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Pop Idol Concert Tour 2002

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      14.02.2005 17:52
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      Who?
      Live Wire.

      What They Are.
      AC/DC tribute band.

      What Do They Do?
      They perform songs by AC/DC. They dress up and attempt to look and sound as much like the real thing as they can.

      Price.
      £8 Advance, £10 on the night.

      What They Are Like.
      Live at The Wharf, Tavistock, Devon. 05/02/05.
      Tonight’s gig was part of the anniversary tour to commemorate the 25 years since Bonn Scott died. So the main bulk of the set was made up of songs from that period in AC/DCs history, with a shorter set of later stuff at the end. Encores were again Bonn Scott songs.
      The songs played were taken from most of ‘DC’s Bon albums but the majority were from The Let There Be Rock album onwards. And they were bloody good at what they did. I could close my eyes and almost convince myself that I was listening to the real thing.
      The rhythm sections were as solid as a rock giving the vocals and lead guitar something to work from. (The rhythm guitarist looked like he belonged on a fishing trawler, but he made the playing look effortless. Brilliant). What people forget is that ‘DC are basically a rhythm and boogie band who just happen to have a shit hot guitarist, a rock icon and Live Wire capture this aspect of the originals with great accuracy. The singer had the vocals to perfection and the Angus look-alike guitarist was not far off the mark either, never straying from what he was supposed to be doing. Very disciplined.
      If your reading this you are probably already familiar with DC’s stuff so I won’t go through the set list other than to say it was effectively a greatest hits list. Even “Riff Raff” got an airing, a particular pleasure to the author. It’s been many years since I’ve heard that chestnut done live.
      Near the end of the set a new singer appeared who sang some Brian Johnson songs. Now, to even attempt to copy Brian Johnson takes some bollocks but the boy on stage tonight got it bang on. He even managed a bit of a Geordie accent too and despite any doubts I had, proved to be more than capable at his job and managed to maintain the quality of the show.
      The audience lapped it up. Kids scrabbling for thrown away drumsticks, plecs etc… Just like the real thing. With the change of singers and their attempt to look as much like the real thing, however, the set comes perilously close to cabaret, but not quite.
      My only real criticism would be that they were not loud enough. With the audience being made up of all age groups from small kids to the middle aged, it was as if the soundman was trying not to offend anyone. But this sort of stuff should be played loud, very loud. The sound was done “in house” and the boy on the consul kept messing with the mix so the sound kept dropping out leaving one or the other guitar nearly inaudible.
      The band did not play anything of their own.

      Conclusion
      I can recommend that you go and see them, but only if there are no original bands playing where you are. For a tenner they provide a couple of hours of good honest fun and a load of high quality rock ‘n’ roll to boot. Ultimately, however, Live Wire is a covers band, plain and simple, but what they do, they do well. And if you keep this fact in mind, you will not be disappointed
      Although I have never been a fan of tribute bands, there is obviously a need for them in the West Country because the hall was full tonight and people were jumping around as if they were seeing the real thing. I suppose it’s the nearest thing folk can get to the real thing here in the South West of England.


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        03.05.2002 07:53
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        You will laugh when I tell you that I don't think we could have been any further away from the stage if I had asked! I could kick myslef for not getting the tickets any earlier but originaly they were only perfoming at Wembley. As I live in Manchester this was too far to travel with an 8 year old and I was absolutely gutted that we wouldn't be able to go. I couldn't beleive it when I saw it in the paper that they had announced a nationwide tour. I was on the internet faster than a shooting star. Unfortunately it appeared that all the best seats had gone. I really didn't care I just had to be there at any expense. The need to somehow get close to these people that had been part of our lives for so long was tremendous. I kept telling everyone that I was going for the benefit of my daughter but that was just an excuse, I was really looking forward to it myself. The trouble was I couldn't afford a ticket for my husband so I didn't tell him straight away, I was trying to find the right moment. Unfortunately when we were watching the follow up show with Will singing his songs after the series had finished my friend blurted out 'It's a shame I didn't know you were going I'd have liked to have come myself' My husband looked at me in disgust and insisted that I bought him the new England Shirt as compensation, thanks mate. When we got there we were as high as you can get and as far back from the stage as you can get. I thought I was going to faint! but somehow the excitement of being there and the look on my daughters face knowing that she was going to see her idols was good enough. They had massive screens up so we watched them to get a better view. Gareth and Zoe singing together was sensational, they really do go well together. I can't help but have a soft spot for Darius though as his guts and determination to succeed shine through and his change of image since popstars really do him justice. He deserved to be on that stage.
