I really do not know where to start with this! Last night I attended The St James theatre in London to watch a concert/cabaret by Stuart Matthew Price, a West End actor and singer whom you may recall an interview from recently. I did not know what to expect from this experience although I knew a great night would be had. Did I say a great night? Well…..it was astounding! After hearing Stuart sing last year at the American Composers evening, I knew he was good but boy! He bought the house down this time!
Not only did he have a mixture of songs, all of which were songs that he would never play the role for, either because he was, in his words, ‘too old, too young or too male for’ but he delivered the songs with a mix of finesse, joviality and heart-wrenchingly beautiful tones. Now, I am no theatre buff or critic, so just let me state that quite clearly. These are just the thoughts of someone who knows what they like when they hear it, and let me tell you, I like his performances! If you ever get the chance to see him on stage, either in a role or in his own shows do not miss out!
I was intending to choose a few of my favourite songs of the evening and explain why they were so good but to be honest, they were all marvellous! Amazing songs such as The Circle of Life, I’m The Greatest Star and As If We Never Said Goodbye were sung so passionately, it would be easy to see him in these roles if he fit the characters. For me, one of my favourite songs currently is Bring him Home and Stuart blew this one off the planet, seriously, if he does not record this on an album I will be rather miffed. The audience were practically in tears, you could feel the collective held breaths as his voice soared through the roof, incredible I say! Pure genius!
One audience member told me ‘Stuart Matthew Price has to be one of the most brilliant, talented singer/songwriters of this generation. What an amazing voice and the way the songs were arranged was just out of this world – kept you riveted.. I was almost in tears when he sang “Bring him home” so choked… the concert was definitely not long enough, before you knew it, it was over, such an outstanding performance. It was a truly fabulous evening, well worth coming all the way from Belgium for’.
One of the main surprises of the evening was his rendition of Billie Jean/Smooth Criminal/Thriller which were made into a medley to a jazz arrangement, you heard correct…Jazz! Stuart pulled so much focus; he even had the audience joining in for Thriller. I can still not wrap my mind around a jazz version of these songs but it was truly incredible and I say again, this man is a genius!
The next song in the program, They Just Keep Moving The Line, was sang by one of Stuart’s three backing singers, Ben Fenner (look out for his interview at a later date!). What can I say about Ben? Well, there are no words! Phenomenal, just does not cover it. His range was astounding, the audience literally roared with applause with his ending note. Watch out for this young man, I guarantee, with his voice, stage presence and appealing nature, I guarantee that he will go far in the world of show business.
The first part of this show ended with another of my all time favourites Defying Gravity which was preceded with The Wizard and I. For these, Stuart was assisted by his 3 singers and the sound they created was astounding! I really am running out of different words to describe how incredible this was!
I am missing out a few of the songs from last night believe it or not, I am focussing on the ones that, not only do I know better but that shock me to the core, for one reason or another.
With that said however, another outstanding performance was from Aimee Hodnett singing The Girl in 14G. I admit to not actually hearing this song before so I had nothing to compare it too but WOW! I found this version of the song by the fantabulous Kristen Chenoweth as there is no way I can explain the intricacies of this song so take a look and then think of Aimee singing it better! Yes, I said it! Aimee was amazing, she sang with more passion, personality, range, comical persuasion and all round astonishing stage presence.
The stage once again went back to Stuart as he sang a medley of Losing My Mind/Not A Day Goes By/Being Alive which once again was astonishing! Being alive is another of my favourite, yes, okay I have quite a few favourite musical songs, who doesn’t?! Stuart singing Being Alive literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention.
As we were nearing the end of the show, Stuart’s third backing singer, Natasha Ferguson took the stage for Listen, and boy did she make us listen! Another powerhouse of a voice! Wherever Stuart found these singers, he should keep them, never give them back, they were terrific!
Obviously, after such an awesome show and a standing ovation for this epic performer, an encore was called for, Stuart sang Who I Am Today which he composed last year for his family. It was a fitting end to an amazing, beautifully performed, captivating show. I could keep going and use every letter of the alphabet to describe the evening but I am sure that you get my gist.
So there we have it, a great show, great singers and as Stuart said ‘not forgetting the amazing MD talents of Mark Aspinall and the fantastic guitar playing of legend Charlie Laffer!’
Watch out for this gentleman, he is on fire right now! Truly one of the most exquisite voices and talents of this generation!
Just so that you are aware, if and when any videos appear from this event, I will include them here, so if you see it pop back up, you know that edits have been made so come look!