Set in a park, the Beck Theatre, venue for the fourth date on Lee's 2014 tour, is a small, calm oasis in the urban sprawl that is Hayes - but tonight everything about it was hot, from the sultry atmosphere inside and out, to the sizzling performances on stage from Lee, his special guest Stephen Rahman-Hughes and his superb band, led by his long-time musical director (and record producer), Mason Neely, on drums and guitar, with Richie Blake on bass and Will Stuart on keyboards.
Thanks as always to the lovely Phill Cowndley for allowing me to share this fabulous photo (right) of Lee and Stephen doing their thing - click it to see it in all its full-size glory!.
The word that first springs to mind to describe Lee tonight is ebullient... he was chatty, cheeky and full of laughter, littering his trademark stories amongst the songs of a set that is now familiar, yet somehow always surprising ('Kiss' was restored to the line-up this time out, much to the delight of the highly enthusiastic, and for some unfathomable reason(!) predominantly female audience). It is only the first word of many however, for when he stops talking, stills in readiness and starts to sing, Lee opens a door to another world and leads his audience, Pied Piper-like, into a maelstrom of emotions.
As always, it is hard to pick a favourite moment... so I'll pick two! Polar opposites in terms of mood, they both brought tears to my eyes - 'Hallelujah', such a simple arrangement, but sung so beautifully, torment dripping from every word, and the second act opener,'Dancing Through Life' , which on this occasion was performed, with great panache and the usual liberal scattering of Wickified dance moves, by 'Doctor Mead' complete with white coat, stethoscope and specs (thanks again to Phill Cowndley for capturing the moment and sharing the evidence below)! Laughter is always a feature of Lee's concerts, but never have I laughed til I cried as I did tonight... I'm still giggling five hours later as I write this.
Another moment that has stayed with me stemmed from Lee picking up from Twitter earlier in the day that people were heading to Hayes from some pretty far-flung places...
Special mention also for the special guest, Stephen Rahman-Hughes, super-talented and a lovely guy. Belting rock-style eight shows a week on the Rock of Ages UK tour must agree with him, because tonight he was smoking hot! His song selections for this tour are wonderful, singing two solos in each half and the ever-popular duet of 'Luck Be A Lady' with Lee - stand-out for me tonight was 'A Case of You', the Joni Mitchell number that I love more each time I hear Stephen sing it.
I've included the full setlist on a separate page to retain an element of surprise for those yet to see the show.
And if you're amongst that number, the next two concerts are also close to London - just a few tickets remain for Capitol Theatre, Horsham on Sunday 10 August (which I think may be Stephen's last gig with Lee until Southend in October), but there is better availability at GLive, Guildford the following Wednesday, 13 August.
Booking info for these and all other dates on the tour can be found HERE, while Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES.
Oh yes... those photos!
Last updated: 21 July 2014