Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Soldiers – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Musical Director – Toby Chapman
Reviewer: Stephanie Rowe

If I am perfectly honest I was a bit wary of going to see ‘The Soldiers’ perform live , after going to numerous concerts in my life and leaving very disappointed, having found that the artist had been helped considerably by the recording studio and the use of technology. So I set off full of trepidation to review these three wonderful men who have raised over half a million pounds in their two years as recording artistes for the three charities they support, these being the British Legion, Help The Hero’s and the charity that has now become known as the Soldiers charity, the Army Benevolent fund.

In the first half of the show we were entertained by Texan singer Jessica Clemmons who had a wonderful voice but somehow lacked that magical charisma that made her stage performance mesmerizing. She was followed by Gianulca Paganelli who treated us to songs from around the globe and was assisted by two very talented dancers doing the tango.

Then the time arrived for ‘The soldiers’ to take to the stage and the cheer that went up around the auditorium was deafening, and may I be the first to say they deserved every cheer, clap, whistle, scream (from adoring females and who knows males?) These three serving Soldiers are a credit to our Queen and Country and remind us of why we are known as ‘Great’ Britain. They sang a range of songs from the Monkees to Take That and of course they sang songs of their own, their first hit “Coming Home” along with “I will Carry You” and of course the song taken from Tony (Neil) Downes last letter home when he Tragically lost his life in 2007 aged just 20 aptly named “Letters Home” and of which this tour takes its name, caused many a person to shed a tear, including myself.

Sergeant Major Gary Chilton, Staff Sergeant Richie Maddocks and Lance-Corporal Ryan Idzi have so much energy on stage and have such a phenomenal way of keeping you fully entertained and interested throughout, with their witticisms and silly dances not to mention their magnificent enthralling voices, that I for one (and believe me I was not alone) walked out of that theatre feeling absolutely uplifted and proud to be British. The standing ovation they received at the end was well earned. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have spent and applaud the men for their amazing talent. Keep Going Fella’s your outstanding.

The Soldiers can be seen at various locations around the Country until March 20th 2011
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