So on Monday (4th June) night 20,000 lucky ticket winners plus about a quarter of a million people who weren’t so lucky descended on Buckingham Palace for a concert fit for a Queen. What the BBC described as a ‘galaxy of stars’ performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, and as I am an opinionated person here are my thoughts on each one of them.
The evening started at around half past seven with Robbie Williams singing ‘Let Me Entertain You’. It certainly did the trick of getting the crowd warmed up. I have to say that it was a little weird seeing Williams perform alongside the military band that was on stage with him. The Military and pop seem to be at the complete opposite ends of the musical spectrum, but it seemed to work and do the trick.
will.i.am took to the stage next to soon be accompanied by Jessie J, and I’m glad he was. will is so weak vocally on his own and definitely needs someone by his side, whether it is the rest of the Black Eyed Peas as it usually is, or Jessie J in this case. The vocals were very wobbly and I now understand why so much autotuning is used on Black Eyed Peas songs. Once Jessie arrived will’s vocals picked up a little and they made it to the end of ‘I Gotta Feeling’ without anymore hiccups. Jessie J then went on to perform ‘Domino’ which to me sounded perfect. It sounded like the studio version of the song, the way live performances should be done. But I don’t think Jessie was lip syncing, I’m fairly sure it was actually her.
Talking of lip syncing, JLS were up and it was 5 minutes of blatant mouthing to lyrics. I felt this was unacceptable for two reasons: 1) It is a concert put on for the Queen! Do some work you lazy people! and 2) They came second in a TV singing show where the public vote on live performances! Get it together! A weak performance.
Talking of weak performances, it was another weak one from Cheryl Cole, who sang alongside the organiser of the evening, Gary Barlow. Cheryl couldn’t hit the right key during the entirety of their cover of ‘Need You Now’ if she tried, and I’m fairly sure she did! It lead me wondering ‘Where is the ‘Auto Tune’ when it’s needed?! Gary on the other hand was good and alright.
The Medley of hits and Congradulations that Sir Cliff Richard sang was also fairly okay. The man is now 71 and I feel he has almost still got it. Yes the vocals were a little wobbly around the edges but they were mostly there!
Next up the piano playing Lang Lang. All I can say is ‘That boy can play the piano!
It was a standard Alfie Boe performance after Lang Lang. Exactly what you might expect from him. I’m am so glad that he didn’t invite Kimberly Walsh up on stage with him to sing the official Team GB song, which is a cover of Queen’s, ‘One Vision’. Honestly when Freddie did it was brilliant, this isn’t so….
Mr. Hootenanny, Jools Holland was joined by Ruby Turner for a performance of ‘You Are so Beautiful’. It’s just a shame the performance wasn’t. Jools should stick to what he does best: piano playing. And as for Ruby Turner, throughout the performance she looked like she was going to eat the microphone. I wasn’t impressed with her singing abilities and felt the last note was the best.
Grace Jones was next singing ‘Slave to the Rhythm’. Firstly who the heck is Grace Jones? She looked like a 4-year-old who had been allowed to dress herself for the first time, with a plastic tray taped to the front of her dress and a satellite dish painted red and stuck to the side of her head. Good luck trying to get Sky on that one! For me it was the only point of the whole evening that I had to mute the tele. It was awful. Someone send her back to the rock, or playpen, that she came from.
After that awfulness, normal service was resumed by a spectacular performance by Ed Sheeran who sang ‘The A Team’. It was just awesome. I, and I think most of the crowd, wanted the Prince Harry look-a-like to sing more than one song. ‘Lego House’ would have been a nice touch.
‘There Must be an Angel’ and I believe her name was Annie Lennox. I have to admit I am a little bit of a Lennox fan and this performance was just brilliant. Again I would have liked to have seen more than the one song, but you can’t win them all. The wings were a nice touch.
Renée Fleming was next with ‘Un Bel Di Vedremo’ – Nope I’ve no idea either. It was a fairly standard operatic performance. Not my cup of tea, but I suppose it was fairly pleasant and I have no real problems with it.
‘Mama Told Me (Not To Come)’ and ‘Delilah’ where the two songs sang by Sir Tom Jones at the concert. In my opinion he was the best of the older performers by far. Vocally sound. He is still a fantastic singer! Whatever ‘it’ is, he still has ‘it’ as much as he ever has!
After Sir Tom sang the Queen joined the party (despite the whole evening being for her) and was welcomed by Robbie Williams singing ‘Mack The Knife’ – What? I didn’t recognise this one… My brain may have switched off, a bit!
Gary Barlow, The Commonwealth Band, Gareth Malone and The Military Wives Choir sang ‘Sing’ which is the official single of the Diamond Jubilee. I will admit now that I wasn’t too keen on it to begin with, but it has grown on me. I may even buy it…
Dame Shirely Bassey came onto the stage next to sing ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. I think that she is likely to be the performer that is forgotten about from this concert. She sang well with no drama, in fact it was probably one of the best performances of the evening. But it was the act that was the least interesting and when people look back they will omit Shirley Bassey from the lineup.
Kylie (and her nice bum) was on next with ‘Spinning Around’, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, ‘Step Back in Time’ and ‘All The Lovers’. She is looking fine for 44! Okay so she sang to a backing track, but she was actually singing! (Are you listening JLS?) Apparently Flawless were Kylie’s backing dancers, I didn’t see anything but Kylie’s thighs for the entire time she was on stage.
To the Balcony where Alfie Boe was joined by Renée Fleming for a rendition of ‘Some Where’. Yay, more opera! It was just a time filler to allow Elton John to wheel his piano into place.
Speaking of Sir Elton John: He sang (or attempted to) ‘I’m Still Standing’, ‘Your Song’ and ‘Crocodile Rock’. I say attempted to as I was not impressed with his efforts, or the horrific pink coat he was sporting. I know that he has been feeling unwell recently, but even so he is loosing his ability to sing. ‘I’m Still Standing’ sounded more like: ‘Dime dill danding’ . With his illness did he loose the ability to annunciate? ‘Crocodile Rock’ was the best of his three, because he got the crowd to sing most of it for him!
While they were getting Stevie Wonder set up, Rolf Harris gave an acapella rendition of ‘Two Little Boys’. Someone should have given that man an actual slot to sing in! It was just brilliant how the whole crowd joined in with him!
Stevie Wonder was next who sang: ‘Sir Duke’, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’, Happy Birthday’ (with will.i.am) and ‘Superstition’. I’m a little concerned that he didn’t really know what was going on. Stevie, a Diamond Jubilee is not the same as a birthday!
The penultimate act came from the roof of Buckingham Palace in the form of Madness. What a fantastic performance, with brilliant graphics projected onto the front of the palace and expertly sung songs by the band. What more can I say? A joy to watch!
Finally, and I hate to end on a negative, Sir Paul McCartney closed with: ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da’. Poor, just poor from the Beatle. I think it is high time that McCartney should pack in the singing lark. His voice is noticeably weak compared to what it once was. It is such a shame to hear him murder songs he wrote and at one time absolutely nailed! And is there anyone prepared to give me the £50 back that I wasted betting that he would finish with ‘Hey Jude’? Honestly the odds looked good!
That’s my thoughts on the evening. What are yours?
P.S. I didn’t really bet on the concert, it was a just a joke.