I can now officially tick Operatic Pop off the list of things I needed to see before I become more of a loner than I already am and eventually retire on a remote island where there are no other people and nothing at all to do but melt away into my own bitterness. I’m such a hoot.
I am definitely a West End girl as you will know if you’ve ever read this blog. Due to certain things happening this year, I haven’t been able to get back to London in months for a show. So when the lovely Tommy Goodridge announced he was off on a tour with the Vox Fortura lads as a support act to G4 on the Back For Good tour, and that they would be stopping at Clacton-On-Sea, I decided I had to see it.
Vox Fortura had already greatly surprised me after being on Britains Got Talent. I have never really listened to opera music, nor did I ever watch a series of Britains Got Talent until this year. I will be the first to admit that I only tuned in to see how Thomas got on. I didn’t realise just how much I would love Vox Fortura and their unique style of singing. And I certainly didn’t realise that I would be jumping at the chance to see them as a support act on tour.
The perfect cherry on top was my bestie phoning me up to say that she wanted to travel for an insane amount of hours and come and see them with me, so we planned the weekend and counted down the days.
In the lead up, I of course downloaded Vox Forturas album Heroes on iTunes and listened to it all the time. Not because I had to. Not because I thought I should as I was going to see them at a show. But because I fell absolutely in love with it. Well done Tommy G, knew you would be doing albums and all that jazz one day!!
In booking the show to see Vox Fortura, I hadn’t really figured out what I would think of G4. I mean, I’d heard them before and thought they were good, but I couldn’t say what I would feel. I didn’t know much about the genre they did. I tend to get so wrapped up in one thing (theatre, books, a good old Netflix series) that I forget to explore the other things that are out there. So I set off for the weekend forgetting about everything else except for the fact that, A) I would get to see my best friend and B) I would at last get to see Vox Fortura on stage.
I met Ali at the train station after she traveled for an absolute insane amount of time and off we went to check into the Premier Inn on the sea front. There, we were greeted by a lovely, friendly guy who was happy to chat and ask us why we were there. It’s the little things like that which make or break a weekend. Then we ran to grab some food. We went for classy and decided to dine in Mcdonalds. Yes. Dine. We even had napkins and everything. Have you ever known anything so posh? No. Didn’t think so.
We got to the theatre and sat in our seats in the stalls. With a malibu and coke of course. When in Rome. Or when In Clacton-On-sea. Same, same.
From the moment G4 came on in their glowing suits singing a medley of Queen, I was sold. I decided in the first thirty seconds that I was already a G4 fangirl. It was that instant. Some people have either got it, or they ain’t….and G4 have got it. It was right up my street. Not knowing much about them, I expected them to do a set list and have amazing vocals and walk away being like’Ah, that was nice.’
I wasn’t prepared for just how good their vocals were. I wasn’t prepared to enjoy every single song. And I honestly wasn’t prepared for how funny they were. In between songs, they had me in stitches. I would go from laughing like a loon, to getting chills when they sang. The variety they packed into the show was endless. They did the Queen medley as mentioned above, they did a musical theatre medley, a boyband/pop song medley, classic opera songs, they even serenaded some lucky lady in the audience. They did a medley inspired by the live shows they’ve seen and all of it was just brilliant!
I do have a particular stand out moment from G4 of the night though, and I have to try and write it down so you get what I was feeling. As a tiny tot aged 3, my old fashioned Dad sat me down to watch a film that would become my all time favourite film ever. Carousel. I have watched the film hundreds of times. I have mentioned it in this blog. I tell everyone to watch it. The songs are all beautiful, but one song in particular….You’ll Never Walk Alone….is everything. Many people now (unfortunately) associate the song with football, but it means so much to me. It means my childhood and dreams all wrapped into one. So when the theatre hushed and the music started up for this song, I honestly nearly jumped off my seat I was that excited. Jonathan and the boys did the most haunting, gorgeous version of You’ll Never Walk Alone and I had to hold back the tears. It just felt perfect hearing that sung so beautifully after a difficult nine months or so. That is a moment from a show that will stay with me forever and I thank G4 for not knowingly giving me such a wonderful gift.
