The Billy Joel Songbook Albums Show is, from start to finish, a masterpiece; playing two Billy Joel albums - Glass Houses followed by An Innocent Man - in their entirety, Elio Pace and his band deliver something incredibly special. The show had the audience of The Epstein Theatre enthralled, with various people on their feet from start to finish despite some of the songs being a lot less well-known than others.
Firstly, before I go any further; I must admit I’ve never been a big fan of Westlife, I’ve always been a Take That man (or ‘Thatter’ as we’re known) so I wasn’t expecting to be a massive fan of the solo concert of Westlife lead, Shane Filan at Manchester Opera House, however my Westlife super fan partner was somewhat more excited. In the end. I think we both become super fans.
Never have I seen a music concert, rock or otherwise impress me as this did tonight. I cannot urge you strongly enough to go and experience this show. It was an absolute masterclass of live music, this energy filled spectacle claims to chart the evolution of Classic Rock both visually and aurally. In reality this hybrid show does far more than that, it is a complete and comprehensive onslaught of outstanding musicianship, authenticity, attention to detail, stage presence and staging, clarity and professionalism.
What was I even thinking? What did I expect? It made me melancholy enough immersing myself in Bowie's songs before this event; The Next Day and Black Star are such stunningly brilliant albums, who knows what this incredible man might have gone on to produce? So I expected to feel sad, and indeed I did – but not in a good way.
Mothership bill themselves as ‘no costumes, no wigs, no nonsense: a tribute to the music of Led Zeppelin’ and that is exactly what you get. As a pretty well seasoned tribute act fan, I am never sure whether the full imitation acts with costumes and acting are any better or worse than acts that are all about paying tribute the music, but Mothership put forward an exceptional case for the more homage approach.
Kim Wilde was huge in the ‘Eighties. Or at least parts of it. Eventually, she turned her back on pop stardom and turned her hand to landscape gardening, as you do. It was while sitting in her garden, planning a herbaceous border that Kim looked up and saw strange lights in the sky – a UFO – which inspired her to write and record her “come back” album, Here Come the Aliens.
Liza Pulman, widely known for being one-third of the satirical comedy trio Fascinating Aida, walks confidently onto the Liverpool Philharmonic stage wearing a beautiful white jumpsuit and captivates the audience’s attention immediately, belting out one of Streisand’s most well- known hits ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade.’
Over the years, Show of Hands have established themselves as among the top performers in the crowded folk and roots field. The duo of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer are, collectively and individually, multiple award winners, and together they have produced some of the most memorable and topical music in the genre.
When you look back at defining decades in popular music; the 80s must be near the top of that list, with a music scene which became super cool and innovative and now over 30 years later, it’s emerging artists still tour regularly but there was one exception for quite some time, one artist that burst onto the scene in that decade has only just come back to touring.
Alexander O’Neal is without doubt a name which is synonymous with soul music, his infectious silky tracks have dominated the soul music scene for decades and he shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon as evident during his stellar performance at the Lowry this weekend.
George Michael will always be remembered as one of the greatest British songwriters of all time, with most of the world’s population knowing at least one of his songs word for word, with his untimely passing in 2016, a sadness filled my heart, the thought that I would never get to see this charismatic star live on stage again; having attended his last three tours, George was a live experience like nothing else.
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