Forever Amy – One Night Only
Forever Amy – A Celebration of Amy Winehouse’s music – featuring the original band! The show celebrates the unforgettable music and live performances of Amy’s catalogue with the musicians who knew her best – and the ones that helped create her timeless sound.Featuring the incredible vocal talent of Alba Plano, this is the most authentic celebration of Amy Winehouse’s music you could want to see!
An extraordinary jazz and soul singer in her own right, Alba has stunned audiences throughout the world. As the vocalist for ‘Forever Amy’ she channels the very essence of Amy herself creating the most stunning re-imagining of Amy’s live show in both vocal style and performance.
‘As a singer and performer Amy has been my greatest inspiration. It is truly an honour to be onstage with her band and have the opportunity to bring her music to life again.’
Forever Amy: The Band.
A pre gig chat enlightened me to the fact that Amy Winehouse had played Concorde 2 some 13 years ago. This gig is their only UK performance before setting off across Europe. If you love the music of Amy WInehouse then keep your eyes peeled for some 2020 UK dates. It is a special evening not to be missed.
The band line-up for this special evening was:
Dale Davis – bass
As Amy’s musical director and bass player throughout her career Dale also became one of her most trusted musical collaborators and friend. He is a hugely in demand UK session musicians who has also toured and recorded with Tina Turner, Mark Ronson,Norman Cook and Paul Young.
Hawie Gondwe – guitars
Between 2007 – 2011 Hawie was Amy’s guitarist. From her memorable set at Glastonbury in 2008 ,full band shows throughout Europe and South America to intimate acoustic performances around the world. He has also performed and recorded with: George Michael,Gnarls Barkley, Corinne Bailey-Rae and Sinead O’Connor.
Nathan Allen – drums
One of the most musical,sensitive and groovy soul drummers in the UK, Nathan was just 21 years old when he joined Amy’s band. Since then he has gone on to work with Tom Jones, Faith Evans, Natasha Bedingfield and many more.
Richard Cardwell – keyboards
Keyboards tonight from Amy’s band was Richard Cardwell. Richard has worked with many artists such as Eurythmics, Annie Lennox, Roxy Music, James Morrison, Dido, Rod Stewart and many more.
Jim Hunt – saxophone
Musical prodigy Jim Hunt’s career has taken in an extraordinary breadth of artists. As arranger, saxophonist and horn section leader he has toured and recorded with Primal Scream, Richard Ashcroft,Paloma Faith and Noel Gallagher to name a few. Amy’s horn section was a key part of her sound and having the best in the business leading it was essential.
Ben Edwards – trumpet
Ben is a UK based trumpet and flugelhorn player. Ben has recorded with artists such as Robbie Williams, Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse, Rizzle Kicks, Professor Green and more. Amy’s horn section was an integral part of her material and Ben delivered that tonight.
Forever Amy: The Set
Thank you to the crew for the full setlist, I am pretty sure I would have missed a couple! The band took to the stage as the smoke machine kicked into life. Opening the set tonight we had Tears Dry, Mr Magic, Cherry, Stronger Than Me, F-ck Me Pumps and Moody’s Mood. All astonishing to hear live. I never saw Amy live sadly. But Alba and Amy’s band were doing justice to this material. The promotion of this event hailed it as a celebration of the music of Amy. It was. Alba reminded us that she wasn’t Amy! But dear reader she does have a look and at times an uncannily similar sound to her voice.
An extraordinary jazz and soul singer. Alba seemed to create and focus on the essence of Amy herself. Her vocal style and performance is extraordinary to watch. Love Is Blind, Addicted, and a rather smokey jazz club version of the superb Cupid, a hit for Sam Cooke. This was a previously unreleased track until the deluxe version of Back to Black, Amy delivered this one during her Glastonbury performance. Alba and the band put this one up and it really was a delight to hear it. Perfection.
World class performance
This set continues with Love Is A Losing Game and More Than You’ll Ever Know. This Undoubted world class band and performer successfully rose to the challenge of Back To Black. These were just gorgeous songs. All immaculately presented the music of Amy will forever be informative and engaging.
I would describe Alba’s performance style as completely versatile, she doesn’t stop, she clearly loves what she does and proved herself as a master of many crafts tonight. Only moments after she’s wowed us with her dance around the stage and engaging with the band, she just pulls it all back and she stands flowing through wonderful renditions of You Know I’m No Good and Rehab.
Alba at time slinks and undulates around the stage, as Amy used to do. She brought all of Amy’s presence and sultry, soulful vocals to bear on the set of Winehouses songs. She sings these songs, and remember she doesn’t claim to be an impersonator, as you’ve never heard them quite before. Mr And Mr Jones was next on the performance list.
Your eyes were intensely fixed upon Alba whose passion as she delivered this material was simply captivating. As each song ended it bought a completely natural, spontaneous reaction from the crowd. You’re Wondering Now and Monkey Man closed the set. You feel as if the atmosphere in Concorde 2 had been building throughout the night and as the set clearly started to close, Forever Amy unleashed the big guns…
Tonight had felt special, this was one of those truly remarkable gig moments. This was a show in which the performance from Alba, Amy’s band and audience seemed to just join together. A cover of The Shirelles Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow marked the return of the band to the stage. Tonight Valerie brought proceedings to a close lifting everyone up to dance and sing.
This had been a stunning set which included the great hits, Back to Black, Rehab, Forever Young, Me & Mr Jones, and of course ended the set with the ever popular Valerie. I can say this in all my years attending live shows I’ve never experienced such a warm and massively appreciated concert like it.
Last words of the night came from Dale. Before the band left the stage, Dale paid a rather emotional tribute to Amy. This was an emotional short speech and appreciated by the crowd who I am pretty sure had just experienced a wonderful night of live Winehouse music.
As I started back out into the cold rain heading away from Concorde 2 I was left feeling a deep sense of warm joy but also maybe tinged with sadness. Music does that to you. Well done to Forever Amy. This was a special gig.
Find out more about Forever Amy here.
An unplanned guest slot was filled by a Brighton local musician – Sammy, if memory serves me correctly. A truly last minute addition. This did not phase this talented singer song writer as I think he put himself up for an opening slot. A 30 minute slot of delightful tunes. One man, a handful of songs which he told us change with every performance, a guitar and some percussion instruments used by his feet produced a most encapsulating sound. He is part of the Black Rabbit team and has been seen around town usually on open mic nights. Rumour has it that he has been invited to tour Europe with Forever Amy. Good job!
Black Rabbit Productions hosted the evening. They work hard promoting live music on the south coast. They are a promotion company with years of experience putting on music shows. Tonight was superb. They have some great gigs lined up. You can find Black Rabbit Productions on the WWW
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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2019.
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