Rose's Northampton Review

written by Rose-Marie Gazagnaire

  Being a Michael Ball fan in France is not that simple, as your only link with Michael is some temperamental computer just able to keep you in touch with your friends in the Fan Club ! After about ten months of impatience, crazy dreams and frenetic research about the cheapest transports and accomodation, I just can't believe that I'm here , hanging around in the center town of Northampton since noon, unable to eat anything because of some butterflies' wild attack in my stomach, unable to think because of increasing excitment !!!

Fans begin to gather at the stage door around 3.00 pm, but Michael arrives only at 5.00, just in time for the rehearsal. And I have to say that he is so fast getting into the theatre that I can just see his back (but what a lovely back.!!) and recognize his voice. He wears a cream blouson-style jacket, sunglasses (I am told), and a cap, so that I can only see a few curls of his hair, but it's enough to feel a great weakness in my knees!!

Just before the concert, it's all about pounding heart and sweaty hands..... and here we are, they dim the lights, the music starts.... and nothing happens because Michael, hidden behind the black curtain separating the stage from the backstage, struggles desperately to extricate himself from the curtain !!!! Forget the glamorous entrance ! Finally, Michael enters on stage killing himself laughing, as we all do, on stage and in the audience, setting the tone for the whole evening, still laughing while singing the first lines of 'Let the Rivers run'   which opens the show ...

Michael seems in a perfect mood and ready to enjoy the night along with us. He looks more gorgeous than ever, in top form and great voice and from the very beginning of the show, we're all captivated by the magic of Michael's wonderful voice and genuine charisma. Don't ask me more about the songs, I still have problems to collect coherent thoughts together ! Just know that the show was pretty different from last year, somehow more intimate and very emotional, including brand new songs, some written by Michael himself, brilliant songs (keep on writing, baby ! ! !). It was also a great moment when the whole band joined Michael on stage in a front line to sing along with him 'Why do fools fall in love', and right after put big sombreros on their heads for 'La Vida Loca' and the beginning of the 'party'. We love you, guys, you're part of the family, definitely ! ! !

In the first half of the show, Michael wore a black suit and tie and a blue shirt, and in the second half a black suit, a white shirt, and a funny black tie all inlaid with glass beads. Anyway, ties don't last very long with Michael, as we all know ! ! ! When he came back for an 'encore', singing 'Hot Stuff' and 'You made me love you', he wore the famous black leather jacket, looking sexiest than ever.. And it's not just because of the black leather jacket ! ! !

Well, all in all it was a fantastic night, exceeding all my expectations, and it came to an end far too quickly ! It was a night full of emotional moments - the way Michael sang 'You bring the best out of me' brought me to tears - and funny ones as well. The Michael we all love so much was there, singing, acting, joking, entertaining us from the beginning to the end, and his pleasure to be there was so obvious that we couldn't do anything but cheer him from the bottom of our hearts.

For my part, the one thing I'd like to say is : Thank you Michael, for being who you are and for the happiness you give me. Once again, that night - and as you do day by day - you brightened up my life. Don't change anything !

04/09/2004 14:32

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