On Saturday I spent the day with three of my favourite things: amazing sun, lovely people and incredible music! Headed into Cardiff to see Ramin Karimloo again, and spent a glorious few hours in the sunshine chatting with some friends and eating the most delicious cake from the newly opened Pettigrew Tearoom. (Go try- the service is great and the hot chocolate and Victoria Sponge are to die for!)
Come a little while before concert time, I’d finally managed to meet up with my pal Sinéad after exchanging a couple of puzzled: ‘Meet at X, on second thought meet at Y… Gah can’t find you!!??’ kind of texts, and we wandered into St David’s hall, chatting away like the insanely excitable fans that we are, pumped for an amazing night of music. So, changed into my Ramin tee, armed with glowsticks on each wrist and lyrics swirling in my head ready to sing along with the man himself, I scooted into the auditorium… and was just pleased that St. David’s Hall now has another awesome association for me; last time I was there I was graduating!
To start off the actual concert talk I’d like to thank Ramin for both introducing me to some new music (The Avett Brothers, The Tragically Hip and Mumford & Sons) but also to some phenomenal talent in the form of his guests: Alex Gaumond, Carrie Fletcher, Katie Birtill and Sean Kingsley. All of them were incredible and I feel privileged to have seen and heard them all perform. Thanks to Ramin & Alex I am now ever so slightly addicted to their take on The Tragically Hip’s Ahead by a Century, Katie & Ramin made me fall in love with I and Love and You, and Carrie’s and Ramin’s A Little Fall of Rain brought a tear to my eye. Also a shout out to Sean, and Ramin’s guitarist Steve Young: Just a Closer Walk with Thee was all the more awesome with three of you joining in!
Ramin was an utter delight from start to finish, even with a chest infection! He sang all my personal favourites from his album: Show Me Light, Eyes of a Child, Broken Home, Cathedrals & Till I Hear You Sing( Guiding Light & Music of the Night were also included), along with a sprinkling of non Phantom musical theatre for good measure. I loved his energy and the fact he was able to give us an insight into the kind of music that inspires him, along with his own music and the musical theatre that has helped shape his career thus far!
Two other huge highlights for me were Sean & Ramin singing Broken, not only for the singing but also Ramin’s: ‘I sent this song to my good friend and co- star Hadley Fraser, he made it pretty!’ and the fact that near enough as soon as he mentioned Hadley, the contingent of audience who know of him went crazy… me included!
When Ramin was joined onstage by his son, I witnessed one of the most endearing few minutes of a father- son relationship I’ve ever seen. Ramin sang to Jaiden, before going into Hallelujah, and letting Jaiden take over in the choruses. He perched on the piano stool next to his dad, who every so often would to turn the mic in Jaiden’s direction.
Needless to say it was so lovely and the kisses they exchanged before Jaiden left the stage (to a great round of applause and cheering) made me feel completely warm and fuzzy.
Ramin also got a mini lesson in Welsh: ‘How do you say I love you?’ to which a lady wandered down the aisle and told him, only to repeat it to us flawlessly moments later and be greeted with wild applause. I have a feeling the majority of ladies in the crowd melted!
Meeting Ramin after the concert was as ever, an absolute joy. I’d like to apologise to Steffi, Holly, Sinéad, Naomi, Vikki, Linda, Kris and Helen for my hyperactive state afterwards!
Ramin: ‘Hey Kerrie!’
Me: (whilst inwardly screaming: Oh. My. GOD!! He said my name! In that lovely accent! He does know it, at last! And other such excitable exclamations):
‘Hello sir! You alright? Sounded fab by the way, chest infection or no!’
R:‘Thanks darling, are you better? I saw your tweet…’
M: ‘Much, thanks! (laughs) I don’t know what it is about being ill when I’m due to see you’
R (laughing): Maybe your immune system disagrees with me; it’s a sign!’
We spent a fun few minutes giggling together before I handed him my program and he began scribbling away:
R:‘You enjoyed it then?’
M: ‘Oh yeah, I was singing/cheering/glowing away in there’
He smiled, ‘You were, were you? Great!’ (hands program back) By the way Kerrie, love the tshirt!’
M: Thankyou sir! See you next time, yes?’
R: ‘Yes M’am, for sure!’
On top of all that, I got to say hi/thanks/you were amazing to Jaiden & Alex who were also very sweet and humble and a pleasure to talk with.
I’m still a little sore from sunburn and throaty from cheering so much, but I wouldn’t change a thing!