21st May 2014 Leighton Hospital Radio Studio

This is the second (and final) instalment of my Leighton Live Virtual Concerts featuring artists I have had the good fortune to see on stage at least once. There is an exception to this statement but the anomaly will be rectified after May 29th this year. Find out who topped the bill at Wembley the night the pop world was rocked by a tragic loss, which song convinced my fellow concert goers I was fluent in a foreign language, and who allowed me to say a private farewell to a dear friend. So welcome to the show…..

Playlist Leighton Live Part 2

1. CHER with BELIEVE (Birthday Jukebox artist 20/05/46-68 yrs)– ever since I heard Sonny & Cher singing I Got You Babe on a 45rpm record in my Mammy’s collection, I have loved Cher’s voice. Her song Believe with its electronic voice manipulation was both innovative, brilliant and showed how Cher had truly moved with the times. She was one of the artists on a “must-see” list my husband and I made many years ago.
2. KEANE with EVERYBODY’S CHANGING-Tom Chaplin’s soulful voice singing amazing lyrics and the wonderful musicianship in this first Keane album made it stand out. The group’s sound has changed over the years, and not quite to my taste, but the fresh breath taking quality of the Hopes & Fears album will always stay with me.
3. JEAN-MICHEL JARRE with RENDEZ-VOUS 4-mesmerised by a broadcast on BBC2 (I think) of Jarre’s Rendezvous Houston concert in 1986, where he used the skyline of the city as a canvas for a laser light show. Another amazing TV show came from a London Docklands concert. So when the opportunity came to be part of a concert audience at Wembley on May 22nd 2009 I had to be there. The whole experience was as thrilling and joyful as I had hoped.
4. CELINE DION with IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES-Celine sang these beautiful lyrics in French during her concert at the MEN Arena. As soon as the music began I recognised the song as one I had with English words, and I knew them all. So I was happily singing along with Celine when I became aware that people around me were intently listening to my voice. When Celine finished I was about to say “sorry if my rotten singing spoiled that for you, but I couldn’t resist joining in”. However before I got the chance I was thanked for my translation, and told how nice it had been to have a fluent French speaker around so that people were able to understand the meaning of the song!!! I didn’t have the heart to tell them otherwise, but quietly chuckled inside.
5. NEIL DIAMOND with CRACKLIN’ ROSIE-I’ve been very lucky to see this wonderful artist five times, and this song is just a lovely cheery tune guaranteed to put a smile on the face,
6. THE SEEKERS with THE CARNIVAL IS OVER (first time concert May 29th 2014-50th anniversary show)-I can’t wait to see this group who were known to both my Mammy AND my Granny. So a bit of a nostalgia fest is in store I should think.
7. DANIEL O’DONNELL with HOW GREAT THOU ART-my first concert was in 2002 when I got a great photo of Daniel and my Mammy after the show. I didn’t get to another O’Donnell concert until May 8th this year. It was absolutely brilliant, with a bit of dancing, personal chat, fun stories and great singing. At the end Daniel finished with How Great Thou Art, the audience rose to their feet as one and joined him in singing, as the lighting turned the ceiling into a star filled sky. As I sang along with this congregation, I felt able to say a private goodbye to a dear friend whose funeral I wasn’t able to attend the next day. I’d had this song at my Mammy’s funeral and my friend Pastor Archie Ferguson had conducted the service. Because I had booked this concert months in advance, and had promised a Leighton patient a copy of a Daniel O’Donnell photo to cheer her up, I wasn’t able to be in Scotland to say farewell to Archie. This finale to a great show gave me that opportunity.
8. FOSTER & ALLEN with A PLACE IN THE CHOIR-I’ve seen this group twice, and at the second show in Glasgow I heard this song for the first time since I was at my Mammy’s knee. Memories.
9. LULU with TO SIR WITH LOVE-there were two big male influences in my formative years, Archie who passed away on May 1st, and my old maths teacher Mr Brown, sadly no longer with us either. This song is for him.
10. TINA TURNER with I DON’T WANNA FIGHT (written by Lulu and her brother Billy Lawrie)-the lyrics in this song are amazing. The full force of its meaning hit home to me when I saw the theatre show Soul Sister, telling the story of Tina Turner’s life through her music. This particular song spoke to me on so many levels. And Tina was another “must-see” artist who proved during her concert she was “Simply the Best”.
11. ACKER BILK with STRANGER ON THE SHORE-when I had the chance to see this wonderful clarinettist perform at Keele University I just had to attend.
Request: 12. COLDPLAY with FIX YOU-my husband and I heard this group at the SECC in Glasgow. However, neither of us realised that there would be two warm-up acts on before Coldplay, and that there would be long intervals between them. Our seats were placed so high up the stand we were near the roof, and the sheer drop to floor level was a bit nauseating for my husband. Although we were seated before the 7.30pm start time we had to leave the auditorium at 9.15pm. When Coldplay eventually took to the stage at 9.30pm I was cooling down the “fevered brow” of Rob, standing outside the seating area. The acoustics were great and the band sounded just as good as on CD, if not better. But they had finished their set & encore by 10.25 and the whole experience left us feeling a bit put off.
13. MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS with DANCING IN THE STREET-I adore the Motown “Wall of Sound” and never thought I would see such iconic groups live on stage. I was attending a Motown Legend’s show at Wembley Arena on 25th June 2009 when news began filtering through that Michael Jackson had been taken to hospital. I didn’t have a mobile phone with internet connectivity at the time, and didn’t even switch it on at the interval. But all around me there was a palpable change in the mood of the audience, some people insisting they had to go because they were too distraught (I was baffled by this), others crying and many more making frantic calls demanding more news. I was utterly oblivious to any of this and just lapped up the terrific music in the second half. There was reference to little Michael Jackson and his brothers when they recorded on the Motown label, and how thoughts were with them all. So I knew something was amiss in the Jackson world as I left the arena. still buzzing from seeing Martha Reeves belt out her iconic song. As I took the short walk to my hotel I switched on my phone, and it pinged away with texts from my husband telling me the latest news. When I reached the foyer of my hotel, the announcements display was showing the BBC news and the confirmation that Michael Jackson King of Pop was dead.

Every one of these artists has given me enormous pleasure and I thank them all for their talent, energy, enthusiasm and professionalism.

I hope that by sharing some of my musical memories and stories, I’ve helped bring a little joy and sunshine to your day.

Unfortunately my attempt to upload my show to SoundCloud failed this time, but the first part of the show is still there, at Enjoy!


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