        Will of course is every inch the star allready, he can adapt any song and has a unique voice. Zoe has an extremely strong voice and I am sure without a mic she would have still been heard. I also thought Corben was great and he deserves to be given a chance, I was suprised at his early demise from the show. I was dreading Laura singing as I thought on the show she was terrrible. She was actually much better in concert than she was on the telly. No matter what the strongest 3 Will, Gareth and Zoe stole the show, although everyone gave 100% to make this concert a success. So much so that I have bought tickets for the forthcoming Will, Gareth and Zoe concert, again at the MEN. This time with slightly better seats! No matter where you sit though it is great to be able to say that you were part of that and I would encourage anyone to get tickets if they can. You won't be dissappointed and if the first concert was anything to go by it will be good value for money. The show lasted quite a long time and the good thing about it was there wasn't the usual rubbish support act that you just can't wait to get rid of. We need to give young new talent a chance and when you get to see all your faves at once it's got to be a winner. Do what you have to to get tickets for the next show and enjoy! I would like to add that it really gets me mad that ticket touts always seem to get in there first and snap up all the best seats. They always find a way around it and no mater how quickly you seem to try an get tickets the best ones have gone. More guidelines should come in force to stop this so that genuine supporters like us can go to concerts without being ripped off with over the odds ticket prices. Thanks for reading!

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          02.05.2002 00:07
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          Pop Idol is 2002's Most faviourite Talent Search Competition. Proved to be a sucess when Ant and Dec choose to present. A Fantastic Porgramme. If you havent listened to the news lately then you might not know but the Final Beetween Gareth Gates and William Young- Well William Young won of course! He would. My faviourite all through was William Young and he is fantastic. Well the Concert started off brillianty. Ant and dec came in and the crowd went mad. The first contestant to come out was the first out of the final ten. Korben. Korben- Freedom I never knew Korben was this good. His performence totally rocked. The song was brilliant and has a very catchy courus which i cant stop humming to my self. Excellent performence. Jessica - Prupa Dont Preach Excellent performence. Eurovision Contest - Jessica Garlick sang this song very good I never saw this talent in her on the show but was totally shocked to see her performence and was totally shocked and happy with her performence. Aaron - Walking in Mempis A Good Performence. I never really liked Aaron but thought his performence was good not Excellent but good enough to be on the Pop idol Concert. Laura - Son of a Preacher Excellent performence. Laura is good at singing but a good performence at the concert. Sang a good song and has great talent, voice. Rosie - Everything I do I never really noticed Rosie in the whole competition. Now I notice her she was excellent and really stood out sang a excellent song and performed it really well too. Hayley- Made to Love A good performence. I thought she was good nothing special but a good performence she performed well and has a good talentfull voice. Zoe- Say a little prayer Excellent performence. Zoe defintly has talent she is brilliant and performs excellent and this just told me how good! Darius - Its not Unusal I have heard this alot from Darius. But the poi
          nt is i never get tired of it and Darius is brilliant. Gareth - Unchained Melody For most people - not me the concert only started with Gareth. As I say I think Gareth is good but hes not my pop idol. Excellent performence Everyone was singing along excellent performence. Gareth and Zoe - Look at me Excellent piece of music and Gareth and Zoe where doing excellent then followed by abit of the fianlists all performed well- Espically Will anyways excellent performence by them all. Will - Baby Light My Fire WOW What can I say this was brilliant the reaction from the crowds and me! was excellent and William was so close to the audience. he performed well and sang the song great and kept up with the rhythm and I knew he tried hard and he didnt need to because Wills a born talent!. An Excellent performence probably one of my faviourites of the night. Will- Evergreen WOW Another excellent song sang by Will at the Concert very entertainng to listen to Williams Superb talent and to see him perform the Top Song. He sang it well and i really enjoyed watching it. Gareth - Mack the Knife A great performence from Gareth very entertaning sang excellently from Gareth. A good performence. Zoe - Get Happy A great track sang by Zoe Get Happy excellent and the buzz and reaction of the audience very excellent. Really entertaing to watch. Darius - Love Excellent performence very entertaning to watch. Will - Beyond the Sea WOW! My faviorite one of the night. Excellent to watch and see William perform it so well. I was totally hooked with his voice and how he greeted the audience a brilliant singer (Williams my faviurite Pop Idol by the way) A Excellent performence. Will and Others - My Way Excellent ending to the concert and the group performed it well and it was brilliant. Will really standed out and so did the others. Excellent way to round off the concert and really ente
          rtaning one of the best on the night. Well then at the end the concert ended, the curtain closed and there i was amazed with the whole thing. A Brilliant concert. Pop Idol totally rocks.

