Ahead of his mini UK tour in September, Lee took his highly successful "An Evening with..." show to the Isle of Man on 23 August for a concert in aid of Manx charity, Junior Achievement, dedicated to helping the Island's young people gain the essential skills they need when they leave full-time education. With the motto "Inspiring Young Minds", it was unsurprising to hear from Lee that it is an organisation whose aims he wholeheartedly supports. Indeed, he was as generous with his time in supporting the charity as he was with his words, meeting and, I hear, charming the lucky VIP ticket holders before the concert started.
Performing in the beautifully refurbished Villa Marina's Royal Hall, Lee was joined by special guest, Robyn Mellor, who many of Lee's fans will remember as Princess Apricot to Lee's Jack in Jack & the Beanstalk last Christmas, and backed by his talented band, led again by musical director Mason Neely on drums and acoustic guitar, with Steven Reid Williams on piano and Richie Blake on bass guitar.
After the wonderful intimacy of the recent Pheasantry gigs, it felt a little strange taking my seat in a large auditorium once again and, from what he said later, even stranger to Lee... but from the moment he stepped on to that stage he looked and sounded like he was right where he belonged, delighting the audience with his usual self-deprecating humour and a performance full of passion and feeling.
The material he'd tried out at the Pheasantry worked superbly in this larger space, where he could unleash the full power of his voice - I've said before, but it is no less true for the repitition, I have never heard him sing better than he is right now - and he also obviously relished having the room to move, prowling the stage to reach out to the whole audience. To avoid spoilers for those looking forward to the September concerts, the set list is given on a separate page. And if you haven't booked yet for one of those concerts, I urge you to look again at the dates and see if there is one you could possibly get to... Mr Mead in the form of his life is worth exploring all the options for!
The concert ended with a richly deserved standing ovation and, as Lee came out to perform an encore, a very sweet moment when he jumped down from the stage to talk to a young audience member who had come up to say hello. His gentleness with Amanda earned him a collective "awww", rapidly followed by much laughter as he realised he wasn't going to be able to hop back on to the stage as easily as he'd hopped down! Happily for him (and for our encore) there were steps at the side!
This short review in Isle of Man Today sums up the evening perfectly!
Finally, there were official photographs taken on the night - the first six from Junior Achievement as posted on their Facebook page, the final two from the promoter, Easy Theatres.
Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES
Last updated: 10 March 2017