As you might have realised, we had a very long night last night, when all of a sudden the internet connection worked again for the very first time. YES, LAPPY NOT BROKEN!!!! YAY!!!! After writing reviews until half past two and finishing it in the morning, there was hardly any time left for the planned sight-seeing.
Anyways, we arrived at the stage door, just when Michael's coach left to pick him up from his hotel. So we knew he would not be long. Well, not long lasted another hour, but there you go. The stage door area slowly filled up with fans, we had a few lovely chats and luckily the weather is brilliant today, sunny, warm and almost no wind. That makes quite a change (especially to yesterday, when it was freezing cold, grey and windy). Bored to death yet? Okay, okay, back to the reason you've all tuned in here: Mr. Michael Ball!!! LOL, sorry, just being in a mad mood, being on a high after the stage door, so better be careful on the streets of Glasgow between 7 and 8pm , when we drive back to the venue.
So, there we were (yes, still at the stage door, lol). His bus finally arrives (weyhey, we hear you thinking). The door opens and there he … and there he … and there he… and there he… nope… still no sign of him…. Although the door is widely open. This is odd, we have seen him come down the first few steps and then he disappeared again. When he finally came back into view we saw what took him so long: He was flashing a penalty charge note to us that apparently had been issued for his coach. What a laugh. He showed it to the SECC staff too.
Then his phone apparently went and he informed us it was his Dad and he'd better get inside to talk to him, because Tony would be in the audience tonight. Then he took ages, taking photos, talking to people and moaned about the long bus journey up to Scotland . Nevertheless he seemed happy and relaxed. The whole thing lasted about ten minutes, ten minutes in bliss until he got in.
Oh yes and we almost forgot about that one! Being almost in someone remarked on him smelling lovely to which he replied we'd never guess what that scent was! Several guesses were made as to the brand, but he never revealed the secret. However, he did say "You may all have a sniff if you like!" Oh dear...suffice to say that you couldn't see Michael behind the wild bunch of women all clinging to his neck, trying to sniff, as they were told. He just looked up saying something about this being the stupidest possible thing to have said in this situation. It sure was quite a sight, we can tell you!
Here we are at our hotel room, about to get changed for the concert and we do apologise for this slightly chaotic review so far.
Back at the hotel now after the concert. When we left the stage door little did we know that we were in for a rather evening of contrast. When we left Michael at the stage door… well rather he left us, he seemed perfectly fine, but as soon as he was on stage tonight, we knew something was not quite right.
It was not till after his opening number that he informed us that he has “a rotten throat” and hoped it would not be too awful for us. Not to worry though, he did say that apart from that he was “full of joy de vivre”.
We felt transported back to the Brighton concert from 2005, where he had similar problems with his voice and fought them equally brave. We are sure many of you know the problem. The big notes are fine, the small notes are fine, it's just the notes in the middle that are not quite right. And painful from the look of it. Michael is a perfectionist, so you could see he suffered. We still do think that had not he repeatedly pointed out that he was having problems and felt the need to apologise some 85 % of the audience would not have noticed a thing. He's a real trouper.
We kept holding our breaths for the money notes and actually became increasingly worried not only about Edinburgh tomorrow, but simply about his voice as such. Apart from these difficulties though the concert went really well. The audience was ever so welcoming. Mind you the women directly in front of us (front row centre seats!) and left next to us did not stand up once for him. So we looked a bit lost in our standing ovation duet.
When he did “Do you mind” and reached the point where he actually asks the audience ‘Do we mind?' only half of them replied so he giggled and said “Not sure, are you?” The next reply came full and loud.
When he told us about One Voice being his 14 th album and did his usual calculation of: 1 album per year since he was 20, got the usual laughs he giggled and said “What you can do the same math as me. You can too be 32!”
Asking whether there were fans of Musical Theatre in the audience he remarked that he was one too and usually can sing it quite well. “Bear with me and I croak through the Musical section!” So there it was: “This is the moment” and it was literally. While we were busy holding our breath and hands dreading all the big notes ahead he changed tactics. It was technique that finally seemed to help. It did work back then in Brighton too, when he got to Count Fosco's bit, which is far more operatic and requires a different kind of voice leading, which not only enables these fantastic big notes, but also seems to be good for the vocal cords. He completely blew us away with “This is the moment” and got a long standing ovation. From then on things got better as he seemed more confident (we have actually been at a point, where we thought cancelling mid-concert would be the best option so that he could rest those precious, precious vocal cords). But as we said, things got better and we could start relaxing a bit.
When he was talking about Evita he walked across the stage a bit too fast for the follow spot, so he made a step backwards, waited till it hit him again and thanked the gaffer.
Talking about the comparison between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim he began the sentence saying people have “ofen” (sounding like he omitted the t in often) he got the giggles and said he'd gone posh now. Repeated “ofen” once again, but returned to the common often.
Announcing the Kismet section he asked, if we could guess what he'd do next, after that (meaning the tour). Quick smile again. “No I don't mean after the concert. I know what I'll do after the concert. I'll go to bed with a Fisherman's Friend!” He seems determined about the beard now. He says it will look pathetic, but he has never tried it.
Getting to the bit about Howard Keel he said, he came to see them in Aspects in Love, a show he appeared in …. Big sigh “nineteenhundred-and-frozen-to-death.”
He got a massive standing ovation after the Kismet songs and quite rightly so.
You should have seen the look of bewilderment on the faces of the two ladies next to us, when he started singing “Crazy”. Afterwards he grinned, saying “You did not think you'd getting me singing this? Well unless you've been to the concerts before this one.”
New pieces of info on the Savoy Story: We learned that in the room where they had set up a bar and Michael and the gang partied until 8pm , they were served “petit fours….. whatever they are…. petit twos.” When the manager tells him off, he told him there have been a number of complaints. He turns to us saying “Hadn't!”
By this time we did not have to worry much about his voice as he sounded fine, if a bit husky (which we admittedly find very sexy).
Glasgow being Glasgow they had positioned two security guys in the aisles, to stop people running to the front. Now we got to “Don't stop me now” and did wait until he invited us all to the front. We secured our position, directly at his feet and spared a few thoughts to this poor poor security guards, when actually mid-song Michael gave them orders to “let them through!”
You could tell he was on a high, when he left. All worries about how the audience would react to him not being able to perform to his very high standards seemed to have been washed away. He kept mouthing “Thanks you”s at us all.
We just want to use this opportunity to return a massive thank you to him. This was a difficult concert, but he worked the magic as usual. What a triumph! It takes much more than a rebellious throat to defeat Michael Ball.
That's what separates true Stars from mere singers!