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BBC TV 4th January 2004


An appearance on Songs of Praise was likely to result in seeing Hayley in a full-length dress leading the congregation in the singing of a traditional hymn. This was not the case....

The dreamlike sequence was shot in a pure white room devoid of furnishings. This minimalist, almost surreal setting encapsulated the mood of the song that Hayley was about to sing. Wearing jeans and a colourful wraparound top, she looked like a typical trendy teenage girl - relaxed and beautiful. She leant casually against a pillar in the middle of the room, giving the appearance of one who is dreaming as she began to sing, appropriately,'Heaven'.

During the song, multiple images of Hayley slowly strolling around the room and sometimes in close-up, were superimposed over that of her standing against the pillar, each image in soft focus and fading in and out and all very tastefully put together. All that was needed to complete the picture was some dry ice drifting across the floor. What a pity that no-one thought of it!

The clarity of Hayley's remarkable voice and her superb articulation has been mentioned time and time again but it was so very noticeable during this performance - every syllable of every word could be easily heard. As ever, her lovely voice was a delight to hear and must surely have caught the attention of anyone who had not previously heard her.

It was good to see her performing one of the 'other' songs from Pure which undoubtedly deserves to be broadcast on such a high-profile programme which regularly attracts a huge viewing audience. As far as we know, this was the last we shall see of Hayley until she returns to these shores for the UK leg of her forthcoming tour in March. Until then, we shall all miss her.

Roger Mansbridge



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