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            29.04.2002 16:08
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            The Pop Idol series had ended and I was left feeling like there was absolutely nothing to do on a Saturday evening anymore (sad I know!) Will – my favourite had won, yippee! A few little weeks late in February a colleague at work had told me he had booked some tickets to see Pop Idols in concert! Wow, that was it I was going to go home to check this out! I got home and told my boyfriend the exciting news, he wasn’t really that impressed but because I loved Will that much he bought some tickets anyway! We bought them on ticket master for £28 each, we were going to the NEC Arena in Birmingham on the 2 April! Well, I just couldn’t wait! It was seven whole weeks away! By the time we were due to go the excitement of the Pop Idol tour had really worn off, I wasn’t excited at all, and if I wasn’t excited imagine how my poor man felt! He was without a doubt not looking forward to the whole evening out at all! We got there in good time for the performance to start, found our seats which were about 12 rows from the front – great view. They did also have two large screens either side for the people sat two miles away on the back rows! There were no warm up acts here – good job as the concert went on for 2 ½ hours. Nicky came out to introduce the Pop Idols and also to let us know that we were being filmed for the DVD so we all had to be extremely loud! – Hmmm, didn’t really fancy screaming, wanted it to start and hurry along, even had to fake excitement so my boyfriend knew there was a reason for driving for over an hour and sitting through his worse nightmare! The last 10 finalists of the Pop Idol series starred in the show. The first half was some of the songs they performed on the show. They performed in order of the voting off Korben – Freedom (voted off 1st out of the final 10 Jessica Garlic – Papa don’t preach (representing Englan
            d in the Eurovision Song Contest – that’s her career over then!) Aaron Bayley – Walking in Memphis (our favourite little train driver! – hit with the ladies too!) Laura Doherty – Son of a preacher man (Laura ‘can I buy you a comma for Christmas’ Doherty) Rosie Ribbons – Everything I do (Rosie was Pete Waterman’s favourite) Hayley Evetts – Made for Lovin’ you Zoë Birkett – Say a little prayer Darius Danesh – It’s not unusual (beware of the girlies throwing him knickers! It would be all that gyrating!) Gareth – Unchained Melody Gareth and Zoë – Look at me Now Will Young – Light my Fire and Evergreen (the winner got to do two songs!) As we were being filmed for DVD Will Young and Hayley did a one of duet! Ain’t no mountain High enough! Well, by the end of the first half I was well and truly excited again, the build up to seeing Will Young perform was huge! My partner was clapping his hands but not looking very amused! My favourite was of course Will – I did vote for him 11 times after all! Aaron was a huge hit, he was very lively and fun on stage, he really knew how to get the audience going, along with Korben, Hayley and Zoë. Jessica didn’t seem to be such a big hit on our night and Rosie’s singing voice was terrible! The surprise for me was how much I actually liked Darius! He had always annoyed me in the Pop Stars series and he continued to do so in Pop Idol. He has really changed, matured, learnt a lot and I admire him for keeping going when others would have given up. He was also the only male to have pants thrown at him! We went for a ciggie and a drink in the break and quickly got back to our seats for the second half. This was with the Big Blue Band, they were featured on the show. The songs performed on here were great and this is when my partner
            really started to get into it (in fact I think he enjoyed it more than me – although he wouldn’t admit to it!) The songs performed here were as follows… Rosie Ribbons – Dancing Cheek To Cheek Laura Doherty – Can’t Take That Away From Me Aaron Bayley – I Get A Kick Outta You Gareth Gates and Zoë Birkett – Whenever You Call Jessica Garlick – Every Time We Say Goodbye Korben – Night and Day Zoë Birkett – I’ve Got You Under My Skin Darius Danesh – Let There Be Love Hayley Evetts – That Ole Devil Called Love Gareth Gates – Mack The Knife Zoë Birkett – Get Happy Will Young – I Won’t Dance Will Young – Beyond The Sea Will Young and others – My Way They all performed very well and all in all we had a fantastic time, they all did really well. As some of you may know the Pop Idol concert was on ITV1 on Saturday at 5.40pm. The show took place at London Arena on April 6 in aid of the Prince's Trust. It finishes with all 10 finalists singing Frank Sinatra's My Way. Ant and Dec will presented the 90-minute show. The songs to shown on the ITV broadcast include: Darius Danesh - It's Not Unusual (Tom Jones), Let There Be Love (Nat King Cole) Hayley Evetts - Made For Loving You (Anastacia) Jessica Garlick - Papa Don't Preach (Madonna) Korben - Freedom (Wham!) Zoë Birkett - Say A Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick/Aretha Franklin), Get Happy (Judy Garland) Will Young - Light My Fire (The Doors), Evergreen, Beyond The Sea (Bobby Darin) Gareth Gates - Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers), Mack The Knife (Frank Sinatra/Bobby Darin) Rosie Ribbons - Everything I Do (Bryan Adams) Aaron Bailey - Walking In Memphis (Cher) Laura Doherty - Son Of A Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield) Zoe & Gareth duets - Whenever You Call (Mariah Carey), Look At Me Now (Frank Sinatra & Connie
            Haines) All 10 - Frank Sinatra (My Way). Further Information The Big Blue Album is out now and the songs on this are: 1. Beyond The Sea - Will 2. Get Happy - Zoë 3. Let There Be Love - Darius 4. Mack The Knife - Gareth 5. Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye - Jessica 6. I Get A Kick Out Of You - Aaron 7. I've Got You Under My Skin – Zoë 8. That Ole Devil Called Love Again - Hayley 9. I Won't Dance – Will 10. Night & Day - Korben 11. Cheek To Cheek - Rosie 12. They Can't Take That Away - Laura 13. Oh Look At Me Now - Gareth & Zoë Also for those that missed out on the last 10 finalists, Will Young, Gareth Gates and Zoë Birkett will be doing a concert together starting on the 3 October 2002, cities included in the tour will be Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow. Music from both Will and Gareth’s forthcoming debut albums and some other surprises too! Wills album has a release date of 4 November 2002, I will be buying this album, Will has a fantastic voice and especially if it has Light my Fire on it! The bestest song ever! Between Will and Gareth they have spent seven consecutive weeks at No.1 spot too! And another date for your diaries if you are a Will fan too is June 3rd. Will is set to do a duet with crooner Tony Bennett at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Hope you all enjoyed the read! Thanks

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              29.04.2002 03:04
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              I bought the tickets for Pop Idol at Newcastle Arena on a bit of a whim. I loved the show, and was distraught when Gareth was beaten, but secretly I have always thought I was a bit too old to get caught up in the hysteria surrounding Pop Idol, and as the concert approached I became increasingly worried that my friend and I would stick out like sore thumbs as we would be surrounded by children. Wednesday 3rd April came, and off we went, and the first people we saw looked about our age so we started to relax, and actually look forward to the entertainment. I had no idea where our seats were, and admittedly we started giggling like small children when we realised that we were only 11 rows from the front, and at 27 and 35, we were by far the youngest in our row. Things were getting better by the minute. While waiting for the show to start, the big screens either side of the stage flashed up images of pop stars, and everytime Gareth or Will was shown the noise was deafening. I have been to many concerts, some of them for boybands, and I have never experienced an atmosphere or noise like it. It was electrifying. Nicki Chapman was the compere, and I was never really a fan of hers on either Popstars or Pop Idol, as I thought she was fake, and would just say whatever she thought would get her some brownie points. Again, I found her quite false, and although I know the scripts would have been well rehearsed, she sounded almost robotic. Anyway onto the 10 people we came to see, the Pop Idol finalists. They came onto stage in the order they were voted off the show, so first up was Korben, complete with a new blonde mohican haircut, and he sang 'Freedom' by George Michael. He did an amazing job, and along with the dance routine, he was brilliantly received by the crowd, and he looked like he enjoyed every moment of his performance. At the end of each peformance, the artists chatted to Nicki, and Korben said the best thing for him was t
              hat he had gained 9 new best friends. Ah, bless him. One of my favourites, the instantly likeable Jessica was next up doing her husky version of Madonna's 'Papa Don't Preach', and she created a brilliant stage presence, and the crowd definitley loved her. She is representing the UK in next month's Eurovision song contest, and I am enthusiastic about her chances, as I think she has a fair chance of winning the competition, and she has proved her voice can stand up to live performances. She was over the moon when she saw a section of the crowd holding up a banner in her honour. Now many of the other venues have registered 130 decibel cheers for Gareth, but in Newcastle, the loudest cheers were reserved for someone else. Geordie hero Aaron must have been to Newcastle Arena many times to see other artists, but tonight it was all about him, and every dream he had coming true. The crowd were in a frenzy even before he took to the stage to sing Mark Cohn's 'Walking In Memphis'. It must be said that Aaron has made this track more of a household name than the original artist did. Even though he did not win the competition, I am sure that the loveable cheeky ex train driver will have more fame than he can handle in the coming years. In the middle of the song, there is a part where he drops to his knees, and as he did he ripped open his shirt to show a Newcastle United football shirt hidden beneath, and just when I thought I could not cheer any louder, I did! He later confessed that the top belonged to his mum, and that this had been the best night of his life. I felt so proud of him, a local boy done good, it is always great to see. The screams and cheers were heartfelt, and he looked like he never wanted to leave the stage. Irish girl Laura was always going to struggle to follow Aaron, but I always thought she was the weakest of the last ten, and this was proven as she performed a very second rate 'Son Of A Preac
