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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Review: Our Finest Hour @ St Davids Hall

*Thank you to St David's Hall  for tickets for the show, all opinions are 100% honest and my own*

This afternoon Fab Sister and I had the pleasure to attend a performance of Our Finest Hour '' Dunkirk and The Battle Of Britain remembered in the music and songs of the period '' narrated by Kevin Whately and featuring The BBC Big Band with mezzo-soprano Annie Gill.
The music and narration was interspersed with recordings of Winston Churchill's famous speeches
Yes, the audience was made up of those who remembered, those who had lived through it but this was not an audience that was quietened by those memories. Feet tapped, hands clapped and voices were raised in song. It was an emotional event on many levels .My sister and I were especially in awe of the BBC Big Band - they are amazing !I loved the inclusion of Dvorak's Largo from Symphony No.9 which added poignancy to me as it was my set piece on clarinet for my music exam many. many years ago- I know , but I am getting older ( not old!)
The personal highlight for both of us was the rendition of 'Sing, Sing, Sing'' it was spectacular and raised the roof! (This recording truly does not do the BBC Big Band justice - I promise) I couldn't help but envision the flopping hair and extroverted mayhem of Krupa throughout! I found out later that this was the first big band performance my Sister had attended since my Dads passing in 2013 (she often accompanied him to concerts and regular Jazz sessions in Birmingham) and she found it quite emotional ' I could hear him saying 'Go, go , go!'''
Annie Gill added a delicate and ,sometimes, jazzy addition to the evening and I loved the innuendo laden  ''The  Deepest Shelter in Town'' plus the fact she included the intro to ''Mad About The Boy ''( a personal favourite)
Kevin Whatley is superb as the narrator his enthusiasm is infectious ''And now your concert needs you!'' he enthused leading into a heartfelt audience rendition of 'Land Of Hope and Glory'' plus his heart rendering reading of a 23 year old soldiers final letter to his  mother was very emotive.
As we were leaving a young girl rushed over to an elderly woman'' Did you love it Grandma?'' an emotional nod ''Oh I'm so glad!''.......
They say 'Lest We Forget' and I hope, with all my being, we do not. 'Our Finest Hour' reminds us of a time when we were one, united........Don't forget!!!

 Full Details and Tour Dates available here: Our Finest Hour Website


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