Last time Lee performed in a park in Chelmsford it was Hylands Park for the Sparks Will Fly Olympic Torch Relay event in 2012.
In 2019 - it was Central Park for Essex Pride on Saturday 15 June. Coming at the end of the one-week run of his first co-produced play Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, in which he also starred, at the city's Cramphorn Studio - his appearance on the Pride stage slotting between the final two shows - it was quite a day!
Many of Lee's fans who were there to see the play hot-footed it across to the park after the matinee and joined the crowd around the main stage as Sam Bailey was mid-set. Lee was due on next but the host told us that "traffic problems" (aka Lee's need to wash off the grime of his Lebanon cell and don some more suitable clothing!) necessitated a change in the running order. Due on stage a little later, George Redwood stepped into the breach and kept the party going in great style, but I was still glad to spy a familiar curly head arrive in the wings a little while later.
Of course, there's always a silver lining... and the extra act meant more ebb and flow of people around the stage and the chance to gently work our way forward, so that by the time Lee took to the stage, I had only one row of people in front of me. Unfortunately, the young girl immediately in front of me was somewhat the worse for wear - having stayed more or less upright during his first number, her legs finally buckled as he started his second, and I had to abandon both watching and filming to take her out of the crowd and get her some help.
So, I can share with you video of Dancing Through Life and the information that he also sang Make You Feel My Love ... very beautifully, I'm told!
I've often commented on Lee's astonishing ability to move from hilarity to intense emotion with just a moment to close his eyes, to breathe, to still. He had a little more than a moment to adjust on this occasion, but the contrast between his performances on the two stages he graced on Saturday could not have been greater. It struck me again how lucky we are that he embraces such different worlds and moves so effortlessly between them.
UPDATE: With huge thanks to the lovely Amanda from Holland - I can now also both watch and share with you her footage of Make You Feel Me Love - it was worth the wait. Oh, and have I mentioned recently how much I love this fan community that has grown around Lee? Team work... it makes the dream work ;-)
Lee's full concert and events schedule (including past appearances) is at CONCERT & LIVE EVENTS
Published: 11/04/2019; last updated: 18/06/2019