Reviewed by Jayne Knight
Night 36 of a 52 date tour, Collabro strolled on to the stage ready to meet their fans. Opening with the title song from Grease, the lyrics reflect everything about the boys’ life with music – ‘We take the pressure and we throw away, conventionality belongs to yesterday. There is a chance that we can make it so far, we start believing now but we can be who we are.’ To paraphrase ‘It’s got groove it’s got meaning Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion.’
The warmth of the opening was further enhanced by music from Sunset Boulevard – ‘As if we never said goodbye’.
In the few years since Collabro wowed the panel on BGT they have been catapulted into the limelight. From a group of friends, unknown to the outside world they are now performing with such luminaries as Sir Cliff Richard and Barry Manilow, with an ever-growing fan base (Collaborators).
Singing many show lyrics that we have all come to know and love Collabro closed the first half of their performance with a tribute to the Jersey Boys, showing a versatility from the moving lyrics of ‘Why God’, (Miss Saigon) to the upbeat tempo of Frankie Valli, including ‘Walk like a Man’ and ‘Sherry’, culminating with ‘Oh what a night’.
The second half was, again, packed with songs from well-known musicals which showed Collabro’s vocal harmonies; being comfortable as solo artists, duet to quartet the musical arrangements only served to enhance their performance.
The Collaborators also enjoyed two performances by Kerry Ellis, star of London stage singing ‘Anthem’ (Chess) and hits from The Greatest Showman, when she was joined by Collabro for ‘A Million Dreams’.
Collabro are, during this tour being supported by local choirs. Last night we were treated to backing by Cantamus, from Mansfield, during a rendition of ‘Electricity’ and Collabro’s own composition ‘Faithfully’. This is a fantastic opportunity for the choirs to perform to an audience that may otherwise not hear them. The Choirs range from the formality of Cantamus through Theatre Schools, Children’s Choirs and School Choirs each of whom will bring their own creativity to the stage.
Remembering their roots and the fact that everyone needs that bit of luck to break into the music industry, our evening began with the support act, Georgia and the Vintage Youth. She brings her own style that has you tapping to the beat. Her own ‘take’ on Rogers and Hammerstein’s ‘My Favourite Things,’ according to Georgia, is something you will either love or hate; to take a well-loved and trusted piece, re-working it to fit modern life, I thought was inspirational.
An evening full of musicality, beautiful arrangements and vocal harmony, Collabro were continually moving around the stage, using different lighting effects and configurations to their line-up, ensuring that their collaborators and pieces chosen for the evening were given the best possible attention. The lighting and haze accentuated the mood, even to the subtlety of changing the colour strips on the stage steps to the tricolour during a moving rendition of ‘Bring him Home’, (Les Miserables). Collabro are not afraid to talk to their audience, taking turn at introducing songs, sharing anecdotes of life on the road or experiences, or joking among themselves, making you feel that you are one big family.
The Road to the Royal Albert Hall Tour continues to cross the country until 20th April when they will headline in this iconic venue before embarking on two dates in Ireland.
Ticket prices range from standard seat prices to a VIP package, but if you haven’t booked yet, get yours soon, as Collabro are rapidly becoming a sell out at all venues.
Collabro are currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit officialcollabro.com.
For other shows at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND