Pure Winter Tour 2004 - Part 3 - Hayley in Edinburgh

Showdate: Monday, November 15th 2004_

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Hayley Westenra
Hayley in Cardiff

15th November, 2004

WINTER TOUR 2004 - Part 3


After an eight-hour journey, I found myself in Edinburgh! Unlike the first two concerts, this one was not scheduled to begin until 8 o’clock.

The conductor took up his customary pose with the baton raised high, violins were tucked beneath chins, and hands were poised above keyboards. This struck me as being an unnecessary refinement considering the opening number on the previous two nights had begun with Hayley singing unaccompanied! Tonight, however, there was an additional item at the beginning of the programme.

Two notes were all it took for me to recognise the simple but delightful theme of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I have long admired this work but have never seen it performed live so this was an unexpected but very welcome treat. As the applause died down, Hayley took the stage and sang “Amazing Grace” and the programme from then on was as it had been in Birmingham and Cardiff.

I will now pick up the programme where I left off in my Cardiff review with Mario Frangoulis leaving the stage having won the hearts of the audience with his superb performance which concluded with the delightful song, “Here’s To The Heroes”.

Hayley returned and sang the ever-popular “Mary Did You Know?”. She explained that this song appears on the bonus disc of the re-released version of Pure and that it was on sale in the foyer! This speech was interspersed with typical Hayley giggles!

Hayley ended the first half with an amazing rendition of “In Trutina”. Of course, there is a brief moment of total silence in between verses and it always concerns me that somebody will make the mistake of applauding at this point. Thankfully on this tour, no-one has done so yet. I think that signifies how familiar everyone is with the songs from Pure, which, in turn, confirms its amazing popularity.

When I spoke to Hayley after the show, she immediately said, “I got it wrong again, didn’t I?” This referred to her announcement about her exams. Although she had mentioned having to wait until February for the results, the wording had not been exactly as it was in Birmingham. I judged that my “spontaneous” response of “you’ll do fine (as originally suggested by Kirsty), would not have been totally appropriate and so I had not called out, hence Hayley’s realisation that she must have got the wording wrong. We agreed that, if she got it exactly right during the remainder of the tour, I will do so. We shall see!

I briefly met Mario Frangoulis who said how much he was enjoying the tour. He joked that he had had a frog in his throat during the Birmingham concert but I assured him that his voice had sounded fine.

I also spoke at length to Fiona Pears who plays first violin. Each night, she opens the second half with a solo spot which has to be seen to be believed. I told her that the audiences clearly adore her. I described her performance as being “spirited, fiery and very exciting”. Towards the end of the set, she dances around the stage as she plays. The audience really love this – and the more she dances, the more they love it. She seems to be responding to this gradually by dancing with increased enthusiasm and energy each night. And each night, the audience love her more and more. What will happen on the last night, I wonder?

Steve then called me and told me some wildly exciting news. I later discovered that Hayley seems really pleased about it too. You’ll see what that’s all about in my review of Llandudno. See you there?

Roger Mansbridge
16th November 2004

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