Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 2015

Talks and reviews about Libera concerts or public appearances

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Sanctus
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Sanctus » 2 years ago

Amazing concert ! Will try to do a more detailed review but stand out performances for me were stay with me and nearer my God to thee sung a Capella by Isaac , Alessandro, Alex M , Camden and Sam . It was so beautiful and set such a great atmosphere ! The audience didn't want to ruin it so hesitated to clap ! In stay with me every one was smiling and Lucas and merlin did great jobs ! Speeches by newbie Tadgh , Ben , ciaran, Alessandro, Alex G and Cassius (I think that's it and they did the different languages speech )
NOTE : there is a new part in "stay with me" in maybe the second verse when merlin was singing , a few boys: Alessandro , Marc , Timothy, Sam , Matthew M , Alex (correct me if I'm wrong) accompanied him singing different oohs and ahs that harmonised very nicely !

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Surpinto
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Surpinto » 2 years ago

Thank you for the reviews so far, everyone. It sounds like they were terrific concerts :D. I wish I had been there!

By the way, has everyone heard this radio interview from the 26th that Jimmy Riddle has shared on twitter? I hope he doesn't mind that I share it at this forum. He does such a great job of finding, saving, and sharing these clips with us. Thank you, Jimmy!

http://chirb.it/0ddzkw

Listen for Taichi getting a bit rambunctious, talking about his "enemies" :lol: :shock:

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maartendas
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by maartendas » 2 years ago

Thanks everyone for the reviews so far!
I'm proud of all the new boys doing such a good job. Great to hear there were new songs on the setlist and that they tried some different staging. Exciting to read about and it must be extra fun for the boys that way.
Also, it must be a really cool experience for them to be performing in amazing old buildings like that. Glad to hear the audience responses were so good.
Well done everyone! :)

p.s.: john45 I didn't know (or forgot) you were also in Dublin in 2009 - that was my first Libera concert! Unforgettable night :)
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Yorkie
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Yorkie » 2 years ago

Just to update the thread with the songs & list of the boys who were in attendance:

Boys:

1. Marc Alvares
2. Shay Balsekar
3. Leo Barron
4. Ciaran Bradbury-Hickey
5. Merlin Brouwer
6. Benedict Bywater
7. Gabriel Collins
8. Kavana Crossley
9. Thomas Delgado-Little
10. Tadhg Fitzgerald
11. Alex Gula
12. Adam Izghouti
13. Matthew Jansen
14. Timothy Lee
15. Isaac London
16. Matthew Madine
17. Alessandro MacKinnon-Botti
18. James Menezes
19. Michael Menezes
20. Alex Montoro
21. Oliver Mycka
22. Cassius O'Connell-White
23. Taichi Shinokubo **only performed at Christchurch**
24. Camden Stewart
25. Rocco Tesei
26. Mark Ustynovych-Repa
27. Joseph Walshe
28. Sam Wiggin
29. Lucas Wood

Set List:

1. Joyful, Joyful
2. Sanctus
3. Amazing Grace
4. Voca Me
5. The Prayer
6. Sacris Solemnis
7. Lullabye
8. Song of Life
9. Salva Me
10. Danny Boy
11. Exultate
12. Mysterium -
13. Orinoco Flow
14. How Great Thou Art
15. Dreaming of Home
16. O For the Wings of a Dove
17. Wayfaring Stranger
18. Stay With Me
19. Nearer My God to Thee
20. How Shall I Sing That Majesty

Encore - Wonderful World
Last edited by Yorkie on Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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john45
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by john45 » 2 years ago

You missed out "Lullaby".

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Yorkie
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Yorkie » 2 years ago

john45 wrote:You missed out "Lullaby".
Indeed I did, which is why (without any notes to go by) I won't be writing a review :(
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by dani » 2 years ago

You can just say what you thought of it , the highlights ?

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john45
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by john45 » 2 years ago

Yorkie wrote:
john45 wrote:You missed out "Lullaby".
Indeed I did, which is why (without any notes to go by) I won't be writing a review :(
Perhaps you-know-who would lend you his notes!

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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by labbie » 2 years ago

I got to hear "Lullaby" in Boston. At the signing afterwards, Camden seemed a bit surprised that I knew the song, since it wasn't on the programme, so I mentioned that Josh had sung it a few years before. I complimented Camden on his mastery of that beautiful piece, and he was happy to know he was carrying on the tradition of doing justice to songs that date back in the repertoire.

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Yorkie
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Yorkie » 2 years ago

dani wrote:You can just say what you thought of it , the highlights ?
OK, but I'm not sure what it adds really without the level of detail Patrick can give...

Starting with general observations, I was surprised at how well both concerts were attended given the short notice. The south coast of England is a holiday destination for many Brits and we are now in the peak holiday season so maybe Libera have hit on something here. Christchurch in particular is a place that nails the UK Libera fan demographic (it seems a popular destination for those 50+) and the priory has a reputation for hosting classical events, throw in that there is nothing much else on offer in the evening and bingo. At Christchurch they appeared to be selling tickets at the door and had added extra rows of seating (which I got the impression were not normally needed) right at the very rear of the church.

Both venues had relatively small central seating areas in the Nave and plenty of people sitting in the side aisles with views terribly restricted by pillars. In Exeter I had spare tickets, a pair of front row seats and a single near the front and centre so I decided to give them away. The ladies that got the front row were very surprised; it was the birthday of one of them and she said good luck like that never happened to her. Whilst we are on seating can I say that numbered seating is definitely the way to go at these events. It makes everything much more civilised; no mobbing the doors or sprinting through the church, please keep it up Libera.

