I am just back from my visit to Newport/Cardiff this weekend. I had a very interesting and enjoyable time.
First of all, I went by National Express from Heathrow to Newport - and the bus driver came from Neath. So when I casually pointed out to him that that was where Katherine comes from, he rather gruffly said: "Yeah, and so do lots of other people." Didn't seem as if he liked Katherine very much.
Almost through the entire bus journey, I was chatting to two other passengers. One had been on a trip to Las Vegas, the other to Cuba. We talked about lots of things, ranging from Marxism to "truth is subjective" and from the Golden Age of Dutch painting to today's classical music scene.
Anyway, when I mentioned that I was visiting the Holyoakes, and that Holly would be singing the Welsh anthem at the Euro Soccer Qualifier Wales v. Republic of Ireland, the Cuba visitor indicated she hadn't heard of her. The Las Vegas visitor mentioned that he had heard of her, and that she was a very good singer - and did I know another good singer, Katherine Jenkins?
He obviously hadn't listened to my conversation with the bus driver, otherwise he would have known ..... I told him that not only did I know about Katherine, I even was running a website for her .....
The Cuba visitor knew about Katherine Jenkins - and in the conversation about Classical Music she had told me Sibelius was one of her favourite composers - especially Finlandia, made popular in the song "Be Still My Soul". So I pointed out to her Katherine would have a new CD out on Monday, which would feature that song. She didn't know that - and as this song was one of her favourites, she would certainly check it out on Monday.
Anyway, by the time we got to Newport, I think everyone on the bus knew I was running Katherine-Jenkins-International.
On Saturday, I attended the soccer game Wales v. Republic of Ireland, capturing Holly singing the Welsh anthem. I have also received a recording of the anthem being broadcast on BBC Radio 5, so I will try to combine my video with the audio broadcast on BBC Radio - at least that guarantees one thing: the attention will be directed to the singer, not to the teams murdering their national anthems .....
By the way, this was the first time ever I attended a professional soccer match in my life - and as guest of the performer, I got in on a complimentary ticket ... For that I had to go and travel all the way to Wales
Saturday evening was the concert at the Newport Riverfront Theatre - I have managed to capture all of Holly's songs on video - the link at the bottom points to the closing song with the Caldicot Male Voice Choir: You Raise Me Up. Unfortunately, I didn't capture the last 30 seconds, as the card in my camera was full by that time. Still, the video being shot by a photo camera (not a video camera !) I think the quality is quite good!
After the concert, Steven and I were invited by the Holyoakes to attend a get together at a Newport pub where the Caldicot choir often performs off-the-cuff after a concert in town. This provided an opportunity for an informal chat!
On Sunday I took it easy, while on Monday I went around the stores in Newport and Cardiff to obtain Katherine's new album and DVD. I was also hoping to pick up Zoë Mace's new album that way, but alas, I did not see it in the stores. I'll have to order that one via the web.
Here is the link to my video of Holly and the Caldicot Male Voice Choir:www.holly-holyoake-international.eu/youraisemeup171107.wmv
PS Steven, I am looking forward to receiving the pictures you shot, as well as material of your earlier meetings with Holly and her parents. Let me know by PM how you prefer to send the material. It was really good to meet you for the first time last weekend.