Last night saw the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra taking part in a benefit night for the families of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. The owner of Everton football club, and theatre impressario, Bill Kenwright was presenting An Evening with Marti Pellow and the RLPO. This type of work is very refreshing for the orchestra, especially as it was sandwiched in between a week of Bartok, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, malcolm Arnold and Mozart. This variety is essential for the creative juices.
Marti brought a great ‘set’ with him and his group of very talented jazz musicians, who sat by him in the middle of the audience. Standards such as Summertime, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Nature Boy, I won’t send Roses, Wild Mountain Thyme and I have Dreamed were all looked at through new eyes by Marti’s brilliant arrangers, Paul Campbell and Andrew Cottee. There were no instrumental numbers whatsoever, Marti belted out every song himself at full power and with all appropriate passion, too.
By all accounts Marti spent many years living it up, in the style associated with many pop stars, and got into some unfortunate health issues with with drink and drugs. He declared himself clean, however, in 1999. In recent years, Marti, who made his name as lead singer of Wet Wet Wet, has reinvented himself as a genuine star of the West End Stage. His appearances in Wily Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ has attract rave reviews and critical acclaim. Marti is a really nice fella and didn’t even take a ‘brass farthing’ (Bill Kenright’s words!) for his considerable services for the evening.
The show, conducted by Fiachra Trench, proved a smash with the audience shouting for more before Marti brought the night to a close with his massive worldwide hit ‘Love Is All Around’.
Here’s the review by – Mark Waddington/Liverpool Echo