              her Man'. The crowd were very muted and she must have noticed, because as she left the stage she looked crestfallen. Rosie, the Welsh girl who made Pete cry (I never understood why), did not fair much better. She warbles too much for me, and made the Bryan Adams song 'Everything I Do' sound like a second rate ballad, which it is not. In her chat with Nicki, she said that she felt most at home up on stage, but there was no evidence of that in her performance, as she did not interact with the crowd, and again the cheers were quiet in comparison the earlier acts. The pace and the noise picked up again, when loveable Brummie Hayley took to the stage, and belted out 'Made For Lovin You'. I have to admit I was distracted for some of her performance as at this point, the stewards decided to tell everyone to sit down, and I objected as the children next to us would not be able to see if they sat down, as everyone else was standing, and with the best will in the world the stewards were never going to be able to get everyone to sit down. 'Let them sit us down when Gareth comes on', I sniggered to my friend. The amazing local lass Zoe took to the stage next, and everytime I see her, I shake my head in total disbelief that she is only 16. Zoe treat us to a breathtaking version of the Aretha Franklin classic 'Say A Little Prayer'. Now we were down to the final three, and you could honestly feel the tension starting to build as the 'big guns' came ever closer. Darius started his number with a video clip of him kissing each of his dancers as they went onto stage, and then he followed them giving us a rousing rendition of 'It's Not Unusual' complete with hip thrusts. He was excellent, and not one bit cheesy. The man who I disliked on Pop Stars has grown on me, and become a bit of a heartthrob. He has been a bit pushed out of the limelight as Zoe seems to have been pushed by the organisers e
              ven though she finished lower. The noise went up a level in anticipation of the runner up of Pop Idol. Gareth took to the stage in his trademark suit, looking dapper, and performed his number one 'Unchained Melody', at which point my friend burst into tears, as she was so overcome. Gareth looks totally at ease on stage, and he has the full package, the looks, the voice, and the presence. He will be around for a long time yet. He went on to sing a tearjerking ballad 'Whenever You Call' with Zoe, and after seeing the chemistry between to them, it is hard to believe that they are only friends. Now whilst I don't dislike Will, he was not my choice as winner, and I have not changed my opinion after seeing this show, as although he sang 'Light My Fire' and 'Evergreen' really well, I enjoyed them, but I just don't enjoy him as much as I do the others. He never looks at ease, and had some very questionable Bruce Forsyth type dance moves in there, and I don't think he has the image to break into the American market, where I am confident Gareth and Zoe will. Will always looks nervous, and those trainers with a suit. Get him a new stylist please!!! Luckily for Will, I was in the minority, and he was well received by the audience. After Will's performance there was a 20 minute interval, giving us all a chance to calm down. At the beginning of the second half, we were introduced to the band, 'The Big Blue', as the second half of the show belonged to big band, and if I am honest Zoe Birkett. I am sure that Simon Cowell and Fuller have big plans for Zoe. Again, we saw all 10 finalists, although in a different order this time, but the level of performance did not change. There was another Gareth/Zoe duet, 'Look At You Know', in which the two of them really hammed up the performance, and it was brilliant. Rosie redeemed herself a little with a good version of 'Cheek To Cheek'
              ;, but again Laura failed to win over the crowd, and she struggled with 'They Can't Take That Away From Me', although I could not take my eyes off the hideous orange tie dye number she decided to wear. For his second number Aaron looked like he had been star for years. Lounging on a sofa, flirting with two dancers whilst singing 'I Get A Kick Out Of You', he was a sensation, and his voice was even better second time around. Hayley showed her versatility when she sang 'That Ole Devil Called Love'. Jessica dedicated 'Everytime We Say Goodbye' to her boyfriend Owen, as they hardly see each other at the moment. On this track her voice was silky smooth, and the audience were mesmerised. Korben came back with 'Night and Day' coupled with another nifty dance routine, but then it was Zoe who stole the show with her version of 'Get Happy', and then a very sexy performance of 'Got You Under My Skin'. She revelled in the attention, and got better with each number. Darius gave a very soulful performance of 'Let There Be Love', and even played the piano for a short while, but again it was Gareth who got the loudest cheers with his version of 'Mack The Knife', and I am sure he was egged on by Aaron when he replaced the line 'Macky's back in town' with 'Macky's back in toon', but the cheers were so loud I am sure many people did not even notice. Will was the last artist on stage, and he introduced each member of the band, and got us to sing 'Happy Birthday' to one of the trumpet players. Then he said that he was performing his favourite song 'Beyond The Sea'. I have to say I really do like his version of 'I Won't Dance', and his genuine enthusiasm for the song shines through. The show was brought to a close with all 10 singing 'My Way', and in a touching moment, when it came to Aaron singing his part, t
              he other finalists stepped back and let him have centre stage one last time. If what you were looking for was a night of entertainment, then Pop Idol would take some beating, and as I was proved it is not just a teenybopper night out either. I witnessed every generation here, and it was so refreshing. The performance was slick, and it was hard to believe that 6 months ago, these people were wannabees chasing a dream, and they can now put many of the present chart stars to shame with the amount of talent they have. If you want more of the same, look out for Will, Gareth and Zoe touring in October. The concert started at 7:30pm, and we left at 10:15pm. The ticket price was £27.50, and you got plenty of entertainment for your money. My only gripe is I wish that these huge arenas would start looking at the cost to families when they have children.

