leigh(near Wigan)-based Zoe Unsworth, brings a sincere and relatable lead in to her latest track entitled “Lies”, as she articulates the cleanness of her voice and the journey of a lover belong with her breakup.
This is The Halle Orchestra's Christmas tradition for the youngsters. For some years now they have played the music of the famous children's animated film, The Snowman, live with the film being shown on a screen above the orchestra simultaneously. It has been many years since I saw this Christmas cartoon, so long in fact, I was barely out of nappies; however, I had the opportunity today to go along to the Bridgewater Hall and reacquaint myself with it.
It's that time of year again, when the youngest of us are all agog and excited, whilst the oldies try our best to let our hair down and enter into the spirit - and what better way can there be than having the whole family, young and old alike, come along to The Bridgewater Hall to hear the superb joined forces of four of the six Halle groups bring you some Christmas cheer! You don't need to be Christian to come along - there is plenty in there for all to enjoy - but it certainly helps. There is a natural bias quite obviously, since Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ; and the songs we are invited to sing along to are hymns and very religious. But even devote atheists like myself still enjoy the atmosphere, and especially the superb singing from the Halle Choirs.
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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