We have already asked Hayley once if she is getting cold and that we should go, to be greeted with “No, it’s fine” clearly not wanting us to leave. But it does become clear that the chill night air is beginning to take it’s toll and she realises she ought to get out of the cold, reluctant, it seems, for us to take our leave. As we begin to do so, Hayley steps forward, her body language requesting a goodnight kiss on the cheek from each one of us in turn. It doesn’t get much more special than that!
Sounds like I missed all the fun...
But I am currently listening to Wuthering Heights, Oh the memories....
Thanks Grant for your report and the pics so far. And so to the final part of my report ...
After the show
As Grant has mentioned, Raven were soon out signing CD's and as you will see from Grants photos, the girls were sitting behind a large table. As at previous concerts, there were a good many takers for the Raven CD and lots of fantastic comments to the girls from members of the audience about their performance. Hannah from Bedlam was keeping things well under control - Hannah, if you should read this, it was lovely to meet you at last. I was able to have a chat with Stephanie, as I wanted to suggest they consider performing Adagio In G, from the CD at some point in the future. Stephanie told me that quite a few people had made the same suggestion, so watch this space
As there was a lull in the signing, Roger suggested a group shot of the girls to include us !! I guess we will see later how those turned out !!
Once Raven had gone backstage to change we headed back to the stage door to wait for Hayley. I was really hoping to be able to tell her just how much I had enjoyed the concert and how tonights performance seemed 'special' in some way. Well, I was to get my wish and then some, as obviously, no-one else had managed to find the stage door, which meant that we would be able to enjoy a little private time with Hayley !! It seems that on the way to the stage door (for the second time) we had escaped under the radar and hadn't been spotted on CCTV - well, not immediately anyway. As Grant has mentioned, we were eventually approached by security - but Steve Abbott saved the day by confirming that we were with him and were part of the team i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/hdjoespics/EEjdKsU.gif Thank -you Steve.
We were to spend a good while chatting with Steve whilst the rest of the band were getting into the bus and sorting themselves out. All of a sudden we heard Hayley giggling - she was being carried down the ramp from the stage door by one of the crew !! Thats one way to make an entrance !! Hayley had her famous silver signing pens in her hand (most likely the ones you gave to her Dean) and wanted to know if there was anything to sign? She must have found it quite strange not to be surrounded by autograph hunters and it just so happened that I wanted her to sign my ROD CD! As I celebrated by 50th birthday last week, I asked Hayley if she would mind writing a suitable comment, which she said was no problem and then went on to say "50, oh wow" I think she was too polite to say if she thought that I was younger or older for my age - thank-you Hayley .
It was really lovely to chat away to Hayley, who appeared to be very relaxed and made it clear that it was good to spend a little time with "just you guys". I told her how I felt this concert had been special and congratulated her on such a polished performance. I cant really remember clearly what else we spoke about, as unusually, there was no pressure to attempt to say something in a couple of seconds like when she is surrounded by lots of people, it was al so relaxed.
I don't know how long we spent talking but soon, it was time to say goodbye. After being prompted by Steve, Hayley said that she had better get going and turned to each of us for a little hug and a kiss on the cheek.
As Hayley stepped aboard the bus and we waved as we walked away, I knew then for sure that it had indeed been a very special day.
PS -Thanks to Roger, Gordon and Grant for your company once again. The day was made all the more special in being able to share the experience with you.
All three trains ran on time and I met Gordon on the third of them and so travelled with him from Reading to Cardiff. We arrived about five minutes early so well done First Great Western!
I had stayed at the Sandringham Hotel before so I knew the way! It took only a few minutes to walk there, check in and dump our bags in our rooms. We then walked for no more than another minute to the venue where we met Grant and Mark almost immediately.
As has been described, we located the Stage Door and, having nothing better to do on a February afternoon, we waited. Well, you never know who might turn up, do you?
Hayley's arrival at St David's Hall
Shortly afterwards, we four intrepid travellers had a splendid pre-concert two-course meal and drinks. Excellent value at £34 for all four of us!
I have been to St David's Hall on at least three previous occasions and had promised Gordon, Grant and Mark that it was one of the nicer ones. I was relieved to know they agreed!
Here is the complete setlist (Hayley only):
First half Prayer Scarborough Fair The Water Is Wide Songbird The Mummers' Dance Shenandoah Danny Boy
Second half I Know You By Heart (lovely!) Never Saw Blue Pokarekare Ana Sonny (Piano: Hayley) River of Dreams Both Sides Now Santa Lucia Wuthering Heights
Encore Hine e Hine
Immediately after the concert, we were fortunate enough to spend quite some time with Raven. Thanks, Hannah, for making it possible for Grant to take the photographs. Apparently, Stephanie's father had encouraged them to perform 'Czardas' and I asked her if he had ever heard the result. Apparently not. Well, he has a treat in store because it is one of the most impressive and spectacular performances I have ever heard. Arranged by Natalie, it incorporates the Theme from the Godfather and is truly brilliant and their performance of it is electrifying.
We then ventured around to the Stage Door where we waited until a guy from the stage crew carried Hayley out of the building and deposited her nearby! This unexpected entrance (exit) seems to be typical of Hayley's delightful sense of humour.
Yes, it was a really nice informal meeting with just her, Steve Abbott (Mr Bedlam!), Andy, Ian, Raven and the four of us. Hayley actually remarked that it was nice that there were just the four of us. Please don't anyone take that personally that Hayley appreciated the intimacy of it because I'm sure she would have said the same thing no matter which four had been there. She merely meant it was nice to be able to chat with a few of us without fifty or a hundred people queueing up to have something signed.
After a while, I noticed that Hayley looked slightly tense and asked if she was cold. "A little", she whispered. I told her we would leave so she could board the tour bus. I expected a quick "goodnight guys" but that was not Hayley's way as Mark and Grant have already indicated!
Twently minutes later, I was back in my hotel room, in bed and falling asleep for the first time in, believe it or not, just over 40 hours!
Thank you, Mark, Grant and Gordon for you company. Thank you Steve and Hannah for your time, thank you Stephanie, Rachael, Kirsty, Natalie, Andy and Tim for the music, thank you First Great Western and the Sandringham Hotel, and thank you to the fine city of Cardiff which is a wonderful place to visit. Most of all, thank you Hayley for just being you.
As a member of the "Famous Four" from last night I would like to thank the others for their reports and photos,well done guys. I did not originally intend going to this concert but after my visit to Eastbourne,Roger had mentioned to me that St David's Hall was a pleasant venue. With any excuse to see Hayley again I checked their website and found that although most good seats had been sold,Stalls F39 was still available and somehow I hit the 'buy' button. Our pre concert actvities have been well covered but I would like to emphasize the the good times we enjoy having a meal together before the show on many occasions.The Old Orleans resturant was an excellent choice this time and with 50% off menu on Monday fantastic value. I did make the comment that HWI could soon be in a position to publish a Good Resturant Guide for fellow members. My seat in the hall was slightly to the left and although I was six rows back I was in the first row of tiered seating and the view was fine.The gentleman next to me said that although he was a huge Elvis fan he was blown away by Hayley's voice and remarked that it was wonderful to enjoy music from the other end of the spectrum. As a big fan of 1950's pop myselt I said I could not agree more. Like Mark my favourite Hayley song is Never Saw Blue and I was pleased that she included it in her revised set for the tour.After the concert whilst we were waiting at the stage door I spent sometime chatting to Andy before Hayley's entertaining arrival.As the others have indicated Hayley was very relaxed with us and I must add my appreciation of the special way she made us feel. Thank you very much Hayley.
A wonderful night by the sound of it. Thanks for the reviews and pictures. The set list is interesting, Now is the Hour seems to have well and truly disappeared, not sure why since I love to hear it. But I would prefer I know you by Heart I think, and I'm glad she is including it now. And I think she likes to make subtle changes so that each show is slightly different from the others. That keeps the regular folk like Roger, Grant, Mark and Gordon guessing and adds interest.