After my ‘oh so perfect’ last minute Carousel trip on Friday night, I had another treat in store for the very next day.
I woke up on the Saturday morning bright and early, despite feeling tired from the Friday night and getting in at one in the morning. (Just an FYI, thirty years of age isn’t exactly old….but man alive I can’t do late nights anymore. I just want a comfy bed and eight hours sleep. And some slippers. And whiskey in my tea. All the thirty year old things….ya know?)….I packed a bag for me and the Littles and we were on our way to Clacton-On Sea to see the gorgeous and super talented Vox Fortura.
The Littles are not so little anymore. They are getting older and as a credit to them, I know they can behave well. So I thought it would be a fun little weekend to not only take them along to see the boys, but also stay in a hotel for the night. That might not seem a huge deal to some, but it was for them. They had never stayed in a hotel, EVER. Previous holidays have involved caravans and cottages, but never a hotel.
We arrived in a sunny Clacton and had some lunch. We played on the arcades because that is a MUST at any seaside resort, then checked into our hotel. The kids claimed their beds for the night and then demanded it was time to get spruced up for our show.
For the people that don’t know the children very well….they LOVE to dress up. They absolutely insisted on bringing their smartest clothes. I thought it was a cute touch so I let them. Before we went to the Princes Theatre, we had a little photo shoot on the wind swept beach….as you do, right?
Then we made our way to the theatre and collected our tickets. By now, the Littles were super excited for the show.
And when I saw Vox Fortura in big letters, so was I.
Vox Fortura consist of Thomas Goodridge, Rodney Clarke, Julius Williams III and Elias Hendricks. If you feel like you’ve heard the name before, you probably have. Vox Fortura are a classical crossover group and they made it as semi finalists on the hugely popular ITV show Britains Got Talent. The crowds loved them, the judges loved them….and judging by the reaction when they didn’t quite reach the final….everyone at home loved them.
Of course, there is a little personal theatre link with one of the members. Raise your hand Tommy G! Seeing the name in big letters and realising that this was actually their own tour (having previously seen them as a support act for G4 in September), I was proud and excited for what the night had in store.
A few months ago, I purchased their debut album Heroes which you can check out here…. http://voxforturaofficial.com/shop/ …. and it has been on repeat LOADS in this house. The songs, the range in vocal ability, the soothing quality….all of it is mesmerising. Having had a glimpse of them live with the G4 tour, I knew the Littles and I were in for a treat, and we weren’t disappointed.
First of all, the kids sat still and quiet for every moment the boys were on stage. That proves how hypnotic they were.
When you have voices that are that powerful combined together, it makes for spine tingling feels.
But one of my favourite parts of the show was the fact that they chose to showcase every one of their individual talents. I can’t think of a group I have seen in concert that have ever done that. Each of them got to do two solos and it was excellent to see them singing songs that clearly meant so much to them. I have many stand out moments from the night, and I am sure if I list them all I will be here a long time. But I will name a few of them.
*Elias did a sweet speech about how it was coming up for Americas Mothers day. He told the story how he had spoken to his Mom (<<check me out going all USA…) and she said that the present she wanted was for her son to sing her favourite song on his tour that she couldn’t make. I honestly shed a tear when he beautifully launched into Bring Him Home from the hit musical Les Miserables. A song that is so powerful and chilling at the best of times had me weak. All four guys have the most gorgeous, soulful and rich voices. Elias sang Bring Him Home with emotion and love. And that combination always makes for the best performances. I have no doubt that he made his Mom so proud singing that the way he did. My kids, at just eight and eleven, knew that it was an emotional one. They looked at me when he finished as we were clapping and just went…..”Woah”.
*Rodney was my daughters favourite throughout the show. She loved it whenever he was on stage and seeing her smile so much was brilliant. Her favourite song turned out to be ‘Unforgettable’ which Rodney sang. He pulled a member out of the audience and sang with his rich low voice. Any girls dream! Leona asked if when she gets older, will they sing to her. I said yes because I’m not about to dash my daughters dreams! Unforgettable was a really sweet moment. But my favourite Rodney moment was without a doubt when he sang Some Enchanted Evening from one of my fave golden oldie films, South Pacific. I have never heard that song done so well. He didn’t try to change it. It was flawless. That song needs a rich, deep tone and his voice was perfect.
