A Very Special Evening With Rod Argent & Colin Blunstone
St Albans Cathedral
St Albans, Herts
Friday 21st October 2016

Britain's oldest site of continuous Christian worship was the setting of what was billed as "A Very Special Evening....". We knew once the show was announced that this was one not to be missed. How often do you get the opportunity to hear Rod & Colin's vocals augmented by the natural acoustics of such a fine Cathedral?

The Programme
Introduced by the Dean, who said we were free to take as many photos as we liked (but not to use a flash) and to remember to tag the cathedral in our posts (!) the show started with Rod being let loose on the Cathedral Organ to give us the opening of "Rejoice". Minty had a vision of a Vincent Price style character in a long red robe hunched over the keys, and then letting out an insane laugh, but that was not to be!!!

However, despite the encouragement from the Dean, we did not take many pictures. The seating was flat and we would have blocked the view of the people behind us if we raised the camera. We did get a couple of sneaky photos during gaps when the audience were applauding though.

Once we had greeted  Rod and Colin as they took their places on the stage set at the top of the knave, the audience settled down to a quiet hush and the show began. The set up was simple - a grand piano for Rod to the left, Colin at a microphone in the middle and space for the string quintet on the right.

Before the Show - The stage in the knave of the cathedral

Colin Blunstone
Colin's voice has been tremendous every time we see The Zombies, and hearing him in the Cathedral was truly spine tingling. It was flawless. Rod's vocal was magnificent too - the best we've heard him. The sound was very good - not sure how hard it was to get the levels right in such a high ceiling building, with pillars and the like for the sound to bounce off, but they nailed it.

The first set ended with four songs accompanied by the string quintet, 3 violins, a cello and bass, one of which was a completely new arrangement so Rod and Colin were a bit nervous that it would go wrong. It didn't.

After an interval (where the Dean encouraged us to stock up on the drinks as the makeshift bar would close at the start of the second set), we were treated to the second set. This set included some of Odessy & Oracle, which we will never get tired of seeing live, and once again the audience were completely hushed. It was great to have such a respectful audience who listened instead of chattering! There was a magical moment near the very end of "This Will Be Our Year," where there was complete silence for a second and all you heard was Colin breathing in for the last couple of notes.

Ending on "She's Not There", we all of course yelled for more, and we got their lovely rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime".

A Very Special Evening..... it certainly was.

The show was being filmed and we spoke with Cindy their manager about it afterwards. Hopefully things will come out OK, but the lighting on Rod in the first half was not great, and the mic on the cello moved at one point, giving a bit of sound distortion until the celloist had the chance to move the mic back to its rightful position. We hope we get parts of it at least released.
Final bows at the end of the show

The programme for the show was well thought out and nicely presented, and included the set list. Pages are reproduced below:
1st Set

2nd Set
Page from the Programme

Back pages of the programme

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