Michael Ball and Alfie Boe performing their Together Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Sunday 20th November 2016
Images and Review by Kevin Cooper
Either Michael Ball or Alfie Boe could fill any venue on their own, so it is unsurprising that the Royal Concert Hall was packed to the rafters last night with their eager fans.
The singers have been friends since they met on the set of a production of Kismet, a decade ago, and have always wanted to find a joint project. Earlier this year, they announced that they would be recording an album together and embarking on a UK tour. Last night was the first of three dates at Nottingham, and they did not disappoint.
Vocal wise, the pair come from opposite ends of the scale. Ball has a softer musical style that butts up beautifully with Boe’s power driven classical tenor tones. Opening with Somewhere and Tonight from West Side Story, the bond between them was immediately evident. There was a lot of genuine jesting and teasing banter between the two of them, making the show pass really quickly.
They belted out big tunes backed by a band and an orchestra capable of moving smoothly between swing, jazz, lush ballads and show tunes. Each took a solo opportunity to showcase their talents with Ball’s heart rending version of Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar, and of course set highlight, Love Changes Everything. Whilst Boe injected raw energy into a spectacular Love Reign O’er Me from The Who’s Quadrophenia and also showed his rockier side with a crowd pleasing That’s Alright (Mama).
With famous numbers like Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years, Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life, and Speak Softly Love from The Godfather, the variety of content was both staggering and extremely entertaining.
Other highlights included a selection of Elvis Presley songs and a medley of the very best James Bond themes which included Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Thunderball. A Rat Pack style section showed off their vocal harmonising to the very best effect especially with the nicely blended Me And My Shadow.
With arrangements carefully chosen to enhance the strengths of both voices, the final medley came from Les Miserables with an incredible Bring Him Home, an emotional Empty Chairs At Empty Tables and a subliminal I Dreamed A Dream. But the final song of the evening was the one sang at The Festival Of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall; You’ll Never Walk Alone which had the crowd on their feet and singing their hearts out to what was an emotional end to an evening that had brought everyone together.