This always promised to be a special evening and it didn't disappoint. Those of you who made it to Lee's Pheasantry gigs in 2013 know what a lovely, intimate venue it is and some were lucky enough to be there on the night Lee's good friend and fellow 'West End Man', the multi-talented Stephen Rahman-Hughes made a guest appearance.
Lee returned the favour at Stephen's Hippodrome Casino gig back in March, where the musical sparks really flew. The mutual appreciation society continues with Stephen guesting at a number of dates on Lee's ongoing 2014 tour (next date, at which Stephen is again Lee's special guest, is at the Beck Theatre in Hayes on Sunday 20 July) and tonight came full circle with Lee joining Stephen on stage at his own Pheasantry gig.
Stephen, accompanied by his musical director, Steve Holness, on piano and Olly Buxton on bass, put his own stamp on everything he sang, the jazz vibe he favours sitting very happily in that intimate space, filled with fans and friends and family. He was joined in the first half by the lovely Preeya Kalidas, who he first met when they were in Bombay Dreams together and who was also, of course, Narrator to Lee's Joseph back in 2007. They sang two duets including a simply beautiful version of 'Make You Feel My Love'. In the second half, Stephen invited Lee to the stage... the glass of white wine he carried on stage with him giving an early clue to his very relaxed mood - it was his birthday weekend after all! Both men spoke warmly of the friendship which has grown from their first meeting as 'West End Men' in 2012 - a friendship which is very evident when the two perform together.
But first Lee sang the highly-charged Cat Stevens number 'Father and Son', a song which gives him the story-telling scope he so relishes and delivers so brilliantly, followed by Stevie Wonder's 'I Believe (When I Fall In Love)'. This 'West End Men' arrangement of the song brought Stephen back on stage to join Lee for the closing bars before they launched into the duet that is fast becoming their trademark - 'Luck Be A Lady' - and tonight they reached new heights of hilarity with it. I'm not sure who had more fun, the men on stage or the audience watching them, it was a virtuous circle of pure entertainment.
You can see the full setlist here and it was all so good, it's hard to pick highlights, but I have to give a personal nod to two of my favourites from Stephen's set - 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and, as an encore, the beautiful Joni Mitchell song 'A Case of You', dedicated to his equally beautiful wife, Anjali.
Huge thanks to the lovely Anne Stern for giving the Timeline exclusive access to this brilliant video of I Believe (When I Fall In Love), a fabulous performance which gives us the double bonus of a Meady solo and a duet with Stephen!
Anne also captured the absolutely hilarious 'Luck Be A Lady' - brilliant stuff from the guys and from Anne's steady hands - and much more of both Stephen and Preeya which you can find on her YouTube channel.
I am sure there will be photos in the coming days over on Lee's official Facebook page from Phill Cowndley, who was on official snapping duty, but in the meantime here are a few of mine.
Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES
Last updated: 12 July 2014