Helsbrownie was one of the lucky few chosen to attend Ramin Karimloo’s special performance last night. 150 fans were invited to an intimate show as a way of thanking them for their loyalty and patience, since the release date of his new CD has been delayed more than once. Here is her exclusive report:
You don’t get much for free these days, so when someone offers you something for nothing, I find it best to grab it with both hands. On that basis, Monday night found me in a hot and sweaty basement bar near Oxford Street awaiting Ramin Karimloo’s “thank you” gig.
My verdict: anyone heading to the upcoming tour is in for a real treat. We heard a few songs from the album including Constant Angel and Coming Home as well as a new composition, tentatively titled Here I Go, which has a Sheytoons-esque feel. I was thrilled to hear some Sheytoons material which I hadn’t been expecting, given Hadley Fraser’s absence. But the highlights for me were the covers. Everyone went mad for Raining in Baltimore by the Counting Crows, but my personal favourite ended the night: Green Day—Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). The song suits Ramin’s voice beautifully, with a little country music addition in the middle by one of his guitarists. Ramin stayed away from any musical theatre numbers, which was the right choice as they wouldn’t really have suited the venue, although Bring Him Home would have been stunning in the intimate space.
I think Ramin’s voice is incredible. His ability to adapt to different musical styles effortlessly puts him in a class above other performers who try to vary their repertoire. He is a performer comfortable in his own skin and clearly has a genuine relationship with his band, thus creating a lovely atmosphere for the audience. There was an awful lot of talent on the stage—the band included two guitarists, keyboard, percussion, two violins and a cello, as well as Ramin varying between guitar, banjo and keyboard. I very much hope some, if not all, are joining him on tour.
Ramin had asked that no-one record the gig (not that this stopped at least one disrespectful guy) and instead passed round his own video camera. It is definitely worth keeping an eye out for that official footage to appear, once he has edited it.
Overall, I was very impressed by Ramin’s performance and his general attitude. While he clearly used the gig as a rehearsal for his upcoming tours, he was generous not to charge for entry and he obviously spent a lot of time organising it—he had to send around 150 individual emails to those of us attending. Most impressively, at the end, he stood at the door and said goodbye to everyone individually—like a line-up at a wedding! When I approached, he knew my name (I cannot understand how) and seemed genuinely keen to know if I’d enjoyed the gig. Suffice to say I left on a high, both from that meeting and from the music.
Roll on the tour!
Thank you, helsbrownie! We’re grateful to you for sharing your experience, not to mention envious of your good fortune!