Modern spin on an old favourite

~ Blackpool Gazette - 28/09/09 ~

AFTER 25 years on the stage, Michael Ball still has everything it takes to keep on surprising even his diehard fans.

On what is his first tour in two-and-a-half years, the oldies but goodies still feature– Empty Chairs And Empty Tables from Les Miserables, Love Changes Everything from Aspects Of Love, a fabulous medley from Jesus Christ Superstar.

But as well as a few contemporary covers – Duffy's Mercy and The Killers' Human stood out – he's got with him five of the best young backing vocalists around (where does he find them?) to add some youthful polish to an already class act.

Emma Williams, a familiar face on previous tours, is joined by a fantastic foursome who sprinkled some magical modern fairy dust on to, among others, The Andrews Sisters' Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.

With echoes of, as Mr Ball pointed out, Vera Lynn's rise to the top of the charts, it was a highlight in a show that already had everything.

A poignant Winner Takes It All, courtesy of Abba, Queen's Don't Stop Me Now and a stunning rendition of The Impossible Dream for the encore.

In between came my own number one, Mack The Knife, delivered in style in a well-cut suit and oozing both charisma and self-deprecating humour.

He's looking great. Young, fit and energetic.

He had braved The Big One on Blackpool Pleasure Beach earlier in the day – and went on to take the 3,000-strong audience on a real rollercoaster ride, too.

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