Autumn at the Abbey gig review 8/10/11

Autumn at the Abbey – 8/10/11

Jamie Cullum in concert with The Silver Ring Choir of Bath

Supporting Somerset Crimebeat, Forever Friends Appeal & Quartet

I couldn’t possibly write this review without commenting on how beautiful Bath Abbey is. Set in a lovely location, the Abbey was founded in 1499 and completed in 1611. This gorgeous Abbey is down to Sir George Gilbert Scott who transformed the inside of the Abbey between 1864-1874.

This concert was to help raise funds for Somerset Crimebeat, also some of the net profits from the show were also being donated to the Forever Friends Appeal and the Quartet Community Foundation.

The Show

This show was a real family affair, with Jamie’s dad John (the High Sheriff of Somerset) giving such a beautiful speech. Jamie’s mum Yvonne singing with the ever so talented Silver Ring Choir of Bath. And Jamie’s Brother Ben joining Jamie on stage.

Ali Vowles was the compare for the night and she kicked off proceedings introducing the Silver Ring Choir who were performing the first half of the show.

The choir looked stunning as they took to the stage in Black and Turquoise. The audience erupted with applause when Yvonne came on the stage, which was lovely.

The extremely talented Adam Biggs played the piano, and Ruth McKibbin conducted the choir.

I have never seen the SRCOB live before so I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I am honest, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy them. But how wrong could I be!! I was in awe of such beautiful voices, and with the high stone ceilings their voices really carried around the Abbey. They sent shivers down my spine.

I loved the contrast of their soft and loud tones, they sounded beautiful, and we were honoured with the following songs

  • Festival Sanctus – Leavitt
  • Ave Verum Corpus- Mozart
  • Laudate Dominum  -Mozart
  • Anvil Chorus from II Trovatore – Verdi
  • Gypsy Chorus from La Traviata – Verdi
  • Sing a Song of Sixpence – Diack
  • One from A Chorus Line – Hamlisch & Kleban
  • Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz – Arlen
  • When you Believe from the Prince of Egypt – Schwartz
  • African Medley – Traditional
  • ‘Silver’ written by Jamie & Ben Cullum

Ruth McKibbin’s solo performance of Laudate Dominium was absolutely stunning, such a strong soprano voice.

The end of their show saw Jamie joining the choir on stage to sing the song ‘Silver’ which he wrote with brother Ben. What a performance, Jamie’s voice on this song really astounded me. Perhaps it’s the key the song was written in or the acoustics in the Abbey, either way he sounded incredible. Such beautiful lyrics, the choir must feel so proud to be singing them.

What a lovely way to end their set, with a little taster of Jamie for those virgin Jamie gig goers in the audience.

We then had to wait 25 minutes before Jamie took to the stage, it felt like forever. But finally the time had come……

I should probably explain at this point that my seat was on the very back row in the Nave, (I should count myself lucky as some people had seats behind the stage with a TV screen as their only way of watching the show). I thought I was too far away and that I wasn’t going to have a good night. But Jamie told me it was actually the best seat in the house, and he was right. Myself and Stephanie were free to stand up, which we did as soon as Jamie came on stage. We were dancing, clapping & singing along, and despite the odd looks from all the people in front of us who kept looking behind to see what all the racket was about, more fans came and joined us. Including a fellow Cullumholic Miriam from Argentina.  We definitely brought the party to the Abbey.

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Unfortunately despite Ali Vowles and Jamie telling the audience not to feel restricted in anyway, everyone remained seated. So for once I loved being at the back. And I remember thinking of the film Dirty Dancing and the BIG dance at the end when Patrick Swayze goes down the aisle to join his rowdy friends and they danced up the aisle. Well it felt just like that and I could just imagine us sauntering down to the stage lol.

I must also add that despite being at the back, the sound was still outstanding. Good enough to still hear Jamie’s witty jokes about throwing them some underpants as they are in desperate need for some, and thanking us for coming out and missing the X Factor, but not to worry as they would be singing the songs the contents were due to sing so we wouldn’t be missing a thing.

As many of you probably saw I was live tweeting on the night, and so I tweeted out the set list which was as follows-

  1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  2. I Get A Kick Out Of You
  3. Get Your Way
  4. What A Difference A Day Made
  5. I’m All Over It
  6. Changes
  7. Twenty Something
  8. These Are The Days
  9. I shot The Sheriff
  10. Singing In The Rain/Umbrella by Rihanna
  11. Don’t Stop The Music
  12. Caravan
  13. High & Dry – mixed with Amazing Grace

There were many highlights from the night, some of my favourites were:

Jamie telling us he had only practised this song before coming on stage and launching into ‘I Shot The Sheriff’’, with brother Ben on the guitar. Pure genius.  Jamie’s dad John stood up at the end and took a bow.

Jamie performing ‘Silver’ with the SRCOB, just beautiful.

‘High & Dry’ blew me away, it was dedicated to Sophie and I loved the audience participation but more so how the song built and built until it sounded really loud at the end. I’m sure my video won’t do it any justice. Loved it, it gave me tingles.

Jamie singing Caravan in the Nave of the Abbey. I’ve never been that close to Jamie when he has come into the audience to sing, so I was very lucky. At one point when Jamie was stood on the pew, he pretend to the row behind that he was about to lose his balance and fall on them. Or at least I hope he was joking. You can imagine the panicked looks.

Sadly there was no encore for Jamie, I was convinced he would come back out, but once Ali came on stage I knew it was not to be.

Such a fabulous evening in a stunning venue.  I never thought I would ever be in an Abbey watching Jamie play a gig. Thank you Jamie for a great night as always and for coming down the back to see us.

Sound check

Prior to the show, I was lucky enough to be able to watch the sound check, which is a first for me.  I was honoured to be able to watch Jamie & the SRCOB rehearse the song ‘Silver’.

When Jamie ran through ‘I’m All Over It’ his opening line was “Hello married life”, very funny. I have some great videos so keep an eye on the website for those as the videos say it all.

Thank you to everyone who has read my review, feel free to comment below. Photos to come!!

For more information on The Silver Ring Choir of Bath, visit their website here



Update from Jamie: He has a load of new songs for us, which he said he wouldn’t be playing at this show. But he sounded quite excited about it. Such a tease!! So I am sure there are great things to come from Jamie so watch this space!!

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