Where do I even start with telling you how absolutely sensational this gig was? It is now 2 days since I was a part of the second night of Broadway to Bluegrass. . .Ish and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t STILL on a high from the whole evening!
So in the words of a song from “The Sound Of Music”, “let’s start at the very beginning, it’s very good place to start!”
A bit of background – I was originally meant to be going to both of Ramin’s shows – on the Sunday and the Monday – however, due to a family commitment, I was unable to make the Sunday. Although this made me sad at the time, I am so happy that I went on the Monday!!!
As I was at work on Monday and had a meeting after school, it was definitely going to be a mad dash to make it to the gig on time! Luckily, thanks to a prompt taxi and a speedy train, I arrived at the 229 Club with time to spare. The journey was also made alot easier by tweets from Hadley Fraser, Lee Mead and Stephen Rahman Hughes announcing they would be dropping into the gig that evening, along with Simon Bailey. I was one happy Blue Eyed Girl!
As Ramin, and his super talented band arrived on stage, you could tell by the atmosphere in the club that it was going to be an EPIC night – and I wasn’t wrong!
Kicking off the show with the stunning “Broken Home“, Ramin took all of us on a journey throughout what has been such an epic year and beyond for him. He took us all the way back to his Phantom days with a magical “Music of the Night“, through to the Barricades in a mesmersing version of “Bring Him Home” with the beautiful Katie Birtill, right up to present with tracks from his eponymous debut album and some personal favourites.
You could see how pumped up Ramin was to make this a special night for everyone – and believe me, it totally rubbed off on the crowd and everyone standing in that intimate space.
Many of the songs from Act One were a brilliant reminder of all the fun that was had on his “Road to Find Out” tour earlier in the year. Kicking off with the Cat Stevens’ tracks “Wild World/Road to Find Out“, we also heard the magnificent “Constant Angel” (that was dedicated to us!), and a new mix of “Down to the River to Pray/Cathedrals” – which is still as hauntingly beautiful now as when I first heard it.
We also had some new songs which were delivered with Ramin’s usual precision and stunning vocal ability. “See Her Smile” from the musical Tick Tick Boom suited his voice down to the ground, and “Make Them Hear You” – from the musical Ragtime – is definitely going to become one of Ramin’s signature songs. Having seen him perform this in Leicester at West End Men a few days before, this second performance was delivered with such power and emotion – the style that we all know and love Ramin for.
I must give a special shout-out to Ramin’s numerous special guests who really added to making the night so amazing!
I have talked about the phenomenal talent that is Simon Bailey in a previous post – but his stunning talent was really on show at tonight’s gig. He stepped on to stage to perform a cover of the Avett Brothers “Murder In The City” with Ramin, and also performed an original song of his own, the emotionally beautiful “Goodbye” – both which will be on his debut album “Looking Up.” I’m not going to lie, I had tears in my eyes during the second of those songs as it was clear to see how personal the words were to Simon and that he was pouring out his heart to all of us. I salute you Sir – it was breath-taking and I can’t wait to hear the album!
The late additions to the bill – Lee Mead and Stephen Rahman Hughes aka The West End Men – also put in a memorable performance, which was probably added to by the fact that Lee had had several drinks before Ramin pulled him and Stephen on stage – ha ha! “The Triad” – as Ramin referred to them as – performed “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” to a rapturous reception! Again, in a previous blog, I have spoken about what stunning talent Lee and Stephen have, but them together with Ramin – and it is pure musical magic! It was great to chat to Stephen afterwards too (Lee had to go for the last train!) – I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – this guy is unbelievably talented and I can’t wait to be able to blog about one of his shows/gigs in the very near future!
And then – there’s Hadley! It seemed like only yesterday that I sat in the St James Studio and watched Ramin jump on stage to sing with Hadley – but tonight, it was such an honour to see Hadley return the favour! We were graced with an extended Sheytoons Reunion, which saw performances of “Driftwood“, “Losing“, “She is Loved” – with Ramin’s memory loss moment and the phenomenal “Broken” – complete with mid track “Giddy Up” instrumental. Hadley mentioning the possibility of him and Ramin doing “something like this again” in January/February was also a crowd pleaser – fingers crossed!
These two when they are together on stage, be it at a gig like this or as part of a musical theatre production, are absolute dynamite to watch! The chemistry between them is absolutely electric and they play off each other so well! I have so much respect and admiration for them both as artists and people, having had the pleasure of meeting them both on more than one occasion, and I can truly say there are no two people who deserve as much success as these two do! Don’t you think this photo says it all?
As the show came to a close, we got to take a closer look into Ramin’s personal favourites. The superb “White Blank Page” by Mumford and Sons and “The Once and Future Carpenter” by the Avett Brothers reminded me of all the wonderful music that Ramin has introduced me to. His cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” also gave his sensational band the chance to shine in their own right – special mentions for the genius Steve Young, the beautiful Katie Birtill and the guitar maestro that is Sergio Ortega!
“Solitude” and “Closer Walk With Thee” slowed the tone down and it seemed only right and fitting that “Coming Home” closed this unbelievable show. The look on Ramin’s face when the crowd sang “Coming Home” (as well as several other songs throughout the evening) back at him was pure magic and so well deserved for such a giving artist.
The encore was just as sensational with performances of the Civil Wars classic “Poison and Wine“, original track “When Does It Go Away?” and the brilliant Green Day classic “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” was our final goodbye to a phenomenal evening.
I can honestly tell you that you felt like you were listening to and falling in love with every song for the first time. Such a varied mix, all delivered with such sensational style and power. It also says alot about Ramin that even though he just wanted to go and relax with his friends post-gig, he spoke to everyone who was still there and thanked them for coming out – the sign of a true star!
If you hadn’t noticed – I had the most brilliant night! Have a look at these videos to see for yourself!
Ramin and the Band arrive on stage – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4cUGQVUH0I
Broken Home – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK2icVR6czI
Road to Find Out/Wild World – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK45VYCdIbE
Constant Angel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtDYiu1-xC8
Music of the Night – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBPQmx6wya4 (with audience sing-a-long!)
Down to the River to Pray – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H48nzLzzBqA
Cathedrals – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXnP6NPHDf8
See Her Smile (from Tick Tick Boom) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZMACQSrw2E
Murder In The City (with Simon Bailey) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4KpkMmIGUw
Goodbye (Simon Bailey solo) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acgZszHwDVU
Make Them Hear You – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZlSxJttqWM
Oh What A Beautiful Morning (with Lee Mead and Stephen Rahman Hughes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teq40sy_Kzc
Driftwood (Ramin and Hadley) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mzRI8YBmBw
The Once and Future Carpenter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xepoEa5mZnU&feature=plcp (Provided by Selena79)
Closer Walk With Thee – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOyXSrGYf1I&feature=plcp (Provided by Selena79)
My battery had died by this point – so here’s what I missed!
Solitude http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LziEYU_F46M&feature=plcp (Provided by Selena79)
Bring Him Home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2x0WwAUyvY (Video by Nikki Lewis – Sunday gig)
Folsom Prison Blues http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASywzo9TC-Y (Video by Waggers789)
Coming Home – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWiO8Q6W-dU&feature=plcp (Provided by Selena79)
ENCORE – Poison and Wine (Provided by Selena79) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0oVOcc-8Us&feature=plcp
MORE VIDEOS AND PICTURES TO FOLLOW!!!!
Special shout outs to all of my wonderful friends who I shared this brilliant evening with, and thanks to Kay Ineson and Selena Zafar for the awesome photos.
Signing off for now
Blue Eyed Girl Xxx