Aled Jones And Russell Watson performing their Back In Harmony Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Touring to promote their second album, Back In Harmony, Welsh singer Aled Jones and English tenor Russell Watson were at the Royal Concert Hall last night and delighted their fans with an eclectic set list of hymns and operatic classics.

Friends for over twenty years, they were instantly a natural fit on stage. Taking centre stage for the opener, Ennio Morricone’s Nella Fantasia, they kicked off the night with typical Italian gusto before the tempo was lowered for a beautiful The Lord Bless You And Keep You.

With the crowd hushed into near silence at times, not knowing when to clap and cheer, they were soon won over with the entertaining natural and unscripted between song banter, and in no time at all they were singing along.

With no solo slots Jones and Watson’s beautiful harmonies on Mario Lanza’s The Loveliest Night Of The Year was a first half highlight which saw a bit of dad dancing around the stage before Night And Day, and the lovely Where Have All The Flowers Gone with its layering harmonies led the way for the first half closer, The Impossible Dream.

The second half continued where the first left off with a rousing version of Luigi Denza’s Funiculi Funicula, and soon the crowd were clapping along for the raunchy Lucky Lucky Lucky Me. There was a nod to Jones’ Walking In The Air when he sat behind a piano encouraged by Watson for the first two lines, before they entranced with the peaceful The Lord Is My Shepherd.

With their very talented eight piece band they brought the evening to a close with Puccini’s version of Ave Maria, How Great Thou Art and their encore song, You Raise Me Up.

With their latest album being released on the same date as that other duo, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, there will be obvious comparisons between the two. But with orders being taken for their album at the merchandise desk, Jones and Watson may already be in the starting gate to win the Christmas album battle.

And with Jones off to the Goose Fair, they may not have delivered a night for the classical purists but injecting fun and laughter into their set list had made for a night of fun.