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Showing posts with label sapphire soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sapphire soul. Show all posts
Sunday, 18 June 2017

West End Live Lounge: Icons and Legends, Union Theatre | Review

West End Live Lounge: Icons and Legends, Union Theatre | Review
Sunday, 18 June 2017
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West End Live Lounge
Union Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 11th June 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

When I went to the first West End Live Lounge back in March, I didn't think it could get any better. I was wrong! Every single performance was absolutely outstanding and I was in awe of each and every performer, it was honestly one of the best concerts I've ever seen, full of so much incredible talent and just a wonderful night for a wonderful cause.

I could honestly talk in depth about every single performer because they all deserve a huge amount of praise but I fear that it could be the longest review in the history of reviews so I won't talk about everyone in depth but I will talk quite a lot so you might want to settle down and grab a cuppa!

The concert opened with a lovely performance of the Amy Winehouse classic "Valerie"by Katie Paine, which started the night on an upbeat, joyous note. Leigh Lothian (who created the concert series along with Shaun McCourt) and George Jennings then took us through the history of James Bond with a glorious medley of the hit Bond songs. 

I have seen a lot of Sapphire Soul recently, both at the previous Live Lounge and as special guests and the Dreamgirls Unplugged concert and am a massive fan of their unique arrangements and brilliant voices and was very glad that they were a part of this concert. The glamourous girls sung a delightful version of "Over The Rainbow" and closed the show with a joyous Aretha Franklin medley which left everyone on a high. Ashford Campbell sung one of my favourite songs "Human Nature" and made me love it and his voice even more! 

Now if Brady Isaacs Pearce doesn't become a West End star, I will personally knock on Cameron Mackintosh's door and demand he puts her in a show. At only 17 years old, her voice is insanely good and her overall stage presence is of someone vastly experienced. Brady sung a mash up of songs by the queen of stage Barbra Streisand and filled her huge shoes perfectly, giving the audience chills.

Cleve September has such a likeable personality which came across when he stepped on stage and explained he had only decided what to perform on the morning of the concert; going out and purchasing a loop pedal and kind of winging his way through. However, if we hadn't known this, we wouldn't have noticed. Cleve's performance of "Feeling Good" was unique and so fun to watch and he certainly seemed like an experienced loop pedlar (??) to me!

The first act flew by with stellar performance after stellar performance. Hannah Ducharme superbly performed "Hallelujah", Alexis Gerred absolutely owned "Come Together" and Sejal Kashwala gave an astonishing performance of "How Comes You Don't Call Me" which had me in awe of her voice. To end the first act, Kelly Agbowu sung the hell out of "The Show Must Go On" and completely blew the roof off the intimate venue which her effortless and faultless performance.

Act two included a few duets where the performers got to have fun signing with one another. Andrew Bateup and Marcus Ayton sung the Stevie Wonder favourite, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", Matthew Seadon-Young and Leigh Lothian performed "Careless Whisper" and Carolyn Maitland and Lauren Ingram sung a Billie Jean mash up. All three duets were fantastic and it's just a joy to get double the talent per song!

Perhaps my favourite part of the night was when two Whitney Houston classics were performed back to back with Ruth Brown singing "I Will Always Love You" and Emma Lindars singing "I Have Nothing". Both performances were completely awe-inspiring and just breathtaking. The talent of these ladies is just unbelievable and it's crazy that they're not international stars!

Oliver Savile channel his inner Frank Sinatra with "Let's Face The Music" and I'm sure made many of the ladies in the room swoon with his suave performance. Laura Mansell's Celine Dion mash up was so sensational and it was glorious to hear my favourite Celine song "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" performed so well.

Liam Doyle gave an upbeat rendition of "I'm Still Standing" before Natalie Green gave the penultimate performance of the night with Prince's "Purple Rain". I'm a massive fan of Natalie's voice and adored her performance so much, as it seemed did the entire audience. 

Although an absolutely fantastic night of entertainment showing off some of the best the West End has to offer, the main reason for the concerts series is to raise money and awareness for charity. This concert was raising money for Mind which supports people suffering from mental health issues, a cause close to so many of our hearts and it's great to see so many people coming together for such a great cause.

If you couldn't tell from that very long review, I completely loved West End Live Lounge and know I will love all the future concerts. If you can get along to the next one then please do because you will definitely enjoy it. What's better that West End stars blessing your ears on a Sunday evening?!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter for details of future concerts: https://twitter.com/WElivelounge17
Thursday, 11 May 2017

West End Unplugged feat. Dreamgirls, W Hotel | Review

West End Unplugged feat. Dreamgirls, W Hotel | Review
Thursday, 11 May 2017
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West End Unplugged feat. Dreamgirls
The W Hotel
Reviewed on Monday May 8th 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

West End Unplugged is a new series of concerts taking place at the W Hotel in Piccadilly Circus inspired by the concept at the W Times Square: Broadway at the W. The idea is to gather together a whole group of West End performers and see them showcase their skills with a variety of songs and performances in an intimate, relaxed environment and to just have a good time. The first concert included the cast of Motown and for the second we were treated to the cast of Dreamgirls performing their hearts out flawlessly, even though they'd just finished a show! 

Marisha Wallace carried us through the evening of powerhouse performers singing songs of their choosing, with a few special guests and a whole load of energy and love. Throughout the night, every single performer went all out and gave nothing but their best, with every single one owning the stage and holding the audience in the palm of their hand.

The relaxed, stripped back setting of the W Hotel bar was perfect for the concert. With drinks flowing and comfy sofas all around, there was enough space to feel intimate whilst not feeling closed in. The acoustic set worked wonderfully in the space with it being the perfect mix of stripped back and club, party vibes.

I have to talk about Amber Riley singing 1+1' as my ultimate performance of the night. I mean, I knew she was talented but the runs and effortless belt had me open mouthed in awe and adoration,-what a superstar. Special mentions must also go to Joe Aaron Reid's 'I Lived', Marisha Wallace's 'My Funny Valentine' and Liisi La Fontaine's 'One Last Time' as the other stand out performances of the night, but there were absolutely no weak links and every single performance was outstanding. Additionally I have to quickly mention Tyrone Huntley who blew me away again with his rendition of 'Rock With You' which I recently heard at the West End Live Lounge, his voice is just angelic and so so effortless. I want to talk about every performer individually but I'm afraid that would be a ridiculously long post so just know that the cast of Dreamgirls are freaking talented and deserve every bit of love and praise they get!

Our host for the night was the hilarious, talented and just all round brilliant, Marisha Wallace who is the current alternate for Effie White. Marisha kept us entertained between performances with jokes and anecdotes about her life and the other performers as well as providing back up vocals for a number of the acts and belting her way through some songs. Her overwhelmingly fabulous stage presence kept the audience engaged and laughing all the way through and created a glorious night which showcased one of the most talented casts on the West End. 

I can't wait to see more of these acoustic sets and hopefully more of each and every Dreamgirls cast member! West End Unplugged is a unique opportunity to hear the stars of the stage outside of their usual confinements and a brilliant chance to just enjoy talent and music. For an absolutely fantastic night out, be sure to attend one of their concerts. Who said Monday's have to be boring!?

Keep an eye out here for upcoming West End Unplugged concerts, you won't regret attending!
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