Collabro with Carly Paoli

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I don’t watch much TV so do not know who Collabro are and I’m not that keen on people singing musical theatre outside of the show itself, therefore I was in two minds going to see this one. Three hours later I walked out with an enormous smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart – what a fabulous night!!

The evening started with singer/songwriter Philippa Hannah from Yorkshire and her percussionist husband. Her stories and songs were very personal and it was a cross between folk/county/pop – I couldn’t quite place their style as it was floating about these genres without quite hitting them. She had a lovely voice although again, there were different singing styles and it seemed as though she hasn’t yet found one to settle on – if she pushed towards country I can’t imagine it will do their careers any harm. Regardless of a little inconsistency there were a lovely duo, great percussion, great songs and lyrics.

The stage was filled with a large number of instruments as though Collabro was a full prog rock experience and I was curious to see what would happen next: Four smartly dressed young men came out singing songs from popular musicals….and so much more.

Initially they were a bit stiff and there seemed to be a lack of chemistry but that soon disappeared once they were into the swing of it. They had fabulous voices and their harmonies were spot on.

The production quality was brilliant, having the band so involved into the stage setting really incorporated them into the show rather than the band being hires session players. The band were top class excellent. The stage lighting and video graphics too the show to another level.

The lads moved about the stage well, up and down the steps, changing positions frequently so they all engaged with different sections of the audience throughout the night. I think this was essential – there were A LOT of women who clearly loved these guys and by interacting with everyone, it was a perfect night. I doubt there was an audience member disappointed they couldn’t see their favourite Collabro member.

Special guest Carly Paoli was sublime, although Collabro were brilliant, Carly was in a different league with her singing and professionalism. She sang with them and did a few on her own. Carly was a joy to listen to and watch, her passion and emotion in the song meant you couldn’t take your eyes (and ears) off her.

A local youngsters singing group ‘The Voice Squad’ came on stage for a couple of tracks and was great – you could tell they all loved being part of it.

The guys in Collabro are very different characters and they played a few jokes on each other and on us. They all took turns speaking about their experiences since winning Britain’s Got Talent – here are four young men getting catapulted into stardom and telling their stories about travelling around the world performing. There was no strong leader, which I liked as it showed none had a bigger ego than the others (on stage anyway) and they looked as though they enjoyed sharing in their success as a group. You felt they were down to earth, laughed at themselves, were great friends and they were utterly engaging as they loved what they were doing. 

There were about 5 costume changes and why not…It worked. They had a couple of standing ovations and nearly everyone was up and dancing to the last medley of songs from The Jersey Boys.

Carly Paoli
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