Rock Up and Sing! Wow! That’s What I Call Christmas, Leeds Town Hall. Review by Phil Brown.
There is something particularly festive about seeing a concert in a spectacular, historic hall less than two weeks before Christmas.
In their choice of venue for their 2015 Christmas performance, Rock Up and Sing! had got it absolutely right. Leeds Town Hall is not only visually impressive, with its ornate decorations and high ceilings, it also offers fantastic acoustics.
It was the perfect place to hear the 300 voices of Yorkshire’s most famous community choir as they sang their hearts out, raising money for Candlelighters in the process.
The first half was a reminder of what Rock Up and Sing! are famous for: lively, engaging performances of rock, pop and soul music from the 1960s to the present day.
A rousing version of Let the River Run set the tone for a night which had numerous highlights, including a powerful take on Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.
The adult choir members allowed their younger counterparts to steal the limelight for a few moments, and the Youth Choir showed just how talented they are.
In their beautiful voices, Elton John’s Your Song became almost a lullaby, and it was a pleasure to be introduced to Pages by Steve Milloy.
After the interval, the music (and the headgear) took a festive turn – and once again, the Youth Choir provided some touching moments.
Esme Lees and Sam Daltry took the solo parts in a charming version of A Winter’s Tale, which was given depth with the support of the adult choirs.
The most memorable performance of the night was, perhaps surprisingly, All I Want for Christmas Is You.
Youth Choir member Annie Wallen had the audience spellbound as she sang the first few lines alone, filling the hall with a pure, beautiful sound which rightly earned cheers of enthusiasm. I doubt I was the only one wishing I could listen to her version rather than the original every Christmas.
The concert finished off with a chance for the audience to join in the fun, including the 12 Days of Christmas – complete with some humorous props and actions from the choir members.
Their enjoyment of the night was infectious and spread throughout the packed audience, who left dancing to the final notes of I Wish It Could be Christmas Every Day – the perfect end to a fantastic night of festivities.