Gareth Gates at Pizza Express Maidstone
Last Friday I spent a very pleasant evening wining and dining, enjoying live entertainment at the Pizza Express at Maidstone.
- Gareth Gates at Pizza Express Maidstone
- First came the support acts
- Suddenly our wait was over
- The crowd queued to meet Gareth afterwards
Gareth Gates at Pizza Express Maidstone
Last Friday night I spent the evening at PIZZA EXPRESS in Maidstone. If you do not live in the UK, Maidstone is in Kent, some 30 miles from where I live.
It is a very impressive 19th century building, surprising large, as it stretches over 5 floors with function rooms and a music room. It is very pleasing on the eye, with a wealth of character. Gareth Gates was appearing there that evening, and when we were shown to our table, I was surprised at just how intimate the venue was, as our table was within a few feet of the spot where he would perform live.
The staff were friendly and helpful, and after ordering the food, it was served very promptly. Most of the tables were set for 2 people, but a couple of them were set for 4. There was also a balcony area, which overlooked the stage. All the tables were full, it was sold out, but spaced very evenly around the room, so we didn’t feel too crowded or hemmed in.
First came the support acts
There were 2 supporting acts who came on first, a male solo singer who played the guitar, and then two young men, one playing the piano, and the other one was the soloist. It did seem to me that the second act was on for a long time, I kept looking discreetly at my watch, as Gareth was due on stage at 9pm, but the time stretched on to 9.20, and still the duo performed. I hasten to add that both of the supporting acts did a great job, but I wondered what had happened to the star, as it got later and later.
All was revealed when the announcer came on to explain that the pianist, bless him, had gone to the London venue by mistake, so had to hot foot it back to Maidstone. There was then a short interlude, during which everyone waited with eager anticipation for the performance they had all come for.
Suddenly our wait was over
Gareth bounced onto the stage, dressed very smartly in a blue and red check shirt and dark blue tie teamed with dark trousers. He started his set with SWEET CHILD OF MINE, and in total he sang about 15 songs . Apart from Rock, he also sang songs from his 3rd album PICTURES OF THE OTHER SIDE including acoustic versions of I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S OVER, and ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER, telling his audience with such sincerity, that the latter was dedicated to his mother. This was greeted with applause, as was HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW, which was performed with great tenderness. A man behind us was so moved, he stood up and gave him a standing ovation.
Other songs include YOUR SEX IS ON FIRE, HEAVEN, an acoustic version of SUNSHINE, taken from his second album, and he rounded off the set with a jazz version of SPIRIT IN THE SKY. He encouraged the audience to sing along with him, and we were left feeling very uplifted. Gareth has matured from the shy pop idol we remember, to a very confident and edgy star, and I heard nothing but praise for his performance from members of the audience as we made our way outside .
The crowd queued to meet Gareth afterwards
The hallway outside his dressing room was completely full of people wanting to meet him, and they were not disappointed, as Gareth obliged them with a smile, signing their programmes, and posing for pictures. One young girl was heard to say. ” This is like a dream come true.” when she met him, totally overcome with emotion.
I would thoroughly recommend PIZZA EXPRESS, it was like having him singing in your own front room, the atmosphere was so relaxed, as no-one was forbidden to take pictures or record the music. This is probably the best way of seeing someone perform, up close and personal, and I definitely rate it as one of the best performances that I have had the pleasure of seeing him do.
This is Gareth Gates
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