Will Young, Gareth Gates & Pop Idol Live
This is definitely a guilty pleasure.
The first series of British reality TV pop music show Pop Idol was broadcast over the winter months of 2001 and 2002. The show was a competition open to singers between 16 and 26 years old, with the winner receiving a £1 million recording contract. The whole family watched the show which came to its climax in a singing duel between the two finalists Will Young and Gareth Gates. We were all cheering for team Will, even though Gareth was the favourite. The outcome was not quite what was expected with the jazzier Will coming first, ahead of the poppier teen idol Gareth. The ten finalists then went out on tour and we (me, Marie, Laura) trooped off to Newcastle Arena to relive the excitement of the show.
The concert was presented by judge Nicki Chapman with video clips of the TV show’s other judges. Korben, the first finalist to be voted off, opened the night. Other finalists were former train driver Aaron Bayley, 16-year-old Zoe and Darius Danesh. Darius gave a great hip swivelling performance of It’s Not Unusual which Tom Jones would have been proud of. The other finalists performing were Jessica Garlick, Laura Doherty, Rosie Ribbons and Hayley Evetts. But the big cheers were reserved for Gareth and Will. Gareth sang his version of Unchained Melody, which was soon released as a single. Will performed his version of the Doors’ Light My Fire, which had been a big hit in the show, and his Christmas single Evergreen. The second half of the concert had a big band theme. Highlights were Gareth singing Mack The Knife and Will doing Beyond The Sea, both of which had featured in the TV show. For a finale all the contestants sang the Sinatra Classic My Way. All good clean harmless pop fun.
Laura became a massive Will Young fan from then on, so I was treated to the Will and Gareth tour at the Arena later that year, and then Will on his own tour, again at the same venue, four years later in 2006.
That concludes my coverage of letter “Y”.
Archive for the ‘Will Young’ Category
Will Young, Gareth Gates & Pop Idol Live
The Olympic Torch Concert The Mall London 26th June 2004
Tickets were given away free, through a ballot, for this concert to mark the arrival of the Olympic Torch in London in 2004. The publicity at the time announced: “As the Olympics draw closer, London will host the Olympic Torch Relay and we have tickets to give away for the Olympic Torch Concert. It will be a landmark event for London and the UK as the torch is carried though 11 London boroughs on Saturday, 26 June. The Mall, for the first time, will become a gigantic open-air venue for 70,000 people, linking sport and music. Rock legend Rod Stewart will headline with James Brown and many other music stars such as Jamelia and Emma Bunton will also be performing in celebration of the Olympic flame coming to London” (BBC, 2004). David Campbell, chief executive of Visit London, said: “We are enormously proud to be associated with the Olympic flame’s visit to London, and are delighted at the support we have been given by all the artists for what will be a spectacular concert and day of entertainment. Visit London wanted to stage an event that encompassed the ethos of the Olympic ideal, bringing it to the people in one of the world’s most famous capital cities. We are confident that the Olympic Torch Concert and all the events on 26 June will do just that.” This was the first time the Olympic torch had come to Britain since 1948.
The full line-up of the concert was: Rod Stewart, Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne, James Brown, Will Young, Emma Bunton, Beverley Knight, Jamelia, McFly, Rachel Stevens, Razorlight. Marie and I were lucky enough to score a couple of tickets in the ballot so we went to London for the weekend for this special event. We arrived early, but the place was completely packed, with the stage right down the bottom of The Mall. It was impossible to get anywhere near the stage, but video screens had bee erected along the length of The Mall to show the concert and the progress of the Olympic torch as it was carried through London boroughs by 140 torchbearers. Sir Roger Bannister, 75 at the time, and the first man to break the four-minute mile in 1954, started the relay and brought it to a close by running up the centre of The Mall onto the stage. Highlights of the concert were Ozzy and Kelly singing “Changes”, James Brown and Will Young dueting on “Papa’s got a brand new bag” and Rod Stewart’s short three song set, which featured the cast from “Tonight’s The Night” (a big West End success at the time) on “Sailing” and “Rhythm of my heart”. But more importantly the concert also featured Rod with his old Faces mate Ronnie Wood on guitar for “Stay With Me”. You can see it below on YouTube. We are right at the back of the crowd watching a screen 😦 We probably would have had a better view watching it on TV, but the atmosphere in London was great 🙂 .
Rod’s performance with Ronnie Wood made the day, and the trip to London, worthwhile for me. It was great to see the two of them performing together again, even it was only for a few moments, and it brought back many happy memories.