*Julius Williams (THE THIRD OF COURSE!) was a ball of charisma. And man he can sing. My stand out Julius moment was when he did a beautiful rendition of Michael Jacksons She’s Out Of My Life which is possibly my favourite Jackson song. It’s just one of those songs that makes your hairs stand on end. Where Rodney has a deep voice, Julius has the higher, almost silky voice. And because they got to showcase their individual talents, there is no way you can possibly compare them. All of them were exceptional in their own right and I honestly think that more groups should do this at concerts because it was nice to see. There was no sense of one of them hogging the limelight. It was all solidarity. All supporting each other. It was lovely.
*Of course, as much as I LOVED the solo songs, the group performances were out of this world. It is hard to choose a favourite song from the album, but one of the ones I was most looking forward to was Heroes by the late, great David Bowie. And it didn’t disappoint. I remember when they performed this on Britains Got Talent. It was just SO good. When the Littles sing this song now, they sing it the Vox Fortura way instead of the David Bowie way. Who knew that you could turn a song like that into such a striking crossover? All of them harmonising together just melts me. You do not get just how powerful their voices are until you are sat in front of them. (I said this about Alfie Boe in my last blog, I have been a lucky, lucky girl the last week or two.) I don’t know if it’s the voices, the way they stand there looking so serious and feeling every note or the staging/lighting….it’s probably all of them which makes it such a show stopper. I could listen to the guys perform that song day in, day out and never get bored.
*Don’t get me started on Lately. Lately by the fantastic Stevie Wonder is one of my favourite songs of all time. It’s an emotional one for me and has such meaningful words and personal feelings attached. I can’t really describe the moment they sang this on stage other than perfection. Oh, and there were more tears. Of course.
*I can’t do a ‘favourite moments of the Vox Fortura tour’ bit without talking about the man, the reason I went to see them in the first place. Mr Thomas Goodridge. If you ever look his name up (which you should if you haven’t, do it….go on….), you will see that he has a whole host of talents under his belt. Then he went and surprised all of us last year by combining with the other lads and joining Vox Fortura. I am so glad he did. I feel that this group of talents need to be more widely recognised. You will never meet a nicer man than Tommy G. And it’s not just that he’s nice, it’s that he can hold a crowds attention any time. He can turn his hand to anything. He makes people laugh, he awes people.
I have LOADS of favourite Thomas moments from the night, but one in particular was when he casually started rocking out and dancing to Stevie Wonders Signed, Sealed, Delivered. It was also Lex’s favourite song of the whole show. He thought Tommys dance moves were the coolest, which they were. Thomas delivered the song excellently. So much energy, happiness and talent. If it wasn’t for the fact I was sat in a somewhat reserved crowd, I would have got up and danced myself. My other stand out Tommy moment was a solo. This is where I lose huge points because I have no idea what the song was. I have tried and tried to remember and find it to no avail. (If anyone was at the tour and knows, please fill me in!) I loved it so much, that I phoned my best friend and tried to describe what it was like but couldn’t. Tommy had a high voice, a low voice, an inbetweeny voice, an operatic voice, a smooth voice, a pop voice, a rock voice, a soulful voice and ALL the voices in just one song. It was outstanding. It’s probably some really well known song that I totally should know, but I’m sorry….I just don’t. But I loved it.
I didn’t want the show to end. And neither did anyone else. They got their rightful standing ovation and I was sad it was all over so quick.
We got lucky as the boys announced they were going to sign CDs and such, so off we went to say hi.
I adore Vox Fortura as artists and people, but I adored them even more when they treated my children with such kindness. They went out of their way to make them laugh and feel at ease. Julius had a little joke with Lex, Rodney was happy when Leona told him that Unforgettable was her favourite bit of the show – in turn making her super happy from his reaction. They signed the kids CD (we got another one because the kids wanted their own copy) and signed the poster they had. They had photos together and it was all just magical for them. Being nice to me gets you in my good books, being nice to my kids gets you an admirer for life!! Of course, they wouldn’t have been nasty to the Littles….nobody would….it was just the personal touches that made my children feel like they had the best night ever. The boys didn’t have to joke around and ask them their ages and take pictures….but they did. And for that, I thank them. I have had two excited people telling their school friends and family about it alllll week and it ain’t died down yet!
It was amazing to see Tommy again and tell him how much we loved being there. We got the hugs in and had a blast. They were virtually being mobbed at the end there and rightly so. They might be classical crossover artists but to me and everyone else that night, they were Rock Stars.
Thanks for the best night Vox Fortura.
We must do it again sometime soon.