A little slice of the Proms came to Preston on Saturday night thanks to Katherine Jenkins.Advertisement
Performing as part of the Symphony at the Tower concerts the Welsh songstress dazzled and sparkled as the sun began to set on Hoghton Tower.
With numerous costume changes, not quite on a par with Beyonce mind, there was a slightly surreal atmosphere as one of the biggest names in classical pop music entertained the crowd.
Jenkins started with a number of early career numbers as the champagne corks popped and the crowd – primarily based in their deckchairs and with Union flags at the read – relaxed into the set.
Beaming and roaming the stage it’s obvious why Jenkins has been able to move from just the classical stage – starting out as a chorister at St David’s Cathedral – to being one of the leading singers in the world.
She’s a class act from start to finish. Moving from one side of the stage to the other to allow the eager audience a chance to come up and grab pictures of not just a fine singer but a true celebrity.
Her vocal range is phenomenal and she’s pitch perfect every single note, and the same goes for the National Symphony Orchestra who are the backbone of the performance. Jenkins may enjoy the limelight but these guys sure know how to play, creating a cacophony of sounds during her performance and in-between as Jenkins moves from one luxurious dress to another.
As the Pimms continues to flow the music moves into wartime territory, with Jenkins performing We’ll Meet Again and looking out to a sea of Union flags being raised.
Classics such as Land of Hope and Glory and the spine-tingling and forever associated with the Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union, go down as appreciatively as the vintage merlot many of the crowd are quaffing.
While James Blunt the night before may have seen queues at the bar for lager, the second night of the Symphony concerts is a very different affair. Deckchairs, tables, families and children playing football next to the backstage area – oblivious to the fact one of the most famous women on the planet is getting changed just 20 feet away – is par for the course during the night.
Back to the music, and after either the fourth or fifth dress change (there were many!), Jenkins returns to the stage after the conductor Anthony Inglis had done a little foreplay with crowd. Whipping the crowd into a clap-along frenzy he had everyone up out of their deckchairs and the St George’s flags flying high.
Enter stage left Jenkin with Union flag in her hand and diamante microphone in the other, and a dress to match the diamond encrusted mic, with a run-through of British classics.
Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and final song We Are The Champions brought the house down, or rather up, there were plenty of upturned deckchairs as the crowd let loose and Jenkins lapped up the applause and attention.
As the fireworks began to crackle overhead she was gone, like a princess in a puff of smoke – although this one diappears in three SUVs with hazard lights flashing.
Watch the audience applauding in the video clip below
If you’re on our app, you can watch this video by going to the videos page or clicking here
It was a touch of real class throughout. Jenkins is no stranger to Preston after her appearance at the Guild in 2012, which lingers long in the memory for those who were in Avenham Park to see her perform.
Thank you Preston. You were epic tonight. What weather. What a setting. What an audience! Love you x
— Kath Jenkins (@KathJenkins) July 5, 2014
While being a strong performance and a great evening’s entertainment, the best thing about a global superstar being in Preston is the tens of thousands of pounds raised for charity. The St Catherine’s Hospice to be exact.
It’s encouraging to see such big names being attract by Cuffee and Taylor, who also organise the Lytham Proms, and bring together such different audiences to raise money for charity in this case.
The success of the Symphony at the Tower concerts should offer some clues to Simon Rigby and his team who as of Friday have been sold the Guild Hall.
Preston has a real passion for quality performers, and in this case teamed up with raising money for a very good cause, it ticks every box.
Glorious sunshine, stunning Lancashire countryside and a marvellous singer bringing a little bit of pride back after England’s recent sporting miseries.
Did you go to the concert? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below