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Cardiff and London
Gallery 25 (Review) - The PURE Tour 2004 - Sunday 4th April, 2004

A quite amazing experience

Photo of Hayley and me, taken after the concert in Cardiff (Ed: All images may be enlarged)

I have derived great pleasure from attending Hayley’s concerts at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff on March 28, and at the Palladium on March 29, and was fortunate to meet Hayley after the concerts on both occasions.I left Holland for Cardiff on March 27, and had the great fortune of meeting Holly Holyoake and her parents during on March 28. For more details about meetin them, see my special review page Cardiff at Young Classical Performers.I arrived at St. David’s Hall quite early, in the hope of meeting my good friends Simon and Keith from Hayley Westenra International, and have plenty of time to talk to them. Fortunately they were wearing their special HWI sweatshirts, which enabled me to pick out Keith as he was about to walk straight past me. He hadn’t recognised me, because, as he said, he hadn’t expected me to be so tall! It was good to meet them, and a number of other fans as well.

The promotional mini-CD I had
pleasure in presenting to Hayley

The concert was everything you could expect of it, and more besides. To me, the absolute highlight before the interval was the duet ‘Panis Angelicus’, sung by Hayley and her younger sister Sophie. They really complemented each other very well.
After interval, Sophie was given a chance to introduce the youngest of the Westenra’s, Isaac. They performed a charming duet of ‘Greensleeves’. The highlight after interval, and to me the absolute highlight of the entire performance was the full cast (Hayley, Sophie and Isaac, and the guest artists Katherine Jenkins and Brandon Pou) singing ‘Hine e Hine’. The warm voice of Brandon Pou added an extra dimension to the song and the concluding part, when all 5 singers sang together was simply spine tingling.


Holly and Hayley after the concert in Cardiff

Picture taken by Keith S.
After the show, a small group, which included Holly and her parents Trixie and Craig, waited outside the backstage entrance of St. David’s Hall for about an hour. During that hour, Holly treated us to a beautiful a-capella version of ‘O mio babbino caro’. Then Hayley appeared for a brief photo session and some autograph signing. I had with me some 11 copies of a special promotional 3'' mini-CD from Singapore, containing just the one track ‘Who Painted The Moon Black’. On showing one to Hayley, she was rather surprised, as she herself had never seen one! No prizes for guessing therefore what Hayley received from me as a present! I was quite excited by the fact that I had a supply of promotional items which she herself hadn’t even seen!Then it was off to London, to be there in time for the next concert, at the Palladium. I was very keen to see how they would fit Hayley’s special guests for this concert, the boys choir Libera, into the program. I was hardly prepared for what happened though. Libera was given the honour to start off the concert, not just with one or two songs, no they performed 4 songs, starting with my favourite Libera song, ‘Sanctus II’. They also performed ‘Deep Peace’, ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘I Am The Day’. After this intro, Hayley’s concert was very much like the one in Cardiff, except that it started with a Maori dance, and that the ‘Greensleeves’ duet of Sophie and Isaac was omitted from the programme. ‘Hine e Hine’ once more included the entire cast. The addition of Libera made this a unique version of the song. To give you an impression of the concert, I have pleasure to offer you amateur video of my three favourites of the Palladium concert, ‘Sanctus II’ by Libera, ‘Panis Angelicus’ by Hayley and Sophie, and ‘Hine e Hine’ by the full cast. I have personally recorded these videos with my digital photo(!) camera, which is also capable of capturing quite good quality video and audio! The recordings were made with a Fuji Finepix S602Zoom camera. I hope you enjoy this visual impression! (Will be available soon)

Hayley after the concert in London
ready to sign a few autographs, as you
can see from the marker in her left hand ...
Picture taken at 4 minutes to midnight!

After the concert, I was fortunate to be able to meet Hayley again. This time the wait was 2 hours. I had the privilege of being the last person to talk to Hayley after the concert, and during my brief chat with her, it was actually midnight – March 30 had arrived – the day I turned 50! I wonder how many people will be able to make that claim – that they were talking to Hayley at midnight, the moment they turned 50. Well, Hayley didn’t realise of course that I was turning 50 as I was talking to her – and I would have liked to have talked a little longer – but she really had to go and prepare for the next stage of her concert!All in all, my trip to Cardiff and London was quite an amazing experience – one that I wont forget for a long time.Gareth

4th April 2004

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Some of these images are brought to you thanks to www.hayleywestenra.com
Copyright Decca/Universal Music Group UK Ltd., Jill Westenra, and others where noted.

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