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Oxford - 30/04/2013
30/04/13 @ 07:37:15 pm, Categories: General, 549 words   English (GB)

When you want to get into Oxford you always have to allow for extra travel time. Not once have we gotten into the city centre without standing in a massive traffic jam, but we made it in time and enjoyed chatting to our friends while we waited at the stage door.

Mr. Ball got there running late for his sound check. So the stage door was a rather quick affair. He told us all he was very tired as he had only three hours of sleep in the worst hotel ever (wonder what happened there?!). This must be a tough week for him. Three shows, then the Oliviers, then another three shows. A very taxing schedule indeed.

Due to appallingly slow service at our restaurant we made it to the concert just in time before the lights went out. Oxford New Theatre has an orchestra pitch and so there was a big gap between the front row and the stage. So we thought no kissing during “Wonder of You” then, but that was a vast underestimation of Mr. Ball’s agility as he actually managed to close this gap to touch some fans and then get up again whilst singing. An impressive feat.

The reception in Oxford is always good. For us notably so because this time an elderly gentleman behind us was not only praising Michael after every song to his wife, but actually sang along. So even the husbans present were fans ;-).

There was a scary security guy positioned at the stage and unlike other venues he actually kept people from taking photos after a while. So this is why there are so few tonight. Apologies, but you have to respect the wish of the venue, even though there is no announcement.

Michael actually commented on being tired, which led to the Olivier confession. He almost makes it sound as if he is shy about it and always mentions the revival one way before his own. He sounded superb, so the tiredness did not stretch to the vocal chords.

The sound was much better than in Plymouth, even though we sat really close to the speakers. And the new lower register really does come across nicely in songs like Memory or when he is talking during I Will Always Love You – gives us a physical reaction to be perfectly honest. ;-)

It was lovely seeing Cathy in the audience – and great for us as concerts always tend to be extra special when the family is in.

The stage door at Oxford is notorious for being difficult for fans and ideal for him as the bus will park right in front of it and he can just hop in. He did that and waved at us all and even let someone hand in a programme through the driver’s window so he can sign it. Another lady tried to give him the unauthorized biography book and he refused to sign it as it is not his book. Rounds of spontaneous applause for this – we really think it is wrong that someone would use his name to earn money without asking for his consent beforehand. And off he sped into the night again.

Another amazing concert over. Tomorrow we are off to Bournemouth and the sandy beach. Yay!

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