Hayley gave a fantastic performance in Southend last night. I won't say much with the final concert of the tour taking place this evening, but I will quote a tweet that gives another clue to Dave's photograph:
Lisa @lisa_in_music Wow @hayleywestenra just turned into Kate Bush at her show. Wowzers! Was taken aback by that. Shivers
I'm sure there'll be lots of photographs and reports in the next few days.
This was a stunning, powerful performance, the best I've seen yet - I was sitting 4th row from front. Loads of songs too, maybe 17+, but can't remember them all, although it included most of my favourites inc i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/hdjoespics/EEjdKsU.gif :and . Won't say any more, but hope you all enjoy this evening. Thank you Hayley!
Note: David just for now I removed the song titles so as to not spoil it for those going tonight. Steve
Have been home about an hour - tired and a little deflated now the tour is over. It has been a fantastic journey though, and one I would not want to have missed. To keep you going, here's a shot of Hayley arriving at Southend at 1.09pm on Wednesday. More to come - I've just downloaded over 200 images!
It was one of those very heavy drizzles that soaks everything very quickly but, as luck would have it, it had eased by the time I walked to the station on my way to Southend and my fourth Paradiso Tour concert. Sadly, the run to London and then to Southend saw it gradually worsen again. I had considered getting off the train at Westcliff and the possibility of seeing Hayley arrive but if she arrived in the rain it wouldn’t have been much fun. Instead, I continued to Southend and braved the wind and rain to get to my accommodation for tonight.
I’m soon settled in to nice comfortable surroundings and set about getting ready. Having made an earlier train out of London, I’m surprised to find I’m ready a little after 12.30. I’m even more surprised to find a break in the weather and so elected to head out for the Cliffs Pavilion in the hope that the rain wouldn’t start again before I got there. It didn’t.
I arrived to find Richard and Tim J hovering around the stage door with the news that Hayley was still awaited. We didn’t have to wait long – a little after 1pm a familiar black minibus came into view, pulling up alongside the stage door and very shortly after, a smiling Hayley emerged. We only had a few minutes with her and she didn’t seem too surprised to see Tim there. I wonder if she had guessed that he was the surprise that I told her about at Northampton?
With Hayley having arrived so early, we have a lot of time to kill before the concert, much of it is spent in the lounge bar of the Cliffs Pavilion with it’s superb view out over the estuary. There are quite a lot of ships coming in and out and the weather is improving dramatically. There is such an improvement and with the light the way it is, I persuade the others to venture out for a walk. It’s still breezy and quite cold but that didn’t stop us from calling in at an ice cream parlour so Steve H could treat us to some of his favourite ‘Rossi’ ice cream (thanks Steve – delicious!) A bit more walking and we’re all feeling peckish and headed for a familiar seaside restaurant called The Barge.
Having eaten quite early, we are back at the Cliffs before 6pm but people are already gathering. There’s time too, to find out how tonight’s signing is going to work and to consider the best place to position ourselves. They also seem to have an adequate stock of programmes! The auditorium doors opened just after 7pm and we made our way inside. Tonight I have seat B13 and am sat between Richard and Gordon – a rose between …….. well, never mind!
This is the fourth concert of the tour I’ve attended, yet there is no hint of complacency – I’m looking forward to hearing each song again as though it is for the first time – perhaps, in some strange way, more so – simply because I now know what’s coming and what to expect from Hayley and I know I’m not going to be disappointed. I intend to go more deeply into the songs in my final report from Bournemouth so, for now, will keep this to a general theme. I will say that Hayley has become a little more chatty and following on from leaving her engagement ring at home last Sunday, she has begun to refer to it more, adding it on to her chat about what she has been doing. Generally referring to the fact that it’s hard being engaged and having to remember to put her ring on when she goes out – mostly amidst fits of giggles. One chap on the front row coming back with “it’s even harder when you’re married” That made Hayley laugh. Oh! and Gianluca is almost pronouncing Hayley's name as it should be now.
Once again we got all three encores, although it appears that Sonny and Amazing Grace are almost an extension of the actual concert now with Never Saw Blue being that one that Hayley comes back to sing after enthusiastic shouts of “More!” “More”
Out into the foyer to prepare for the signing, “Oh no! We are undone!!” I discover the place we were hoping to stand is now roped off to direct people out once they have had their time with Hayley. Not to worry though, standing outside the roped off area is just as effective and we are able to get some great shots (you will already have seen some of Steve’s) Once again, Hayley comes out at about 10.15 to a round of applause and, once again it takes a good hour for Hayley to work through everyone but, just as always, everyone seems happy to wait their turn, however long that may take.
They’re driving back to London tonight and Ash is keen to be on the road as they have to drive down to Bournemouth in the morning for the final concert of the tour. Just time to thank Hayley once again; to remind them “See you tomorrow” and to also thank the venue staff for their time.
Only one more concert to go. I wonder how I will be feeling this time tomorrow night?