Pure Winter Tour 2004 - Part 5 - Hayley in Northampton

Showdate: Thursday, November 18th 2004_

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Hayley Westenra
Hayley in Cardiff

17th November, 2004

WINTER TOUR 2004 - Part 5


This is proving to be the most amazing experience. To go to every concert of the tour is undoubtedly the best decision I ever made and I am having the time of my life.

Soon after I arrived at tonight’s venue, Mario appeared in the foyer. He spotted me and immediately offered his hand to shake mine! On three separate occasions tonight, I had lengthy conversations with the conductor, Ben Foster. He said that Mario is such a character during rehearsals. This certainly comes across during his performances. He also spoke very favourably of Holly who had sung with Hayley in Llandudno and feels she has a good future in the music world. I am constantly overwhelmed at how friendly everyone is and how they always find time to talk to people like me when they clearly have such a tight and exhausting schedule. Ben even said that he had been looking at HWI earlier in the day and that he looked forward to reading the reviews! Er… Can I start again, please?!

And so we come to tonight’s concert which was, perhaps, the best yet. Mind you, I was in the centre of the front row, just a few feet away from Hayley!

Towards the end of her set, Fiona danced right round the front of the monitor speakers, so close to the edge of the stage that I wondered if she would end up in my lap!

By now, the audience was exhausted and needed to be calmed down. Who could achieve this better than Hayley? She sang “Beat Of Your Heart” which seemed gloriously soothing after what had preceded it. As always, I sat there totally spellbound by Hayley’s gorgeous voice. For me there can be none better in this world.

Next came a song which was totally new to me, “Wiegenlied”. Hayley explained that it was the theme from a Japanese film entitled “Lorelei”. She had apparently recorded it not only in its original German, but also in Japanese which was, as she put it, “interesting” [giggle!]. Tonight, however, she only gave us the German version. Right from the first concert, I knew I would have trouble over the title of this song as my German is even more limited than Hayley’s Japanese. I overcame my expected predicament a few days ago…. I got Hayley to write it in my notebook! I think I’ll frame it!

“Wiegenlied” (thank you Hayley!), is a beautiful song whose gentle melody is well suited to Hayley’s voice. Truly delightful.

The final song in the set was “Never Say Goodbye”. By now I was totally immersed by the beauty of the occasion. Oh, that voice. So, so lovely.

Mario returned and gave sensational renditions of two more songs, finishing with the title track from his latest album, “Follow Your Heart”. Initially, his voice was soft and gentle, almost dreamlike, but it built up to display his incredible strength which Mario always delivers with consummate ease. In the past, I have attended concerts with the sole purpose of seeing the main performer with no more than a passing interest in any of the guests. This time it is different. I have enjoyed Mario’s sections so much on five occasions so far that I can’t wait to see him again for the final two concerts of the tour. He is amazing and yes, I also bought his two CDs!

I saw Giselle (Steve’s assistant) before tonight’s concert and she said that Hayley was exhausted and so would not be doing a signing session. I said I would therefore not wait outside the Stage Door and, for once, would leave her in peace. But not for long…. I’m going to Southend on Sunday!

Roger Mansbridge
19th November, 2004

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