Can it really be 20 years since Will Young won Pop Idol and started on the journey that has seen him deliver numerous hit records, grace stage and screen and entertain millions of people around the world?
Well here we are at the sold out Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth all these years later and Will proves that the voice that started it all is still as distinctive and soulful as ever.
As the lights went down a vocal clip of Simon Cowell’s dulcet tones criticising one of Will’s Pop Idol performances of Evergreen played over the sound system before he took to the stage resplendent in a bright white trousers, jacket and shirt.
Accompanied by two excellent backing singers and a five-piece band who were note perfect throughout the gig, Will delivered an almost flawless performance to the delight of the crowd.
The set list comprised songs covering the entire 20 year career from soul and dance to straight up pure pop songs.
It’s easy to forget just how many excellent hits he has had over the years, from Grace to Old Time Love, Evergreen and many others – and tonight was a celebration of a well-deserved success in an industry that can see artists be number one and then disappear mere months later.
Will has an easy-going stage presence that really makes for a relaxed atmosphere and does away with that distance between the crowd and the people on stage making for an intimate gig that the crowd loved every minute of.
Will engages with the crowd throughout the show including his need for a comfort break mid-set that may have been a bit of oversharing and a story with any number of strands that although entertaining did go on a tad long but that could be forgiven as it was followed by the wonderful Old Time Love.
One of my personal favourite moments was a soulful version of Changes that could have come straight out of Philadelphia or Detroit in the Motown years.
A particular mention has to go the three crew sitting at the back manning the sound and light desks. The light show was just right and whereas many gigs I go to are too loud, too much bass or treble the sound tonight was absolutely spot on.
The night ended as it should with a wonderful version of my favourite Will Young song Leave Right Now.
With no encore to follow this was the perfect end to a wonderful evening of pure entertainment.