Of course we had the traditional gathering at Wetherspoons before the show. I had arrived as usual, 1 minute too late to meet Hayley on arrival. In fact if I had started my search for HWI friends by walking around the building in the opposite direction, I might have met her. I would have liked to hear what she had to say about Malta, an island I have fond memories of.
Anyway, to Wetherspoons, which was on the Tuesday Market Square in front of the hall.
And this one is of Grant, in the Foyer of the Corn Exchange, sporting his Hayley Westenra Rose kindly provided by Drew, AKA Rosegrower. He was kind enough to give me one too.
And of courseafterwards we waited outside to meet our princess. And she duly obliged. It is wonderful that her fans can get to meet her like this.
I was not in a good position for photography though. Most of the time her head was turned away from me, and I mostly got pictures of her hair. Especially as the anti--redeye feature of my camera introduces a delay of about a second bet ween pressing the button and the acutal photo. Bu it did get one or two that were half decent
You got some awfully funny looks by other by-standers, in the last 2 photos!
I was standing well away from most of the other photographers. If I looked to the front right of Hayley all I could see was a battery of camera lenses. Being where I was on her left means that Hayley didn't look towards me very often. But when she did, I got some unique shots. there are plusses and minuses.
Many thanks Grant for the final chapter of your report. Regarding the last paragraph I think Sara is still trying to get her head around us lot at concerts but she is getting there!
Have been meaning to reply to this
Sara is certainly beginning to recognise faces and when I told her about spending more time waiting at the stage door for Hayley than watching her perform, I elaborated by explaining that we make a social occasion of it and usually have a meal together before the show.
I think she was suitably impressed and at least now shouldn't think that we're a bunch of aging groupies!
Well, if Sara ever looked at any of the concert threads on HWI, and she should if she is to understand Hayley, she would know all about us. It is all there for everyone to see. But why do we all hang around for Hayley but nobody else? I thought groupies were supposed to do that for anyone famous. Why do we turn up hours before the show? Even my wife doesn't understand that! And that is despite the fact she once queued for a couple of days, and slept on the pavement to get tickets to see The Beatles. Mind you, she was about 13...
I didn't know her then but I remember walking past the queue and thinking "what a load of idiots". What goes around comes around.
I’M writing to put the record straight regarding the Hayley Westenra concert at the Corn Exchange (Festival review, Lynn News Friday).
Fair enough the doors opened late and the foyer area was a bit crammed, but would people rather have a poorly put-on production due to technical problems or wait half-an-hour for the problems to be sorted out so that a decent quality show be put on?
I have to disagree with the review by Stephen Hayter – I personally did not sense a frosty atmosphere and the muted applause was in the main because it wasn’t the type of crowd you would expect to go wild in the aisles.
As for Hayley delivering most of her songs standing still in front of a microphone – of course she did! If you want dance routines to music, book up and see a West End musical.
The whole night was superb, from the crystal clear angelic voice of Westenra to the magnificent backing musicians.
The guest act disappointed in the first half but was bang on the money when opening the second half of the show. The inter-song patter was ad-libbed as would be expected, but to me this just added to the show and made the whole thing more intimate with the audience.
Each song was sung with a depth of feeling and passion lacking in many of today’s artists and it’s rare to hear a live voice that gives you goosebumps.
To have the chance to see such a world class talent was a real joy.
Congratulations to the festival organisers for securing such a world class talent. Let’s hope the lady herself doesn’t get wind of all the negativity surrounding the show and returns again soon.
THINGS started badly with the auditorium doors still shut at 7.20pm.
It was evident that the advertised 7.30pm kick off was a non-starter and when we finally got to our seats a little after 7.35pm we just sat, no explanations and no announcements until at 7.55pm, prompted by a slow hand clap, we were told the curtain would rise at 8pm.
Why they could not have told us that at 7.45pm is beyond me.
The cello, violin, bass, drums, guitar and piano that made up the six-piece backing took their places in complete silence as Lynn demonstrated its displeasure.
The air was still a little frosty a few minutes later as Miss Westenra finally made an appearance to muted but polite applause.
She is a child prodigy who left her New Zealand home at 14 when she got her first record deal and has led the life of a musical nomad ever since, finally arriving before us in Lynn at the age of 23.
Even at £30 a seat the Corn Exchange was full to the gunnels and let there be no doubt, our Miss W has a lovely, and extremely accurate singing voice and yet having said that, I may have said it all.
She is clearly a much sought after recording artist but I thought she was disappointing as a stage act.
Her programme (well under an hour in both halves) was varied and interesting and consisted of traditional songs from around the world, show tunes and some slow ballads, the highlight being a great cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.
I also enjoyed her act one finale performance of Amazing Grace.
But the bulk of her songs were delivered standing still in front of a microphone stand with an inter-song patter that was a little laboured and appeared rather under-rehearsed.
By contrast, her guest act was failed Any Dream Will Do contestant Daniel Boys, who managed to sparkle every time.
Mr Boys is clearly an accomplished theatre performer and whilst continually paying deference to Miss W and plugging his current album, he had decided to include Bring Him Home to open the second half instead of the published song. Pull it off he most certainly did and it is all I have been able to hum since I left the theatre.
I thought the audience warmed to the young lady from Christchurch and the demands for an encore were sincere and enthusiastic but personally I felt I had had far less value than the ticket price.
My compliments to musical director Timothy Evans and musicians who were outstanding.
I am sure (before anyone asks) that that review wasn't written by our SteveH. If he had been there, we would have known. But I did feel that the audience was a bit cool to begin with. They had had a long wait after all. And were certainly less enthusiastic than many that I have seen at Hayley's shows. But perhaps that is just the norm in that part of the world, the people are just a bit reserved. That being said I spoke to several locals who all said they had enjoyed it very much, and were hugely impressed by Hayley's voice and performance. I hope negative reviews like that will not deter Hayley from performing in venues like that again. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed it - it was great to see Hayley again after so long.
Despite that review, I'm sure she made new fans in Kings Lynn..