My other stand out moment came just before the interval. I had already been completely sold and hypnotised by G4 by the time the Vox Fortura men walked on stage to join them and another great support act (a fifteen year old opera singer called Katie who was just brilliant) to sing One Day More from Les Miserables. There were flags and everything. Flags! (Writing tonights blog has perhaps made me realise I need to get out more.) It was so awesome seeing Tommy up there with all the other guys singing such a powerful number.
During the second act, Vox Fortura got to do their songs. And woah!! Having listened to their album on repeat for a few weeks now, seeing the songs performed live was all kinds of lush. The whole theatre was silent as we listened to the unique and gorgeous voices on stage. But seeing Thomas sing Make It Rain was so worth it. He was so good! He was proper in the zone and I love how much passion Vox Fortura put into it. It is also so bloody nice to see such a kind and talented guy do so well for himself. He looked like a complete pop star up there, and I sincerely hope the group go on to have tours of their own and bring more albums out. I definitely think the music world is missing an act like Vox Fortura, they are needed to inject some life into what we hear on the radio right now.
Then it was back to G4 where they performed classics like Livin On A Prayer and I Want To Know What Love Is which gave me and Ali flashbacks for the show that started it all, Rock Of Ages. The talent on the stage was something else and the way Jonathan held some of those notes was incredible. But G4 work so well, because each of the men are so good at what they do.
At the end of the show, both groups and Katie were standing in the hall for a signing and chat. We couldn’t leave without telling Thomas he was great, so we decided to queue up, not thinking it through. Because by the time we arrived at G4, I had nothing for them to sign. And me being me, told them so. Awkwardly. They were SO lovely about it! We all know I have a tendency to say stupid things but luckily they were super sweet, and I feel like I talked so much AT them, they kind of didn’t notice anymore how weird I had initially been. Also, a very kind theatre guy overheard the conversation and probably took pity on me as I was handed a flyer which then got signed. Phew. We moved down the line and said to Katie how brilliant she was. I really hope she goes far. Then we came to Vox Fortura. I was actually nervous about seeing the other guys!! I had obviously built them up to be superstars in my head. The three of them were lovely and it was so nice seeing Rodney, Julias Williams III and Elias face to face! Then it was time to tell Tommy how great he was. It was so lovely to see him again, it’s been so so so long. The only awkward thing about the night….(you know, the only bad thing after telling all of G4 that I had nothing for them to sign and all that jazz) was when we asked Thomas if he could say a quick hi outside, and he said yes, so off we went to wait which is not really a thing you do at a concert show.
Then we suddenly realised just how stupid we looked, we were standing right near peoples coaches, people probably being G4 , who had no idea that we were outside to say a quick bye to Thomas. And that was a huge problem, because if they would have come out…they would have come out and thought it was incredibly rude that we were hanging around outside when they had already given us their time in the hall. It wasn’t a West End stage door after all, and we would have been absolutely mortified if anyone thought we were there trying to catch more glimpses of G4 because that is just not what was intended…. So then we were seriously torn if we should just go, but then we felt bad as we said we would say bye…and I don’t know, I just wanted to explain that in case anyone saw us that night being strange at the back of the theatre. In the end, we just kind of half crouched behind a tree. Which obviously looked worse. But luckily, we don’t think anyone saw us and we did get a goodbye with Thomas.
We also bumped into him this morning as we explored Clacton, which was nice but also a little bit mortifying on three hours sleep and looking like I’d been in a tumble dryer for seven hours.
When we got back to the hotel, Ali and I had our own mini late Birthday celebrations and it was such a gorgeous night. Today was spent strolling on the beach, eating banana sauce flavoured ice-creams and drinking tea on the promenade. And unfortunately for Ali, her day was also spent with two hundred million and fifty six hours travelling. It only took me an hour to get home. (Sorry to brag love, you still on that train?!)
It was a much needed day away for me, and I enjoyed every minute. I will now forever look back on the 23rd of September with magical memories. I will also love Vox Fortura more each day and become a fully fledged G4 fangirl. You know, in between work, life and waiting for Hugh Jackman to hurry up and whisk me away to a private exotic island where we can listen to Popera forever more.
And speaking of Popera, I’ve just found G4s Christmas album on itunes. Boom!