Sunday, 28 July 2013

St James Theatre Concert Review

A couple of drinks too many - and for me that is just a couple of drinks - means the finer details of an amazing evening may be lost. I can however assure you that it was a very special night for anyone lucky enough to be there.

The St James studio theatre seemed the perfect venue for this event. Although tickets sold out in record time due to its fairly modest capacity it allowed Rachel's family, friends and some lucky fans the opportunity to listen to Rachel perform songs from her forthcoming debut album for the very first time in a lovely intimate setting.

Punctuality is apparently not one of Rachel strong points as she joked about being a few minutes late taking to the stage. She also spoke about the time it took from when the album was just an idea to where we are now, just 2 weeks away from its release.

She did consider writing some original material but suggested we may have had to wait another 3 years if she'd gone down that route so I'm kind of glad she chose the covers. Certainly wouldn't say no to an album of original songs somewhere down the line though.

I think - although I could be wrong - that with the exception of Defying Gravity which she saved till last, she performed the songs in the order they appear on the album.

I'm sure you all know the songs but in my opinion they have never sounded better than they did last Thursday night. Rachel showed that despite hanging up her witch's hat and passing the grimmerie onto Louise, she has lost none of her magic.

I'd find it very hard to pick a favourite because I love each and every song but on the night I'd actually go for Ed Sheeran's 'Small Bump'. Included of course, after the arrival of Baby Ben in February. Not a song in which Rachel gets to show off her powerhouse vocals but I think everyone in the room felt the emotion; as I'm sure the woman sobbing next to me would testify.

It might seem like a slightly odd collection of songs but it definitely works and proves to be an excellent blend of ballads, pop and musical showstoppers.

Special mention has to go to her Dad not only for joining Rachel on stage to perform a charming 1940's style medley - 'Duet With My Dad' - but also for his encouragement and support over the years which has helped Rachel fulfil her dreams. She's come a long way since the Belfast cabaret circuit but probably wouldn't have got to where she is without that experience. Maybe that's why her Dad got one of the biggest cheers of the night.

As I mentioned before the Rachel finished with a stupendous rendition of Defying Gravity which ensured the evening ended with a well deserved standing O.

The night was always going to end too quickly but thankfully Rachel announced there is another concert planned for Sunday October 13th in the larger auditorium at the St James Theatre. Now instead of feeling a little deflated as you often are when a big event you'd been looking forward to ends, I'm already buzzing about the next one.

Shortly after the show Rachel came back out to talk with family, friends and fans.

It was so great to have the opportunity to catch up as it seems like quite a long time since that final Wicked show last October. We talked about Ben, Barney, the album and I told her I knew she was destined for stardom from her first performance on I'd Do Anything 5 years ago.

She was as always, delightful.

Before I left I also got to have a lovely chat with her husband Guy who I think played a big part in ensuring the evening went off without a hitch. We chatted about how the fan blog and Rachel's new website compliment each other and that Rachel's success since I'd Do Anything - where she came 4th - proves that if you have the talent and drive you will eventually achieve your dreams.


If you haven't already done so click on the link below to book your tickets to Rachel's next concert in St James Theatre main auditorium on Sunday 13th October. There are still a few seats available but act fast otherwise you might miss out on what is sure to be another incredible night:


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