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                28.04.2002 21:18
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                I personally thought the Pop Idol Concert was brilliant. First of All Korben was brilliant I didnt know how good Korben was the Song was brilliant and i saw a side to Korben which i thought was brilliant. Jessica was Good she was good as well. Then Hayley was another good performence. Rosie was good, and so was Laura another good performence. Aaron was good, Darius was Good, Gareth was Excellent - that was brillaint, liked his Deuts with Zoe. But the star of the whole concert had to be Will - thought he was brillaint at the concert and very funny!. I have been a William Young fan ever since the show. The Concert was brilliant.

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                  21.03.2002 00:41
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                  • "some singers not as good as others"

                  POP IDOL CONCERT – Wembley Arena, March 17th, 2002 (7:30pm – 10:05pm with 20-minute interval) INTRO As many of you will know, I am rather a big fan of Pop Idol and especially of Will Young. Yep, I don’t care that he’s gay, the main thing is that he’s talented, gorgeous and a real special find in this world of churned out chart music. So as soon as I heard there was going to be a Pop Idol tour, I had to go. Overcoming a long-held phobia of London, we set off from Bristol at 3pm on Sunday – me, my fiancé, plus two of my daughters aged eight and eleven. We finally got to Wembley Arena at 7pm, entering the area directly behind a white stretch limo which certainly looked like it carried ten people! Unfortunately, that was the nearest we got to the stars. When we went into the Arena, our bags were searched and although we were allowed to take in soft drinks, they took the bottle tops off for safety regulations. This meant we had full drinks to carry around and not surprisingly, several got spilled. So take cartons or buy drinks there, it’s much easier. The Arena was packed with 11,000 people. We were in block B, second block from the front, on the flooring. This meant the seats were all level and as soon as the first part of the concert started, everyone stood up. This meant my eleven year old couldn’t see anything and spent the first twenty minutes in tears. When she stood on her chair, the people behind complained. We eventually found a compromise – she stood on the chair in front of my 6ft fiancé, who was quite happy with the arrangement. But if you have kids and can’t get tickets for the first few rows, I would recommend the tiered seating on the sides. SHOW – PART 1 The format of the first half and the second half are completely different. The first half is compered by Pop Idol judge, Nicki Chapman. There is quite a lo
                  t of Pop Idol video footage with specially recorded video messages from Pete Waterman, Neil Fox and Simon ‘Boo Hiss’ Cowell. Nicki introduces the ten finalists in reverse order. Each singer has a video montage shown then they come onto the stage and perform a song, are briefly interviewed by Nicki and then leave the stage. Most singers performed songs they had done in Pop Idol and to me, it had the feel of how it would have been to have sat in the audience for a Pop Idol programme. 1) Korben – Freedom The first performer was Korben, who finished 10th in the competition. Watching him sing and dance live though, you realise he deserved to have stayed in the competition much longer. He has a great personality and is very endearing. He comes across as a real showman and was one of the best dancers in the whole concert. I really hope he gets a record contract out of this, as he has such a talent. It was his birthday when we saw the show and we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him and he had a huge wide grin, he looked ecstatic, what a sweetie! Camper than Dale Winton, more talented than most boybands, Korben performed George Michael’s Freedom in the first half and opened the show brilliantly. 2) Jessica Garlick – Papa Don’t Preach Jessica’s voice is perfectly suited to this Madonna song and she performed it very well. Her personality comes across very well and she has a depth and richness to her voice. I was shocked and disappointed she only finished 9th in Pop Idol, as she seems worth much more. Thankfully, she has been chosen to represent Britain in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and has been signed up by Sony, so this will hopefully be the kick start to a long and successful career. 3) Aaron Bayley – Walking In Memphis I’d never heard of this song before Pop Idol and now our whole family can sing every word! It s
