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2005-09-16./17 Haarlem

reviewed by John

 

I am virtually speechless, and it's not all fatigue. Just want to add a few words to the reviews etc. I have just glanced through.

 

First off, thank you, attending ladies of this forum, for the pleasure of your company last night. Wonderful to put faces and demeanours to what used to be simply names. And can someone impress on the engaging and charming (and amazingly mature for her relatively tender years) Tulip that her photography skills are magnificent? - she needs a lot of convincing, but when you look at the results, which I gather are now posted, you will understand what I mean. They were stunning in the camera, and I'm sure when they are enlarged, they look even better. Some of the best on-stage pics I've seen anywhere, and they exceed the standards of some professional ones I've seen over the years.

 

Second - the concert. Lovely, intimate affair, in a smallish theatre beautifully lined with pine. Everyone (though not nearly enough poeple) was very relaxed, and as Dutch audiences always seem to be, very enthusiastic, generous, and uninhibited - no warming up period needed. Our gents more casually dressed (suits and T-shirts) than usual, and Deirdre stunningly attired as ever. Her brother alleges that she got the good looking genes, and he got the ugly ones. Right on one count, wrong on another.

 

Lots of fun and laughter both before, as David tried to retrieve a monitor borrowed by Mary Black who was performing in a different auditorium of the same venue beforehand, and afterwards at the meet and greet.

 

And finally (sorry - a very short posting, but I have much to do and have another business trip Tuesday, so this may be all I get time to post), but there's one aspect of this weekend which leaves me almost speechless. Please note carefully.....from the first orchestral lead- in notes, through the gently rolling choral intro's build, through Matthew's sublimely mellow yet passionate 'I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to make you cry...', past Niall's achingly gorgeous verse, to James' incredible soaring duet which allows him to show the full force of his tremendous technical and forceful vocal prowess, this is just one of 'those' tracks. It is the most gorgeous, sensual, wonderful, WONDERFUL track imaginable (Kathy - are you listening? - you will understand instantly) - a song in which you can completely lose yourself, and in which you want to do just that. The album is laden with gems, whether it's orchestrations, harmonies, lyrics (and there are some stunners in the new material), or melodies which move you. But this single track is one of those perfect pieces of music which come along very rarely. Listen and be STUNNED - I have been. The album is nothing short of magnificent - it takes this amazingly talented trio to a different plane in my eyes.