The Last Night Of The Proms featuring Aled Jones, Laura Wright and Only Men Aloud at Clumber Park on Sunday 17th August 2014


Images and Review By Kevin Cooper

Clumber Park bade farewell to its annual three day festival by hosting The Last Night Of The Proms with guests Aled Jones, Laura Wright and Only Men Aloud who were backed throughout by the magnificent Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Now had the wind been two miles an hour stronger, this concert would have had to be cancelled. For those who fought against the forces of nature but surrendered by going home, they missed a real treat.

With the Orchestra resplendent in white dinner jackets, and being led by the very talented Timothy Redmond on the baton, the audience were warmed up immediately with Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Overture, followed swiftly by Les Toreadors from the opera Carmen. With flags flying high Aled Jones took to the stage as MC for the night and throughout was amusing and allowed the banter to flow freely.

With the wind fiercely rustling through the trees he introduced the lovely Laura Wright, who appeared on stage in a skimpy red dress. Despite the fact that she must have been freezing, her performance of Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro was jaw droppingly moving.

Next up was an introduction to the Welsh singing group, Only Men Aloud who looked very dapper as they infected fun and humour into their rendition of Figaro from The Barber of Seville.

As the concert continued, there were excellent performances from everyone involved; Only Men Aloud’s serious approach to Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, the Orchestra’s Polonaise and Wright’s Nimrod.

Other highlights included Amigos Para Siempre, Aled Jones’s You Raise Me Up and of course bringing the whole weekend to a close, Elgar’s Land Of Hope And Glory, and Britten’s Jerusalem.

With flags being waved enthusiastically although grimly held onto, this whole performance proved that the British weather will never defeat an audience’s lust for fun, entertainment and really good music. And that is exactly what was delivered.

To read what Aled Jones had to say to Kevin Cooper when he recently caught up with him, go to http://www.ukmusicreviews.co.uk/interviews/interview-aled-jones/