Lee's Merry Christmas was the perfect start to the festive season - joyous, funny and, at times, intensely moving - and for once the weather didn't attempt to disrupt proceedings. The Barbican Hall, with stage trimmed for Christmas, was filled with laughter at some of Lee's anecdotes and ringing with glorious vocals, from both Lee and his lovely special guest, Laura Wright.
Lee was joined by his Musical Director, Mason Neeley, on drums, Steven Reid Williams on piano (both of whom had accompanied him in Bath), Jerry Crozier-Cole on guitar and Richie Blake on bass. I was also delighted to see the return of the terrible trio (aka the brass section) who bring both wonderful sounds and a well-developed sense of fun to the occasion - Andy Kinsman on sax, George Hogg on trumpet and the fab Harry Brown on trombone.
The setlist was a wonderful combination of Christmas numbers, both funny and heart-warming, musical theatre favourites and songs from Lee's new album 'Love Songs' (known to the band as 'The Luuuurve Album') which is due for release on 6 February, just in time for his next tour. From what I've heard so far, it's going to be a very special album - songs that Lee himself loves, which showcase his wonderful voice superbly.
There was mistletoe, Santa hats and a surprise appearance from Joseph (no, not that Joseph) thanks to Lee's friend (and sometime video blogger) Phill Tarling. My personal highlights are many and varied, but I think if I had to choose just one song, it would be 'Bring Him Home' ... simply stunning.
There was a programme, of which I have posted scans above and below. Guest and band bios are also included on the separate full setlist, along with one or two bonus items you might enjoy.
Finally, huge thanks to Abs for sharing her beautiful photos. They capture the spirit of the occasion brilliantly ... although a shot or two of the superbly tailored three piece suit he wore in the first half wouldn't go amiss!