Certainly two contrasting pictures of Hayley. I'm not sure I agree with you about the 'moonglow' one Andrew, it doesn't really work for me, but then it's always going to be a matter of personal taste.
What intrigues me is the fact that, because we take so many of pictures of Hayley whilst she is signing, this is a typical portrait. Most purist portrait photographers would throw their arms up in dismay because her eyes are not visible so there can be no catchlights "You've got to have catchlights!"
Well, I don't agree with that either! It's very typical Hayley for me. I love the eyelashes (they've got to be sharp like they are in Martin's second photo) and the feeling of concentration from the way she forms her lips.
Best wishes Grant
Thank you for your reply... Don't get me wrong, I really do love the "natural" photos of Hayley which show her skintones as they would normally be seen ... I just thought there was something rather artistic about the "moonglow" photograph which Martin took!
Ah so you noticed my interaction Oh dear, its so long since I've been on a stage and speaking from the auditorium it's the reverse way round for the acoustics and I was quite a way back, I found I had lost my ability to instinctively throw my voice at her so had to shout a second time. I wonder if she recognised my voice, as Grant obviously hadn't and Wednesday night meeting with her afterwards was inappropriate for that sort of discussion. Members may recall that once before I gave a response to her audience banter and checked with her afterwards that she was okay with it and she said she was. I kicked myself (as should other HWIers) that we did not respond to her at Stoke. Remember, she asked who did not know what a mummer was? Al in the end helped her out but I felt we had all missed a cue.
I'm always wary about responding to her especially as I myself in her sort of show don't like audience participation but she obviously loves it and if the audience seem a bit slow (as I don't think on average they expect audience participation and are largely not the sort of audience age-wise who would be happy to shout out as any one individual) I'm happy to give her the response she is obviously hoping for.
I am going to be succinct It was a great night. I am sorry she did not sing 'Now is the hour' I think it is great. She clearly (in my view) paced herself during the first half not perhaps sure of her voice but by the second half she was clearly happy it was holding up and seemed to almost belt it out for the second half.
Now folks, I can enhance you knowledge for her amplification. Some of you have been aware of this as I wasn't regarding the firm facts but was aware from my hearing of her that things had changed. The last lot of concerts I have heard (and okay some of these were specials where the amplification was in others' hands (Orwell and Sandhurst) it is clear ROD is on a different financial footing which i hope she can maintain. The amplification has been superb, especially at Stoke. As I understand it, she is travelling with her 'own' sound people.
I was in the front row of the circle and they were immediately in front of me. They have sound mixers etc built into boxes which simply close up and are transported in that way. I was drawn to this by a lady who came down from higher up in the circle and the conversation I caught implied she was complimenting them on their contribution. I turned to them afterward and asked, 'did that lady compliment you on your sound control?' They affirmed so and I said, 'Can I add my compliments too? There's always been some slight problem with the odd note but your presentation has been superb not only tonight but also at Stoke. The whole level has been of a high standard which I have noticed immediately. You must be travelling with her?' They affirmed they were.
Another gentleman (whom I later discovered was also called 'Peter') joined us wanting to know how much they had controlled her voice and was astounded to hear they merely amplified it. He could not believe it and I assured him I had heard her without microphone and knew that was a fact. He was obviously entranced by his evening so I told him about HWI etc, although I must remember when I do that in future to ensure people click on the 'Forum' button and sizing him up (he is about the 'senior' age range we have here) I told him if he wasn't in a rush to go home he could come down with me and see if there was an opportunity to meet with her.
He would have dearly loved to do so but apparently they had 25 miles to drive, he had just come out of hospital and was to go in again for a second stage and i advised he might have to wait thirty minutes outside, I could see his wife preferred to take him home.
So, Peter, you will know who you are and i do hope you persevere and connect with the best place in the world to integrate with ALL THINGS HAYLEY.
God Bless and good luck with your future treatment. You'll need to sign in as a member to do so but if you feel you would like to send me a private email any time, please feel free to do so. Peter S.
Her eyes were the blue of cornflowers that dance amongst ripening wheat, Her hair the colour of golden sands bleached by summer's heat.
