I was delighted to hear back in June 2014 that Lee Mead would be returning as one of the stars of the Warners Leisure 2015 Star Breaks season - this time performing at Holme Lacy House in Herefordshire, on Sunday 17 May 2015.
The three-night break started on Friday 15 May and for those of us fortunate enough to be there, offered a wonderfully relaxing break with Lee as a perfect finale!
Following a very well-received first venture into the world of Warners at Littlecote House Hotel in April 2014 (you can read more about the concert and the Q&A that preceded it here), Lee was a popular choice among the Warners regulars I spoke to during the weekend. The 'star' performances normally occupy the Saturday night slot, but in deference to Lee's schedule, this time they saved the best til last and it wasn't until shortly after 9pm on Sunday night that Mike Riley played those familiar opening bars of 'Pure Imagination' and a few seconds later Lee emerged from the wings to huge applause, paused for it to settle and staryed to sing.
From our vantage point, he sounded wonderful, if a little quieter than usual, but it soon became evident that technical gremlins were at play, with both mic and mic stand. Both issues were resolved, eventually, but not until Lee had started to sing 'Close Every Door'... he handled the disruption with good humour but the mood was somewhat broken by the hiatus, so he chose to return to that later and moved on to a couple of songs from his forthcoming 'Some Enchanted Evening' tour (kicking off on 19 July) and album (due for release in the summer), which both feature songs from the classic Hollywood musical films of the 1940s and 50s. You will see from the full setlist many of the much-loved favourites familiar to his fans were included in an hour-long set that was well-pitched for and very well-received by the regular Warners audience, most of whom were less well-acquainted with his recent work.
Let me also record my thanks to Lee's band - his long-time musical director and producer, Mason Neely, on drums and guitar, Richie Blake on bass and the aforementioned Michael Riley on piano - and close by saying that Lee's voice just gets better and better. His power and range, melded with the emotional resonance he instils into everything he sings, is a stunning combination. I know that his 2015 tour isn't reaching all corners of the UK (due to his Casualty filming commitments), but if ANY of the dates are remotely within your means to get to, do please get yourself a ticket - I have a feeling this one is going to be very special indeed.
And finally, as non-flash photography was allowed, a few photos (click on any below to view full Gallery) - there's more black & white than I would usually use, but the electric blue lighting used for a couple of numbers was not the camera's friend! My ever-grateful thanks to Anne Stern for the first six, the rest are mine. You're welcome to save them for your personal viewing, but please don't re-post on social media or elsewhere without Anne's or my permission - thank you.
Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES
Last updated: 19 May 2015