After almost seven months of counting the days unti tour kick off, here we are at sunny Blackpool stage door. Everyone was early 11ish (yes madness), because naturally seeing this is the first concert of the tour he would have to be early and rehearse, we thought..... It was not until almost 3 pm, when a huge silver tour coach pulled into the street (to loud cheers of a huge crowd of ecstatic fans). We still wonder what Marilyn's husband made of all this. He was very patient though.
When finally the door opened, it all became real, the tour was really here! Michael Ball was standing just in front of us, looking extremely yummy and very scared. "Please be kind to us!" was the first thing he said. Naturally we promised to oblige. He also introduced us to his new PA Andrew. Michael had to get in quickly to start final rehearsals. Looking back we had a fantastic time albeit the four hours wait. Like most times we met loads of old and new friends, basically some of the nicest and most generous people you could think of. Thanks guys, it was fun! See you all in Nottingham .
After a long and not very successful journey around Blackpool to find a hotspot for Wireless Internet access, we got ready for the first concert. You have to get your hands on a programme. It's really, really yummy (the pictures, not the paper ;-)).
We are not going to put the song list here, but you might want to have a look at it here.
His support act is young, beautiful and very talented Lucia Micarelli. Don't skip the support act, she is really worth listening to and looking at, such passion. And she seems to be a very nice person too. She was so scared, but thanked Michael and his band and crew for taking such good care of her.
Then he was there, behind a white curtain, lit from behind, a familiar silhouette, singing the first lines of "Don't stop me now", an old classic from Queen. Phwoar, and then he was there, all trim, thin and beautiful to look at. Oh and he sounded marvellous naturally. He got a rapturous reception. For the records, he wore a striped jacket, black shirt and jeans (yummy).
He talked about all the new songs he was supposed to have learnt by now, but he feared it was still a bit pear-shaped. His references to his blessed life as a performer, he introduced Sunset Boulevard's "As if we'd never said good-bye". Talking about his latest album "The essential Michael Ball" he joked the new one would be called "The VITAL Michael Ball" followed by "The compulsive Michael Ball" obviously. "Who chooses these titles?" was his comment.
When he talked about how he was contacted re his appearance in "Woman in White" he told us, he was just taking a walk on the beach at the south coast and it was freezing cold. He thought he'd be contacted to play the romantic (juvenile!) lead. "No" they said. "The aristocratic Percival Glyde? He's still young!" "No" they said. "Who then?" and he quoted "The evil fat bastard!" And they even added. "The MIDDLE-AGED evil bastard!" To explain, who Count Fosco was, he described him as an evil, poisoner and murderer "type casting!". He always wanted to do Walter's song. He never got a chance, but now he did. I hope no Walter in the world will ever hear that, because they will never dare to go on stage again. Naturally he delivered his own number "You can get away with anything" with his guest star Missy, the rat! Brought on stage by Annie. And she performed (the rat, not Annie) just fine for her tour debut.
There was no real interval. Michael started singing "Music", when Lucia came back on stage to perform this song, while Michael got changed backstage. He returned continuing "Music" and launched into Act 2. Now being back dressed in a black Gucci suit and a light pink shirt.
What love is for - live
You can get away with anything - with Missy
Basically everything from Woman in White
Broadway Baby - hilarious
Show must go on - breathtaking
Bridge over troubled water
As you know we are talking about Michael, and he gave another brilliant performance. Rest assured we were all very kind to him and he left the stage touched and teary mouthing "Thank you. Fabulous. I love you!".
Flash Photography all over the place
Sometimes even double-flash
A fan shouting after "Being Alive" - this calls for a new point in the Net-iquette
Thanks to Michael for a great start into our - well everyone's tour. And thank you to all those great people we met and who made yesterday very special. Off now to Nottingham. See you there!