Don't get me wrong, I really do love the "natural" photos of Hayley which show her skintones as they would normally be seen ... I just thought there was something rather artistic about the "moonglow" photograph which Martin took!
I hadn't intended to imply that I was criticising your artistic taste and, if I did, it certainly was not my intention.
As a photographer, I get to see many different styles of portrait, landscape and so on and when I say a particular picture "doesn't work for me" I'm not implying that it is bad or wrong, far from it; it's a question of personal taste.
I frequently try different things in my photography but generally not with Hayley except perhaps to turn her into a monochrome image from time to time
Thank you so much for the lovely pictures and reviews. I'm having a hard time catching up with all the posts but it's definitely worth it. It's like being there with you and actually enjoying the concert, pre and post-gathering!
I think that would spoil things, Grant. I think she gains a sense of fun as to what is going to happen and it would get too close to something pre-arranged, is that her style? I think judgement as to if the audience doesn't respond then be prepared to cover for them. Personally I prefer to let the local audience run first and to fill in if they don't.
Incidentally, there were several members of the circle standing for her at the end. I did think of joining them but they were some way away from me and I thought I had made a sufficient exhibition of myself for one evening!
By the by, is there a chat tonight or is that next week? Site has changed since I last looked at it. Directions would be helpful, please. Peter S.
Now folks, I can enhance you knowledge for her amplification. Some of you have been aware of this as I wasn't regarding the firm facts but was aware from my hearing of her that things had changed. The last lot of concerts I have heard (and okay some of these were specials where the amplification was in others' hands (Orwell and Sandhurst) it is clear ROD is on a different financial footing which i hope she can maintain. The amplification has been superb, especially at Stoke. As I understand it, she is travelling with her 'own' sound people...
Thank you Peter for taking an interest in and reporting on Hayley's overall sound set-up for the tour, it was most illuminating and my response to reading all about it is "thank goodness for that!".
I have felt for a long time that, excellent though Hayley sounds when heard direct and without amplification, the most important thing of all at concerts is for her to have an excellent and correctly adjusted sound amplification and reproduction setup. I'm so pleased that the tour organisers have dealt properly with this issue for Hayley, it is much more important for her than for most pop singers, for example. It is also why I try to produce videos with high quality sound and it is why I get so annoyed when radio or TV stations occasionally let us down (as with the ITV River of Dreams advert).
To be honest I hadn't realised who it was calling out until Peter told me afterwards, as i was chatting to him whilst waiting for Hayley to appear after the show. It was a long wait, and to be honest, I felt that Hayley was a bit more subdued than normal at such occasions. After all, it was the end of a very long day for her, she was not feeling 100%, and I started to feel guilty about helping to make it even longer. As has become the norm, I was the last person to speak to her before she left.
I know it will take me a while to get over this one. That Wuthering Heights especially was something very special and if I had known what it would have been like beforehand, I would have risked everything trying to record it for posterity. After all, they would not have wanted to interrupt Hayley's finale, and once in the camera, posesion is nine points of the law. I think I am far too timid about using my camera. I'm not sure that Hayley would have been around to save me, had the camera police insisted on deleting it. But from where I was sitting, four rows from the stage, I estimate about 12 feet,, I was mostly hearing Hayley direct and it was absolutely stunning. Those of you in the front row must have been even more stunned.
My overall impression is that this tour is something absolutely wonderful. I would urge anyone who has not seen it, and who can get to one of the very few remaining performances that still have tickets available to go. You will remember it forever as one of the greatest musical experiences of your life.
I don't care what sort of music you think you do and don't like. Hayley transcends all of that. Whatever she chooses to sing will be wonderful. She has made me love things I didn't like. I was never a fan of Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush (or even George W Bush) but I have just been raving about Hayley's performance of that song as the highlight of the show. To be able to do that is the mark of a truly great artist.
Hayley always makes me glad I was there, it feels as if it is a privilege to be at such a great and memorable performance. It has felt like that on all of the eight occasions that I have seen Hayley perform (and incidentally three of them were at the Derngate).
I was also very impressed with the quality of the sound at Northampton. We were hearing Hayley's voice just as it would sound at close range unamplified, so I must congratulate her sound engineers for doing such a fantastic job.