Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

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Martin Johnson
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Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Martin Johnson »

The 'Burt Bacharach - A Life in Song' concert is tomorrow evening (June 26th) and from what little information there's been so far it doesn't sound like it's going to be a standard Bacharach gig, featuring as it does 'special guests' and an interview on stage with the great man himself. It's obviously fascinating to speculate who the guest artists might be - Elvis Costello, Rumer perhaps? - as there are so many UK acts who have covered Bacharach over the years, not that that's necessarily a prerequisite as was demonstrated by the three guests singers for Bacharach's BBC Electric Proms gig at the Roundhouse in 2008, Adele, Jamie Cullam and Beth Rowley. Yes, I'll be there.
Last edited by Martin Johnson on Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

blueonblue
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by blueonblue »

Martin,
You'll have to write us a little review.

"blue"

nowmedical
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by nowmedical »

I'll be there too. He'll have to get his skates on to get all the kit to Glastonbury for saturday.

Jerry
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Jerry »

This sounds wonderful, but I am dismayed that some of America's greats have to go to Britain-Brian Wilson, Jimmy Webb, anyone?-to receive their due.

Look forward to hearing about this, Martin & Now Medical.

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

For those who came in late, the US is a land of utterly illiterate, ignorant, brainwashed drones. Politically reactionary, a pushover for any nonsensical "terror" threat, and incurious of anything other than the latest sports scores, the average American today has never heard of Burt Bacharach or Jimmy Webb.
Nor is this a recent phenomenon. The country`s original musical geniuses including (but far from limited to) Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Benny Bailey (you name them) had to emigrate simply to make a living.
Our great "democracy" has just been ceded to the global corporations that have already ruined our lives with the passage of legislation allowing Obama to unilaterally sign off on TPA (Google it).
Oh, am I off topic?

nowmedical
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by nowmedical »

I just got home. Headline news:

1 Overture to Promises Promises and Be Aware - and wait for it - In Between The Heartaches performed live!!!
2 Concert almost ruined by being filmed as a TV special - hopeless interviews with Burt in one corner of the stage, when he should've been at the piano
3 I think Burt looks noticeably older than he did last summer - anyone agree?

Martin Johnson
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Martin Johnson »

I suspected as soon as Michael Grade introduced himself on stage at bang on 7.30pm when a lot of people in the stalls were still finding their seats that it was going to 'one of those evenings'. Moments later and a mis-read autocue leading to a re-take and a 5 minute delay in search of a 'lost' camera (it was being televised by the BBC) confirmed me in my suspicions. I have to say that I never thought an on stage interview was a good idea, especially when it's conducted by someone (Michael Grade) who's not a professional presenter and/or music journalist, particularly when they're positioned at the side of the stage and, worst of all, they're so badly miked that 95% of the hall couldn't hear them in the first place. Why the latter problem wasn't sorted until just before the interval I found extraordinary. Thankfully the music performance side of the evening could only have been better and the highlights for me were Joss Stone's stunning 'Inbetween the Heartaches' (a superb vocalist with a very engaging stage presence) and Alfie Boe's powerful but controlled 'If I Could Go Back'. Other guest artists included Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues performing a very polished 'What the World Needs Now is Love', Rebecca Ferguson with passable readings of 'Walk On By' and 'I Say a Little Prayer' and Sophie Ellis-Bextor who also sang a couple of classics, 'I'll Never Fall in Love Again' and 'Close to You'. From Bacharach's usual set we had Josie James and 'Anyone Who Had a Heart', which received a standing ovation, John Pagano with 'God Give Me Strength', Donna Taylor and 'Waiting For Charlie to Come Home' and the movie medley minus 'A House is Not a Home', which was sung as a stand alone song later by one of the male guest artists (who's name I didn't catch). Overall the concert was just about worth going to but the shambolic nature of the first half of the interview plus the early technical hitches left a nasty taste.
Last edited by Martin Johnson on Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

Boisey
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Boisey »

I feel that last nights concert was hijacked by the BBC,and not what the audience was expecting. Interviewing the great maestro at the side of the stage ( most of which couldn't be heard at the start) was a bad decision, that could have been recorded elsewhere.The evening only really started once Burt sat at the piano during the second half,and this was reflected in the audiences rapturous applause.The special guests were fine,but were often eclipsed by Burts great singers.
Let's hope an early return to the Festival Hall is on the cards soon.

blueonblue
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by blueonblue »

Was Elvis Costello there ?

"blue"

nowmedical
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by nowmedical »

No, nor Rumer. And the wonderful Miss Eliza wasn't playing the violin. Perhaps David can explain.

pljms
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by pljms »

Please open the link below to find some wonderful photos taken during the show. They're so good that they make the show look like the very special event it ought to have been. Close but no cigar as they say:



Also, here's Alfie Boe's performance of 'If I Could Go Back'. definitely one of the highlights of the show and which Burt appeared to love:

Paul

Martin Johnson
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Martin Johnson »

For UK based members of this site, the show is being televised on Friday 27th at 9pm on BBC4. The length of the broadcast and whether it's the whole show I've yet to ascertain.

nowmedical
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by nowmedical »

Thanks for the heads-up Martin. I've set the video.

Nicko
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Nicko »

Martin Johnson wrote:For UK based members of this site, the show is being televised on Friday 27th at 9pm on BBC4. The length of the broadcast and whether it's the whole show I've yet to ascertain.

According to my TV guide the show is 1 hour 30 minutes duration, whether that's the whole thing who knows?

Martin Johnson
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Re: Burt Bacharach - A life in Song, Festival Hall, London

Post by Martin Johnson »

Thanks Nicko. I think the show was closer to two hours than 90 minutes. The TV broadcast will probably lose some of the interview rather than the song performances.

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