Take That at the O2 Arena got me emotional – here’s why

Yes, it was about two weeks ago already, but I thought it would be nice to share this.

Take That always put on an incredible live show for a pop group and I saw that for myself during their recent run at the O2 Arena in London. So much thought had clearly gone into their Wonderland tour, way more than at most gigs I’ve ever been to.

And yet it was something really simple that meant the most to me.

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Ramin Karimloo brings Broadway and bluegrass to the London Palladium for one night only

ramin-palladiumAhead of his upcoming stint in Murder Ballad at London’s Arts Theatre, musical theatre star Ramin Karimloo performed one night only at the London Palladium as part of his unique ‘broadgrass’ experiment.

Mixing some of the musical theatre songs he became well known for with other styles, most notably bluegrass, Ramin and his band created something truly special and live on stage is certainly the best way to experience it.

Although the Palladium wasn’t sold out, the audience that was there roared with appreciation. As Ramin sung the opening words to ‘Til I Hear You Sing, written especially for him in Love Never Dies by Andrew Lloyd Webber, there was a collective gasp followed by an expectant hush.

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Amazing a cappella: The Sons of Pitches at the Union Chapel, London

The Sons of Pitches are a six-strong male a cappella group who won TV choirmaster Gareth Malone’s The Naked Choir competition in 2015. Now they’ve just toured the UK and as good as they came across on the show, it was nothing to how fun, charming and just impeccable they are live on stage.

This was immediately obvious as the first song was an unusual but brilliant introduction to the group, going through each member and then asking if everyone from the audience to the lighting and sound guys were ready to go. They then launched into Move, a Little Mix cover which was my highlight from The Naked Choir and which retained its original hilarious (hip popping) choreography.

The gig continued in the same vein – some unique stuff to them plus some covers they’ve made their own. Standouts include Blondie’s Heart of Glass in a gypsy jazz style, the groovy Sorry by Justin Bieber and their haunting version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.

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Josh Groban’s ode to musicals blows away London’s Eventim Apollo

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Groban as the orchestra was revealed

What a voice. Josh Groban, on a rare visit to England, sang his heart out in Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo in December – bringing the songs from his latest album, Stages, to life.

The evening was primarily a run-down of the greatest, slow-paced, heartfelt songs from musicals- not just those that would be classed as ballads, but those with a feeling of melancholy nonetheless.

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Huawei Winter Concert: Alfie Boe, London Philharmonic and Laura Wright

The dawn of December always brings a flood of Christmas concerts but this year’s Huawei Winter Concert at the Royal Festival Hall brought true goodwill as the joint corporate and public event raised money for young people with The Prince’s Trust.

Alfie's new album
Alfie’s new album

The concert on Monday December 2 saw the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as conducted by Mike Dixon, collaborate with soprano Laura Wright and the Tiffin Boys’ Choir before tenor Alfie Boe and his band took over.

The disparity between the businesspeople in the stalls and the concertgoers around them seemed to represent the unusual line drawn between the two halves of the concert, in which the music transitioned from entirely classical albeit with some lighter Christmas tunes to a mixture of folk, country and gospel influences.

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