In Exeter we had a nice raised stage which is a great bonus for those sitting further back. Unfortunately this wasn't possible in Christchurch, and the boys performed must of their songs some way back from the front of a slightly raised altar area although they did come right to the front on the a cappella songs. Something I haven't witnessed before at a Libera concert was in Exeter when the music started for Joyful Joyful and the audience started to applaud. Odd, but infinitely better than Christchurch where people sang along to the songs or insisted on talking through Mysterium. Mysterium mind you, one of my favourite songs....

Dani and John have picked out the songs and performances that I remember too. The returning songs were all great additions to set list and Mysterium, Voca Me & Sacris Solemnis (sung mainly by Isaac, Alex M & Lucas with Isaac singing the top part over the others) really work in the setting of old churches, especially as the building darkens in the second act and the lighting gains impact. Alex has a better head for heights than I do standing high on the pulpitum (especially in Christchurch where there was no rail). Picked out in rich purple lighting for Salva Me & Voca Me it was a very dramatic staging that really impressed many in the audience. Nice high note work by Alex on both.

Danny Boy was staged as Guildford and it really is incredibly effective live. I was fortunate to be seated directly opposite Isaac at Exeter (he kneels at an angle to the audience) so we were lucky that he wasn't put off! The harmonies as the other boys add their voices are fantastic. There was a slight pause when the song finished as if the audience had to collect themselves before a long applause that had to be ended by RP starting the next song. Tom doesn't seem to be singing as many solos these days but his voice is still at its peak as demonstrated with his perfect rendition of O For The Wings Of A Dove. No problem reaching those high notes and he has exemplary voice control on a song that would trip up less skilled singers.

Loved the return of Mysterium to its rightful place at the start of the second half (although would prefer it not to link in to Orinoco Flow). Allesandro sings it beautifully, perhaps not Treble high but with a beautiful tone. A great return for this song and perhaps in future we will get a staging that matches Ed's parting of the Red Sea or Ralph & Stef's calling. Can't wait to see it.

I can only repeat the praise for Stay With Me, Merlin taking the Ed Day main part and Lucas doing the Liam high flourish. Great song, great singing & where did Merlin spring from to deliver such a great performance (no magic puns please I'm sure he has to endure a lot of those). Dreaming of Home is always a crowd pleaser so I hope this will get recorded at some point and Wayfaring Stranger is a song that is destined to be a Libera classic with Alessandro again taking the solo part. Finally, Nearer My God To Thee, performed in a similar way to Danny Boy, a cappella with multiple harmonies. Now this is where lack of notes is a problem because all I can remember is that it started with a single boy singing (Isaac or Alessandro) then others joined in with multiple layering harmonies (Alex M, Sam, Ciaran?), and finished with a sole voice. Unexpected but very enjoyable.

During the interval at each concert somebody from Compassion UK gave a little talk about the work of the charity. If you are interested in learning more please check out their website

Both shows were very polished and I would say better even than when I saw them in Guildford and that was a really good concert, one of the best I've seen. They are heading to Japan in good voice and from what we saw on stage good spirits too, lots of smiles and energy. My only concern is that Taichi will cause such a storm that the Japanese fans won't let him come back to us!
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john45
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by john45 » 2 years ago

Thanks Andy. Always enjoy your astute observations.

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Surpinto
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Surpinto » 2 years ago

Yorkie, you may be lacking written notes about the concert, but from your excellent summary there was no lack of Libera hitting their notes perfectly at the concert ;).

I hope they continue to do concerts close to home if they have figured out the timing and ideal location for doing so and attracting a larger audience. It certainly saves them the enormous expense of travelling overseas; an expense we know they often do not recoup. I would also think it benefits them to have greater renown in their home country than they currently do....just so long as they are in Pittsburgh in December as I am owed a concert :D.

It's great that some old songs made a comeback and that a new one was added. I wonder whether they are planning a new studio album anytime soon with new music or new recordings of old songs? From your description is sounds like they have some excellent new soloists and arrangements.
Yorkie wrote:where people sang along to the songs or insisted on talking through Mysterium
People sang? Were these confused and elderly granny's who thought that they were at a church service? How frustrating! :(
Yorkie wrote:but I'm not sure what it adds really without the level of detail Patrick can give...
Nonsense! Your review is excellently thorough and much appreciated by fans who are very far away or otherwise could not attend.

Thank you, Yorkie!

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maartendas
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by maartendas » 2 years ago

Fun review, Yorkie - thanks :)
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Yorkie
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by Yorkie » 2 years ago

Surpinto wrote:
Yorkie wrote:where people sang along to the songs or insisted on talking through Mysterium
People sang? Were these confused and elderly granny's who thought that they were at a church service? How frustrating! :(
No, the singer was not confused or elderly (and not a kid either). Three times during the concert somebody on my row had to either ask the singing to stop, shush the noise, or turn and issue a killer stare to the chattering older couple... still couldn't spoil a great show though
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JimmyRiddle
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Re: Exeter, UK Monday 27th July & Christchurch 28th July 201

Post by JimmyRiddle » 2 years ago

Thanks for the concert feedback to those that were there; weather it be a detailed song-by-song analysis or just general observations its always appreciated they those who could not attend. One thing I have wondered - and also supported by a photo from Yuki on her blog - have the rules been relaxed for their rehearsals, so that Libera now allow the public to watch them freely. At previous concerts they normally request to close the doors during their pre-concert warm-up, but maybe there as been a change in this tactic?
Surpinto wrote:By the way, has everyone heard this radio interview from the 26th that Jimmy Riddle has shared on twitter? I hope he doesn't mind that I share it at this forum.
...not at all... I must have forgotten to post the link here...It was nice to hear the high praise given by the interviewer during the introduction. Sometimes when you follow a group/artist closely, you don't often realise how they must be coming across to the general public. It must be even more rewarding for those involved with running Libera (formerly SPBC), to see just how far their local church choir has progressed over the years.
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