Sunday, 9 September 2012

On a night like this, just wanna be together

'Twas a magnificent, hot, sunny day as our tribe descended on Hyde Park for Proms in the Park yesterday. It is one of our annual treats - a highlight of the "Social Calendar" (it is traditionally the signal for the change-over between Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons). We always manage to bag ourselves a spot close enough to the stage to be able to see the artists, but with the big screen ahead of us (all the better to catch the details), not too far from the facilities, and with landmarks to enable us to find our way back in the dark.

It is an exciting day at the best of times, and this year was particularly special - for our headliner was none other than Princess Kylie herself!

However, Proms in the Park provides a long day's worth of entertainment before we get to the top-billing artists, and the opening segment (aka "the daylight bit", this year with presenter Tony Blackburn) gave us some genuine treats - including a rare appearance (accompanied by the Chicago Blues Brothers) by none other than the truly legendary Miss Madeline Bell (of Blue Mink fame; she has worked with some of the world's greatest artists including Led Zeppelin and Rod Stewart) - who added a touch of class early on in the proceedings.

As well as the fantabulosa Bjorn Again (again!), the London Community Gospel Choir and the cast of not-so-fab Beatles musical Let It Be, the other highlight was a recent discovery, the Gypsy Queens, whose version of L'Americano - the dance version of which was in the charts a few years ago - is rather wonderful. Here is some footage of them from yesterday, singing Take Me Home Country Roads (with a very brief appearance by our friends Baby Steve and Alex):

[2019 UPDATE - gone from YouTube]

As the blazing sun began to set, the picnic was half-consumed and the copious quantity of booze was beginning to kick in, it was time for the second half of the day's entertainment to begin, with the beautiful tenor voice of Mr Alfie Boe, here singing You Are My Heart's Delight:

The rather hunky Il Divo followed soon after, and true to their "boy band for the classically-minded" style, mixed light classical (including a unique vocal interpretation of Barber's Adagio) with pop numbers. Here's their take on one of my favourite gay anthems, Somewhere (from West Side Story):

Excellent stuff. After another rather wonderful appearance from Mr Boe, it was the moment we had all been waiting for!

Adorned in a most beautiful scarlet evening gown, the tiny but striking fame of Miss Minogue took centre stage to deafening cheers from the 40,000-strong crowd, and gave us what we had been promised - a selection of her hits brilliantly orchestrated in a more classical style. We were completely blown away!

Here are a few of the songs our Princess sang...

We danced, we sang, we shouted, we bawled! I think Miss Minogue appreciated it. She looked utterly radiant, beaming smiles throughout, so I guess she knew we all adored her...

Whew! What an emotional roller-coaster... My first Kylie concert. And what a show!

However, even as the lady twinkled her way off the stage, the show was far from finished - it was time for the Grand Finale, as we joined via a live link the Last Night of the Proms concert itself from the Royal Albert Hall. Once more, we had the traditional selection of British pride numbers - including the Sea Shanties, Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia, and waved our Union Jacks till a wind whipped up!

This being a very special year for the UK, the tenor Joseph Calleja was joined on stage by a few of the medallists from the Olympics and Paralympics (which was a superb and emotional moment):

Last night was definitely the very best, most memorable, and most amazing Proms in the Park I have ever been to. I am still coming down to earth! Despite having spent the day with Madam Arcati's Mum and folks for her 80th birthday, the echoes of last night still resonate...


Proms in the Park on the BBC


  1. i chased madeline bell's version of "all that love went to waste" back in the day, after i'd seen the film. sadly, i never found it until a few years ago.

    1. The film being the wonderful A Touch Of Class, of course... Miss Bell was a really unexpected joy to see on stage, and, at the ripe old age of 70 her voice is still remarkable. She shows some of the world's "wannabee Soul divas" like Miss Knowles and Miss Aguilera exactly how it should be done... Jx

  2. You look like you're in your element!

  3. Well, we did expect you would have a good time...

    I really need to see Kylie live again. I only saw her once, during her 2001 "On A Night Like This" tour. She was completely amazing, I'm glad you finally got to see her live. I have just downloaded the PITP section with the princess, can't wait to watch the whole thing!

    Your post is a great overview of the whole event I must say. I love the last photo of Kylie on stage - and judging by one of the photos you posted, I don't think that "blown away" is an overstatement at all! Now, I trust you are ready for the Abbey Road Sessions?

    1. Am I ready? If it is anything like the experience of Saturday, I imagine it is going to be mega-fantastic!! Jx

  4. Fabulous Post!!! So happy you experienced The Magical Miss Minogue! Loving ALL the pics and videos! AHHHHHHMAZING!!!
    *hugs* xoxoMM

    1. I guessed you'd be appreciative - it was a fabulous evening; you would have loved it! Jx

  5. A lovely day, I have some video on my phone of us dancing to Bjorn Again's Super Trouper - not sure how I get it from my phone to the net though…??


    1. You have a Google account, therefore it's just one easy step to post on YouTube - I look forward to seeing this! Jx

  6. This must have been so exciting for you and what a great concert to experience Miss Minogue for the first time. I must go see her again, hopefully on her next tour. I have only seen her when she did her On a Night Like This tour back in 2001!


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