Chester Concert

30 Oct 2010

First review from Phil Harvey

A good turn out welcomed the boys to Chester cathedral tonight. 

Twenty five boys graced the stage with strings and a percussionist accompanying them on a raised platform behind and with both Robert and Steven on keyboards. Ben's dad did a short intro in which the chance to buy advance copies of the deluxe edition of Peace was offered with the proviso that we did not share it on Youtube, etc.

It was wonderful to hear those close harmonies again and their particular magic was again demonstrated by the chord trick where Daniel, who can hit such amazingly high notes for a boy who is (I believe) 14, Stefan, Ralph and the Leggett brothers all contributed and held a note conducted by Kavana. There were some nice touches during the concert. With Mysterium we were treated to an elongated opening sequence full of doom-laden cathedralesque chords as the boys made their slow entrance onto the stage and later we had Robert playing the 'original' opening to Fountain on a grand piano.

The song list was:

  • Adoramus: Stefan doing his slow walk along the aisle to the stage where he then turned to face the audience. 
  • Libera.
  • Time: Josh was assisted by Alex and possibly Ralph with Ben stood on a raised platform at the back, although I don't recall him playing the role he played in the video, at least not vocally, although I could be wrong.
  • Sanctus: Just stunning. The new squad are harmonising beautifully.
  • Sanctissima: I cannot recall who took solo honours on this one.
  • Eternal Light: I am not totally blown away by this one. Possibly one of the weaker 'extra' tracks but that is just my opinion.
  • Ave Verum: I have always loved this one and glad it is back on the menu.
  • Far Away: I felt at Arundel Ralph did not do this song justice and again I feel his voice is wrong for the song. He was too shaky for comfort and it became distracting for me.
  • Salva Me
  • Mysterium
  • Gloria.
  • The Fountain: I think the soloists were Ralph and Jakob.
  • How can I Keep From Singing: the solo was given to Sammy whose voice I feel is rather ordinary. There are others who could have done a better job.
  • When A Knight Won His Spurs: solo by Ralph who does have a great voice with the right material but I feel this song is due for retirement from the live set. There must be other songs that deserve an outing.
  • Love and Mercy: for me this song seemed out of place, almost as if the choir were trying to show they still had some street cred in choosing a modern song. Freddie and James shared solo duties and their voices are not as weak as I thought they were the last time they sang a solo but it did not work for me.
  • Deep Peace: solo by Stefan and what a super voice he has got. A real talent.
  • Stay With Me: Daniel puts his all into his work but sadly the sound was not at it's best all night and for this song and for many others it was hard to hear the words clearly. This seems to be a recurring problem.
  • Going Home: solo duties shared by Daniel and James, whose inclusion was wrong in my view. His voice is not strong enough for such an emotional song and for me something was lost in the translation. 
We had two speeches from Freddie, one from Cassius, one from Ben who told the story of the boy's supposed two hour flight from the last Far East tour turning into a 5 day epic, and one from Josh, who speaks with quite a husky voice but can still sing well, and annoyingly is now even more handsome, if that is possible!

Tom cully was on the mixing desk alongside Sam Coates. 

We were a little slow to get to our feet for the usual standing ovation. Maybe they do things differently north of I don't recall him playing the role he played in the video, at the border. The boys did look slightly puzzled at the delay but were ready and waiting with a short burst of Libera.

There was no photo opportunity or a meet 'n' greet.

PS: I forgot to mention the last song, 'How Shall I Sing That Majesty' with solo's from Jakob and Ralph.

Second review from Sirius Dave

I was there last night and I believe the concert was nearly flawless. The song choices were wonderful. especially "When a Knight" which is one of my favourite libera songs of all time and have dreamed of hearing it live. Also I believe "Eternal Light" was a masterpiece which we were graced with hearing, this I believe will become one of my favs of all time.

Now we come to Ralph, who I believe and I hope others will agree did a magnificent job. You have been so hard on him, but actually he did a great job. And if you could do what he does at all, let alone when you are a young boy in front of 150 people in a huge cathedral, then you would not be on here, you would be out making money with your voice.

I am not quite sure which cathedral you were in but the sound was truly amazing, every word was completely audible and I thought this aspect of the concert was impeccable.

And about the standing ovation, we were trying to give the opportunity of what we had just seen sink in, instead of acting like a jack in the box and jumping up as soon as possible.

PS: Also like to say thanks to anybody I sat next to, I believe that was markmarinescu. We had a great chat. Oh and sorry my pen didn't work to get Tom's and Ben's autographs. At least we did get to chat to Tom (and shake his hand lol.)

Thank you for the reviews! :)
You can also check out another reviews from German fans, click on here.

1 comment :

  1. I have another review, but in German. I am sorry I can't edit this post, so I give you the link here.