Well just in case none of us was going, and especially because I enjoyed Sunday Night at the London Palladium so much, I made a last second decision (4pm on the day!) to book one of the last few remaining tickets and to make the two hour drive from home. 80 miles right through the rush hour!
Well I arrived with 5 minutes to spare, collected my ticket and headed up what seemed like several hundred steps to the top and back.. of the theatre. Up in the Gods, as they say, 3 rows from the back wall and about as close to the ceiling. The view of the stage was distant of course... it seemed like 100 yards away. But otherwise, it was clear of obstructions... and heads - although it wouldn't have done much to help Steve's portrait photography if he'd been there!
When Hayley and Jonathan emerged to sing their first duet, Un Giorno Per Noi as usual, I realised that I could not clearly see the expressions on their faces this time, one of the penalties of being so far back... but it did not detract from another excellent performance by the two of them. I had, after all, seen them from close up only two days earlier.
Any thoughts of taking more than the absolute minimum of photographs were soon dashed by a firm announcement before the start "no flash photography, photography or recording", coupled with the sheer distance from the stage and also, some stern looking faces of fellow concert-goers surounding me, all of them even older than I am! But I did risk taking a handful of shots after the interval, two of which I will post in a minute.
During the concert we learned that Hayley visited the pier before the concert for fish and chips :je oh, and we were treated to another impeccable performance by Hayley, Jon and Raven, with a similar (possibly identical) song list to the London Palladium. Hayley's beautiful performance of "I Know You By Heart" again brought tears to my eyes and I am sure, to many other people in the audience. The encore Time To Say Goodbye was if anything sung even better than on Sunday! Hayley's voice really has grown into this kind of ballad now.
Well it's late (as usual for me) and I need to leave something for any other members who happened to be there to report - well it's good excuse, anyway! So after another thoroughly enjoyable Valentines concert, I'll sign off for now but in a minute, I'll post a couple of my long distance photos taken from "The Gods".
Well done iDave in getting a ticket at the last miinute and it sounds as though it was well worth it too! I can't believe they sang Time To Say Goodbye even better than at the Palladium, I didn't think that was possible!!
Well done on getting some photos too. Lovely to see them from a different angle. Thank you for posting them.
Well, the day may not have started too well (with a delay of nearly two hours on the trains) but it certainly ended on a high.
Gordon and I arrived in Eastbourne at about 4pm and checked into our hotel which was just across the road from the venue. Very convenient. Earlier reports have mentioned that Hayley and Jonathan had fish and chips on Eastbourne Pier. Why didn't we think of that, Gordon? Never mind, we still had a splendid meal in a local restaurant in very special company - Raven!
Oh, alright then, we didn't exactly eat at the same table (oh, you do take me literally!) but we were all eating at the same time in the same restaurant, and we managed to have a very lengthy chat with Stephanie and Kirsty on the way out. More of that later.
Two days earlier, I found myself fighting back the tears as soon as Hayley appeared on stage at the Palladium. I put that down to a sense of relief to see her for the first time since her illness. I had no such excuse last night... but it happened anyway! In fact, I found several occasions throughout the show to be unusually emotional. Perhaps it's my age or something!
The set list was exactly the same as at the Palladium and, as Sunday's reports will imply, it would be impossible for any improvements to be made. Wrong. I can't put it into words but I am convinced that last night's performance had been raised a notch or two. Not just by Hayley, but by Jonathan, Raven, Andy (guitar) and Tim (piano). At the conclusion of several songs, it sounded as though the audience simply erupted.
As the final notes of the encore faded, I turned to Gordon and said "I'm speechless". At least, I think I did. Maybe I just dreamed it. In fact, perhaps I dreamed the whole thing - it was just too good to be true.
All too soon, this magnificent concert was over and Dave, who surprised me when he appeared beside me during the interval, Gordon and I ventured outside into the gloom and made our way to the stage door. We were outnumbered by Jonathan's fans but since many of them have registered as members of this forum, I will forgive them! I managed a few brief words with both Hayley and Jonathan and conveyed our hopes that we will see them performing together again before long.
Roger (still wondering why I didn't book for Dartford!)
Thanks for the report and I too wish I had booked for more than just the two concerts. I still cannot get the concert out of my mind and I find myself both at work and at home (and in-between on the train) reliving the experience. Oh for a cd, or even better a dvd, of the tour!
I found myself fighting back the tears as soon as Hayley appeared on stage at the Palladium. I put that down to a sense of relief to see her for the first time since her illness. I had no such excuse last night... but it happened anyway! In fact, I found several occasions throughout the show to be unusually emotional. Perhaps it's my age or something !!
Hi Roger, I think we all feel somewhat similar ! My turn will no doubt come on Saturday !