Friday, 2 September 2011

Its a little bit "Country" ...

Friday evening saw 30% and I put on our glad rags and drive over to the NEC in Birmingham to see Dolly Parton...

... I'm guessing that most of you have disappeared now so I'll just write for myself. We had the most amazing evening. I'm not a particular fan of Country & Western but I am prepared to experience most things provided they are done well and the show she put on was absolutely fantastic.

Her voice was amazing and many  of the numbers she sang were either a capella or with a single instrument such as a Dulcimer. There were, of course, the back catalogue classics such as Jolene and 9 to 5 that had the full support of the band too. I hadn't realised how versatile she was as demonstrated by the range of instruments played including banjo, guitar, piano, penny whistle, harmonica and the aforementioned dulcimer.

Of course, it wouldn't be Dolly Parton if they didn't have most surfaces covered with Rhinestones and they did, as did her costumes*. Her material ranged from Country and Bluegrass through to pop and rock and she did a medley including interesting Bluegrass versions of Help and Stairway to Heaven.

As I said earlier in this entry, I am prepared to experience most things provided they are done well and Dolly absolutely charmed the audience. Her narratives were engaging and witty and her performances were faultless. There was none of the mediocrity that pervades stage and screen under the guise of new talent and has me heading for the door or reaching for the remote control.

I can quite honestly say that I have never seen a show like this one and there were parts of it that were most unusual but she has, without doubt, the X Factor and the best word I can use to describe the experience was mesmeric.

This post would not be complete without mention of the audience which, I think it is fair to say, is one of the most peculiar I have ever sat amongst.
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* Quote of the evening; " I buy 'em two sizes too small ... and then I have 'em taken in ! "

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