                  eemed as though the 11,000 Wembley crowd were singing along too. This was Aaron’s strongest song throughout the Pop Idol experience and again, he sang very well. Aaron really excels in front of a live crowd. He comes across as quick-witted and cheeky, with a lovely grin. His personality came across very well in the concert, especially with his apparent eye for the ladies. A very good performer and one of the crowd’s favourites. 4) Laura Doherty – Son of a Preacher Man Well, let’s face it, Laura was always the weakest singer in the final but this was one of her better songs. However, it was still – as Simon Cowell might say - ‘distinctly average.’ You can’t fault her presentation though. She looks great and sells a song wonderfully. This is not a performance to shut your eyes to and just listen to the voice. In fact, it’s better to concentrate on the visuals and ignore the assault on the ears. A great singer she is never going to be, but she has charisma and for that alone, it’s worth holding out for that toilet visit until the interval – or maybe the Gareth and Zoë duet. 5) Rosie Ribbons – Everything I Do (I Do It For You) Although I’m not a fan of the warbling diva school of singing, this was my favourite of Rosie’s performances from the TV show and her live version was at least as good, if not better. She does have a nice voice, it’s just a shame she comes across as surly and unapproachable, she really needs to work on this if she wants a successful career. 6) Hayley Evetts – Made For Lovin’ You I found the same problem with Hayley live as I did throughout the TV shows – she just isn’t memorable. I enjoy her performances at the time, then a few minutes later, I’m struggling to remember what she sang. She certainly has a very good voice, a ‘belter’
                  rather than a ‘warbler’. My favourite of her songs on TV was ‘Show Me Heaven’ and perhaps I would have remembered more about it, if she had sang that – but her version of the Anastacia song just didn’t provoke any great reactions here, sorry. 7) Zoë Birkett – Say A Little Prayer Zoë has a lot of talent and of course, is only sixteen. She is also very well stylised most of the time. However, this song isn’t her best, although I enjoyed it, it’s just not my sort of thing really. She was very popular with the audience though, definitely the girl that received the loudest cheers. Unfortunately, she had to pull out of a couple of shows after this one, as she is suffering from tonsillitis, but will hopefully be back to full strength very soon. 8) Darius Danesh – It’s Not Unusual Darius actually came 3rd in the competition. I’m telling you this, because you wouldn’t guess by watching the concert. Will (1st) gets five songs, Gareth (2nd) gets four, Zoë (4th) gets five, Darius (3rd) gets two!! So that’s a bit of a shame, because he’s a real sweetie and is, let’s face it, tall, dark and handsome too. It’s Not Unusual was one of his best performances on TV and was once again a highlight of the concert. His hip wiggles are very cheekily done with a twinkle in his eye and his vocals were great too. A born performer, just oozing charm. 9) Gareth Gates – Unchained Melody Gareth was next with his new single, Unchained Melody (Untuned Malady to his critics!). Now if you actually like this, I suggest you just buy the single because there’s no way you’re going to hear it at the concert. The combination of deafening screams from the female fans and the fact that his voice is quite soft / weak (delete where applicable) means it’s not easy to hear much. Ho hum. The audience was probab
                  ly pretty equal in its cheers for both Gareth and Will, but for me, there was no contest. Give me Will any time. Obviously, plenty disagree, but that’s life. 10) Gareth Gates and Zoë Birkett – Look At Me Now Oh dear. There’s something awfully ‘set up’ and cheesy about a Gareth and Zoë duet. In this concert, we had to endure two of them. Zoe’s strong, powerful voice and Gareth’s quieter one just don’t seem to blend. Let’s face it, would you suggest a duet between a lion and a mouse? Point taken. She probably ate him afterwards. 11) Will Young – Light My Fire Ah, now this was class. A backdrop of fire with huge flames either side of the stage (and we could feel the heat some thirty rows from the stage!). Will in silhouette, then he’s there on the stage in front of us and – he’s got a sleeveless top on, PHWAW! I don’t know if it’s just me, but there’s something very sexy about the top of men’s arms. Anyway, I was happy ;-) This is an excellent rendition of Light My Fire and was another highlight of the show. I was pleased to hear Will was just as good on stage as I had expected him to be. He has a lovely natural flair and that gorgeous grin. 12) Will Young – Evergreen I have a history of crying at concerts. In fact, I could write an opinion – Concerts I Have Seen And Wept. But until this point, I had been very well behaved and my eyes had stayed nice and dry. Then Will started singing ‘Evergreen’. Well, that first bit “Eyes, like a sunrise” always gets me. He got very blurred after that. I had to blame it on the strong lights, but I don’t think anyone believed me. SHOW – PART 2 This was completely different to the first part of the concert. If you saw the ‘Big Band’ week of the Pop Idol TV marathon, you’ll know what to expe
                  ct. The same band, The Big Blue are live on stage and add a great atmosphere to it all. For some reason, the audience decided to sit down for this half. Oh well, my legs were beginning to ache by now anyway. No Nicki Chapman this time, the singers introduced each other and it flowed much more like a complete show, rather than just a showcase of the finalists one by one. If you don’t like this kind of music, you won’t think much of this half, but if you do, you’re in for a treat here. 1) Rosie Ribbons – Dancing Cheek To Cheek She looked gorgeous in a red dress and seemed to enjoy singing this, although she seemed more comfortable with the Bryan Adams song in the first half. She worked well to Dancing Cheek To Cheek though and danced nicely. Now she just needs to smile more and look as though she is enjoying it. 2) Laura Doherty – Can’t Take That Away From Me Hmm. Oh well. Good chance for a trip to the loo. Still, she looked nice. 3) Aaron Bayley – I Get A Kick Outta You Another great chance to show off his personality, and it was a great hit with the audience. It was also nice to hear him sing something that didn’t sound like an Elvis song! 4) Gareth Gates and Zoë Birkett – Whenever You Call Oh dear. Rosie sang this on the TV programme and her version was pretty bad, but much better than Gareth and Zoe’s. At least, we had Aaron, Will, Rosie, Jessica and Hayley as backing singers. Once again, Zoë gave it her all and Gareth got lost somewhere under her lung power. I think Rosie and Zoë should have sang this together. Let’s hope they drop the idea of a Zoë and Gareth duet now. Please. 