A packed house was treated to a fantastic evening of music and song on Tuesday night at Grimsby Auditorium as Britain’s Got Talent Winners and multi platinum album sellers Collabro and their guests came to town.
Opening the show was Sheffield born gospel country singer Philippa Hanna whose set showcased the songwriting and vocal skills which have taken her to the top of the UK gospel charts. Highlights of her set were I Am Amazing, taken from her 2016 album Come Back Fighting, which allowed her to show her marvellously fluid voice to maximum effect and Arrow which has a great up-beat Country vibe and an inspirational message well suited to her Christian background.
Collabro are everyone’s favourite masters of the big show tune that goes like this, starts off soft and low, and ends up with a kiss and this evening they delivered a masterclass in showmanship with a fine six piece band, elegant staging and costumes and a setlist that ranged from Les Miserables to Miss Saigon taking in Wicked, The Lion King, Phantom and lots of other modern musical theatre favourites on the way as well as pop hits like the Mumfords’ I Will Wait and a lively Don’t Rain On My Parade.
Their main set ended with Stars, the tune which first brought them to our attention and then we were treated to a fantastic encore which climaxed with a crimson jacketed December 1963 (Oh What A Night) that had the audience up on its feet and dancing to the Jersey Boys classic.
The nicest surprise of the evening was Collabro’s special guest, Mansfield born Carly Paoli who is one of those fortunate artists whose talent allows them to excel across genres. She has a cool precision that’s well suited to the classical repertoire but also the emotional expressiveness required for musical theatre.
Having fallen in love with the classic film musicals at home she studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and she’s certainly a performer whose star is on the rise, having duetted with Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo and had one of her own songs, Ave Maria, selected by the Vatican as the official song for Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy.
She first appeared to join Collabro for a stunning Over The Rainbow and then treated us to a selection of tunes from her recently released debut album Singing My Dreams. She’s due to headline a show at the Cadogan Hall in London on February 15th 2018 – and it promises to be a great show at one of the most famous venues in the capital.
Not bad for a little girl from Mansfield who fell in love with the magic of the great MGM musicals and never looked back! We’re sure that we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future!