The Other Palace, London
The email telling me about an upcoming West End Live Lounge concert is one I look forward to with excitement and anticipation as the night always proves to be a joyous, talent-filled one. This concert was exactly that, a celebration of Number 1 music, performed by a stellar line-up, in aid of Centrepoint, a charity which supports homeless young people.
Opening the show with a gloriously haunting version of Sia’s ‘Titanium’, were the ever stunning Kelly Agbowu and Natalie Green. Both performers have beautifully smooth vocals and they complement one another perfectly.
From here on, act one of the concert raced by with vocal brilliance after vocal brilliance.
Lisa Marie Holmes and Zoe Birkett gave heartfelt performances whilst Jodie Jacobs gave an energetic performance of Jerry Lee Lewis’ rock classic ‘Great Balls of Fire’. Rock numbers proved to be an audience favourite with Andrew Polec earning rapturous applause and cheers after his performance of ‘Living on a Prayer’.
Adam Bailey’s haunting interpretation of ‘Run’ was a surestandoutt and Moya Angela closed act one with a spine-tingling, note perfect performance of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’. Hosting the night were the hilarious Vikki Stone and The Other Palace producer Paul Taylor-Mills. The pair bounced off each other naturally with their wit and banter providing fantastic transitions between songs.
Vikki took a break from hosting to open act two with her comical, stripped back performance of Cotton Eyed Joe. The great thing about West End Live Lounge is that although it’s for a serious cause and a celebration of immense talent, at it’s heart it’s about love and humour. The whole night is set out to be a joyous night of fun and that’s exactly what it is. You can feel the love in the room and it’s truly heartwarming to be a part of.
Act two was a maelstrom of talent with 1/3 of Divalution: Sejal Keshwala involving the audience in her spirited version of Aretha Franklin’s Think. Joel Harper Jackson and Andrew Bateup both brought chills with their performances of Lay Me Down and Georgia on my Mind. Their voices are smooth as butter and they are mesmerising performers to watch.
Natalie and Kelly returned with the wonderful Impossible and Liisi LaFontaine, on her fleeting visit to London, treated us to a seamless performance of Grenade. The song selection of this concert was top notch, with song after song fulfilling my emotive ballad craving. Christina Modestou’s performance of If I Were a Boy was vocally flawless as was Liam Tamne’s rendition of Diamonds.
Musical director extraordinaire Sam Coates and his incredible band did an outstanding job of accompanying the performers and creating their own musical magic. American singer Stacey Francis brought gospel to The Other Palace, whilst Divalution (formerly Sapphire Soul) brought their usual sass and killer belt with an epic 23 song mash up.
Bat Out of Hell stars Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington concluded the night with an acrobatic, dynamic performance of Evanescence’s hit, Bring Me To Life. The pair have enough sparks to power all the lights in The Other Palace and it’s clear why audience’s are loving them over at the Dominion theatre.
Although the performers were amazing, the real star of West End Live Lounge is Shaun McCourt who set up the concerts. Shaun puts so much work into them and it’s clear that his passion and drive are infectious throughout the entire West End Live Lounge family. There’s so much joy evident and each concert provides a perfect, musical night out. Don’t miss the next one… you’ll regret it!
photo credit: Nick Brittain