5) Jessica Garlick – Every Time We Say Goodbye A lovely song and a very nice version of it. This suits her voice very well and she is especially good at the ballads, so it was an ideal choice for her. It had an
                  added poignancy when she explained she was missing her family and dedicated it to her boyfriend, Owen. Aww. 6) Korben – Night and Day Wow! What a stunning performance! Dancing brilliantly with skill and personality, he also looked gorgeous, dressed in a long leather tail coat. Every inch the star. 7) Zoë Birkett – I’ve Got You Under My Skin Not her strongest performance really, she seemed to struggle with some of the lower notes. I personally would have cut this number and given her something else to sing. 8) Darius Danesh – Let There Be Love Another charming, confident performance from the wonderful Darius. He appears at home on the stage and has some nice little touches. This time, he was fooling around with the pianist, pretending to debate which song he should sing. I just wish he’d had the opportunity to sing more, but Let There Be Love was very good and it was received really well too. 9) Hayley Evetts – That Ole Devil Called Love Another competent performance from Hayley ‘soooo sexy’ Evetts, but still lacked that special sparkle. I do like her though and hope she does well. 10) Gareth Gates – Mack The Knife This was probably Gareth’s best song as he seemed to genuinely love performing this and his enthusiasm was infectious. Once again, not the most powerful of voices, but I did enjoy this one. 11) Zoë Birkett – Get Happy Zoe’s best performance on TV was her version of Get Happy and once again, this was the case live on stage. A track that really suits her voice, she sang wonderfully. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to notice her hair had collided with a haystack on a very windy day. 12) Will Young – I Won’t Dance I was a bit disappointed with this one, but it may be because I hadn’t heard it before. Somehow it lacked the special something we
                  usually get from Will. I’m sure I would come to love it if I heard it a few times, but this was his weakest performance on the night. 13) Will Young – Beyond The Sea This was much better, probably the best song of the whole show and very enthusiastically received by the huge crowd too. It was also the song I ended up with stuck in my head. He obviously loves performing this and is very natural, a pleasure to watch. 14) Will Young and others – My Way Will was definitely the star of the show – and rightly so. He was very professional and seemed completely at ease up there on the stage. When he was talking, he still managed to come across as a really likeable ordinary bloke with a sharp sense of humour. He introduced The Big Blue at one point, even managing to get all their names right! So the show ended with Will singing My Way, being joined by the other nine finalists each singing a couple of lines each. If you cough during Laura’s bit, it sounds really good. OVERALL One criticism I have is the girls’ costumes were pretty awful most of the time. Apart from Rosie’s nice red outfit in the second half and Laura’s orange suit (although I think I was the only one who liked that), many of the clothes seemed mismatched or just not glamorous enough. The men looked great throughout, I can’t think of one naff outfit. Perhaps they used up the budget on Gareth’s white suit? Apart from that though, the concert was excellent. It was nice to see the final ten, although I think I would only go to a solo concert of four of them (Will, Darius, Jessica and Korben). I enjoyed the format and it was great to see them all dancing as well as singing. Overall, it was well-paced, slick and professional. MERCHANDISE T-shirts £15 (different designs available) Posters £5 (some nice ones here too) Badges of each singer £1 (though sold out
                  of both Will and Gareth in Wembley) Tour programmes £10 (worth the money, very nicely done) INFO The tour continues until April 4th and takes in London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle. Jessica Garlick’s Eurovision single ‘Come Back’ is released on April 22nd. Watch her on TV representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest on May 25th. Gareth Gates’s first single ‘Unchained Melody’ is now out and should enter the charts at number one this weekend. Will Young’s single Evergreen / Anything Is Possible has been number one for three weeks now. His next single (apparently Light My Fire) is due out probably in May, with an album rumoured to be out June 3rd. The Pop Idol Big Band album is out on April 8th. Most of the songs from the second half of the concert are featured on this.

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