I had such a great time on Saturday: gorgeous weather, great company and above all: AMAZING music courtesy of Mr Boe! We had to wait a little over an hour by the time we arrived before we were allowed in, but that was fine by me… I went right up to the gate to watch Alfie’s soundcheck for a few minutes (and BOY he sounded immense!) before sight of the occasional car demanded that I retreat back to a safer distance on the grass. We wandered after a few minutes hectic queuing at the disabled entrance (wherein I was whacked round the face by one gentleman’s very heavy backpack) and the sight of the disabled platform in relation to the stage made my heart sink a little. It also puzzled us as there was no-one heading to sit up on it, so my mum went and asked about it, and the guy said the immortal words: ‘Oh no, you can sit wherever you like.’ Queue me racing to as close to the front as I could manage. As we still had a fair while to wait till showtime, it was great to meet a few of my fellow Arrows/Roses from over at the fan forum and my sincere thanks to each that came over to say hello etc, it was a delight to be able to share my excitement with you!
It was great seeing Laura as Alfie’s guest again, she sang beautifully throughout and has gained a new fan in my mum, who has me under strict instruction to purchase her albums as soon as possible. My favourites among her songs were: Summertime, Abide With Me, My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean and Time to Say Goodbye.
With the opening notes of Song To the Siren and Alfie’s voice drifted out from backstage, Mum and I played a quick game of ‘guess which side Alfie will come onstage from’. She won, and I smiled at the fact that Alfie seemed so relaxed yet completely (and at numerous points throughout the evening, literally) bouncing with energy which certainly set the tone for the evening: as the playful, cheeky side of Alfie was on top form: like everyone else I adored the banter he had with those who went to the toilet, and the lap he did around the place- I laughed so much when I heard him ask: ‘have I lost my guitarist?’ and later yelling: ‘C’mon Al, Keep up mate!’
Speaking of Al, I’d just like to take a minute to say how brilliant ‘Boe’s Band’ are: they seem to feed off Alfie’s energy and that creates something truly infectious that you can’t help but smile when you watch them get just as into the moment as Alfie does, I must have had a near permanent grin stuck to my face, as whenever Al caught my eye, he smiled too.
Not content with just making his guitarist run a lap around the field after him, Alfie was determined to get us up and dancing on many an occasion- Mum and I in particular loved the Elvis medley (by GOD Alfie certainly knows how to bust a move… those hips!), especially ‘That’s Alright Mama’ and come the end of the first half, my arms were sore from dancing around like a complete lunatic… but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Also included in the first half was a personal favourite of mine: Wheels of a Dream which he completely SMASHED. It is now ever cemented as a favourite given that Alfie recognised me and gave me a huge smile and a wave during it: yay for being at the front with a rose in my hair!
What struck me and both my parents was the sincere effort Alfie went to throughout to keep every single person in the crowd involved, even if they were WAY at the back: we had such a varied mix of music- everything from The Rolling Stones to Bob Marley, which was made all the more epic by the fact Alfie encouraged us to sing along; with hilarious consequences, e.g. ‘You’re supposed to sing shine a light!’ (We were chanting ‘No Woman No Cry’ back at him during appropriate intervals)
My particular favourite of these came towards the latter part of the evening during his awesome rendition of ‘Drift Away’ where, in true rockstar style, he tossed his water bottle out, spraying some of the crowd.
For all his energy, it was also equally lovely to see Alfie in the ‘stiller’ moments as the crowd fell into a deeply beautiful kind of eerie silence, my favourites like this included Bring Him Home, and that absolutely STUNNING aria from The Pearl Fishers, which I hadn’t heard before, done as Alfie likes to call it ‘Acapulco.’ I think he heard my quiet cheer because he said: ‘Oh, I’m not singing it if you know it!’
Angie by the Rolling Stones should definitely make his next album as well methinks.
As y’all might be aware, my dad and I don’t always share similar taste in music. Well ladies and gents: I think we have a convert to Alfie’s cause! He remarked to me later that he thought Alfie was a fantastic entertainer who ‘sure knows how to keep a crowd going!’ He even picked a favourite song from his set (Angels from Montgomery) AND even asked if he could borrow one of my Alfie albums to take with him on the drive while he’s away for the next two weeks!
All in all, a fabulous evening and I’m already counting down the months till I see him again… roll on March 2013! 😀 😀
Some of my favourite photos we got: