Katherine Jenkins performing her Home Sweet Home Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Saturday 14th February 2015

Review and Images by Kevin Cooper

Is there a better way to spend a romantic Valentine’s night than being serenaded by the lovely Katherine Jenkins? For a packed Royal Concert Hall the answer was a resounding no. We knew we were in for a treat when the National Symphony Orchestra took to the stage, and with the baton in the capable hands of Anthony Inglis, the evening began with Rossini’s overture, The Thieving Magpie.

Soon Katherine Jenkins came on to the stage looking a vision of pure loveliness in a white flowing gown. When the applause had died down, the Welsh Mezzo Soprano immediately captivated us with Beethoven’s Ode To Joy. Touring to promote her tenth album, Home Sweet Home, her set list included many of its tracks. Anthem from the stage show Chess was followed by Hallelujah, an emotive song at the best of times, but given the Katherine Jenkins treatment, was simply magnificent. After a break, she was back on stage in a different, but equally beautiful dress for Land Of My Fathers, Dreaming Of The Days (Einaudi’s I Giorni) and Time To Say Goodbye. Her special guest, John Owen Jones, is no stranger to the West End and Broadway and whilst no match for the star of the show, his Music Of The Night and Thunderball were both thoroughly enjoyable.

After an interval of 25 minutes, the Orchestra returned to the stage to recommence the proceedings with a rousing medley of music from the theatre, which included On The Street Where You Live, I Could Have Danced All Night and With A Little Bit Of Love. When the glamorous singer once again took to the stage she treated the capacity audience to a subliminal La Califfa, swiftly followed by The Prayer. Jenkins then informed us that she had written lyrics to Elgar’s Nimrod, and boy did she do it proud. Throughout, her banter with the audience was infectious and just served to endear herself to us even more if that was possible. She mentioned the Welsh rugby team but soon changed the subject when she was reminded by her obvious friend, Anthony, that England had beaten them.

Having asked the audience before the interval if there was anyone who wanted to ask her a question about her ten year career, there followed a period where the great Ms Jenkins read out some of the audience’s dedications to their loved ones, whilst answering the only question asked, that the most unusual place that she had performed was in Iraq and Afghanistan, which served to remind us that she is still the Force’s adopted sweetheart.

Before gifting the stage once again to Jones, she joined forces with him, for a rousing rendition of Barcelona. However, this was left a little wanting especially as Jenkins voice did drown out almost all of Jones’s contribution. To be honest, the original by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe is always a hard act to emulate and should, in my opinion, be left well alone, although her version with Alfie Boe does come pretty close.

Jones did come into his own however with his versions of Rise Like A Phoenix and Bring Him Home. With Jenkins back on stage to perform Godfather, Angel, and World In Union, the audience were on their feet for the encore of We Are The Champions.

For some this had been a very special evening. A member of the audience proposed to his girlfriend, who after asking the audience, accepted. There was the entertaining John Owen Jones, the very talented Orchestra and the magnificent Katherine Jenkins. But she did deliver a set of only thirteen songs, and these tickets were not cheap. Was it a fantastic evening, without doubt it was. Was it value for money, well the jury is still out on that.