West End Live Lounge
The Other Palace, London
Seen May 13th, 2018
Reviewed by Jade Prince
★★★★★ for the overall concept
★★★ for the show itself
Boy, did I really want to love this. Ever since the idea came about people have been raving about it and it has outgrown so many of its previous venues. The shows don’t happen very often and when they do they sell out fast. This time I thought I would see what all the hype is about. I have to say, in complete honestly, I left feeling incredibly let down.
The only points during the show where my eyes lit up and I found myself awestruck were when Jodie Jacobs, Liisi LaFontaine and Moya Angela performed their solos. Those ladies knocked my socks off! Jodie shook the theatre with her performance of ‘Great Balls of Fire‘. Oh my word! That woman’s voice. I am never prepared for that. Liisi did a stunning performance of ‘Grenade’. I hate her, her voice is so effortless. Can I please be blessed with a voice like hers. Okay, maybe only in my dreams. I don’t think anyone was prepared for Moya’s performance and I was very thankful it closed act 1 because I most certainly needed time to recover. She came out and SH-MASHED ‘I will always love you‘. I don’t know why I bothered shaving my legs that morning because I had goosebumps everywhere and then my legs were all prickly. It was a spiritual awakening.
The rest of the show was pretty meh. (It really hurts me to say that because I was hoping for so much more.)
The concepts of ‘West End Live Lounge’ is fabulous. Each one raising money for a different charity. All the money goes to charity and everyone who hosts and performs does it for zilch! Pretty remarkable. They donate so much of their time.
The chosen charity this time was Centrepoint who put all of their energy into helping those young and homeless through rehabilitation courses. I couldn’t help but feel this charity and the efforts of the show got undermined by an elaborate scheme to promote Divalution’s upcoming show. The charity was mentioned twice and those two times were incredibly brief. I feel for an event like this the focus should not be on self promotion but actually gathering people to help make a difference. Now, this is nothing against Divalution before people start saying that. Their vocals and harmonies were great! It wasn’t just Divalution who made me think this but they were the most predominant throughout the show.
I really found myself drifting off during a lot of the performances. I completely understand it is a chance for those performing to sing songs that they wouldn’t normally sing but some of the song choices were not great.
I have to give credit to Paul Taylor-Mills and Vikki Stone for hosting. At least they brought some life to it. Although I did start to think the red coats were going to make an appearance. I got that holiday club feel many times.
On a positive note, I really did appreciate hearing every single piece of the band. That is something I always look out for.
At the end of the show I had completely forgot it was for charity due to the lack of mentioning. It was only when I was startled by an usher violently shaking a charity bucket in my face that I remembered. It would have been nice for them to mention that they would be collection buckets on the way out before the show officially finished.
The majority of the show was enjoyable and it was nice hearing different renditions of songs from people you would never normally get the opportunity to hear sing, unless at one of these events.
I love to give everything a fair chance but I can’t say that I will be running to the next West End Live Lounge. It could have just been an off night. I guess the line up for the next one will determine whether I go or not.
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