The K Woods Foundation is a charity which raises money and awareness for Dementia UK. Following the success of its Gary Barlow tribute night last October, the Foundation set out to hold a great night of fantastic talent once again, this time at the Floral Pavillion, New Brighton on February 26.
We went to support the event, and were treated to a stage full of incredible unsigned talent as well as a very special moment in music history – the reunion of Take That as a five-piece! (Well, in the form of an incredible tribute act called The Take That Experience!)
The event was hosted by the wonderfully vivacious Russell Grant, who is probably most recently recognised for his stint on Strictly Come Dancing. He was a wonderful compere, who made us laugh with his jokes, cry with his speech about The K Woods Foundation and its founder Adam, and smile as he demonstrated some of his Strictly dance moves. His old dance partner, Flavia Cacace, even sent him a special tie to wear for the evening. Dementia is a cause very close to Russell’s heart, and he was also moved by The K Woods Foundation story, hence his involvement with this particular charity.
Also making an appearance on the night was current hot property, model Sam Reece. Sam made a short speech about the importance of raising awareness for Dementia UK and that he was privileged to have been invited as a guest for the evening. He received a rapturous applause from the female dominated audience (we may have also given an extra cheer for the smashing grey ensemble he was wearing haha!)
The first performer of the night was the Sign Choir, who performed John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ via sign language. It was a really moving performance and one of the members, a little boy called Sonny, totally stole our hearts during the song.
They were followed by a young female singer called Casey Cunningham. She tackled John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ and Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ beautifully on the guitar and showed a great deal of confidence for someone so young.
The third performer was a local singer called Sophie Ellen. She performed Etta James’ ‘At Last’, which showcased her powerful vocals. She ended her set with her version of CeCe Peniston’s ‘Finally’ which got the crowd up on their feet, and dancing away. It’s such a classic song, which managed to put the Pavillion firmly into the party spirit.
Next to perform were a duo called Niccolls and Moroney. They performed at the last Foundation event, and once again they went down a treat. Their versions of old classics such as Erasure’s ‘A Little Respect’, were instant crowd pleasers, with the Pavillion up on their feet again by the end of their set. Their humour shines through their performance, as well as their undeniable talent and great harmonies. You can see that they really thrive on performing to a big crowd.
The next performer was the special guest act of the evening, James Smith. You might recognise his name, as he was a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. However, he has grown up a lot since then and we barely recognised him! That being said, whether you knew him or not, he instantly won everyone over with his cheeky Essex charm and that was before he started to sing! One of the highlights of his set was a great version of Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’. At times, we think James must have felt as if he was Biebs himself, as the crowd sang along to every word, leaving James with little work to do in the chorus. He has a quirky, almost old-fashioned style about him; however, this is a positive thing as he is different from many other male singers these days. He has a brilliant voice and a great personality to match, making him an extremely likeable character. We’re sure that he has a bright future ahead of him.
The last act to perform before the interval was a local band called The Ambition. The four-piece pop-rock band performed a mixture of originals and covers to entertain the crowd. Their original songs packed a punch and showed great promise for the future. They also chose two great covers – ‘Shut Up and Dance’ and ‘Mr Brightside’, both of which are always guaranteed sing-a-long hits for any audience. Their performance was extremely energetic and they had a great reception.
After a short interval, it was time for the main act of the night, The Take That Experience. The audience went mad just at the sound of the intro music, never mind the roaring cheers ‘Gary’, ‘Mark’ and ‘Howard’ received once they stepped onto the stage! Dressed in blue, pink and green suits, like the real Barlow, Owen and Donald wore on their most recent tour, the guys burst into a performance of their most recent hits, including ‘These Days’, ‘Greatest Day’ and ‘Get Ready For It’. The mannerisms were very good, and the tribute acts did resemble Take That fairly well.
We must applaud the crowd at this point – Thatters are always extremely enthusiastic. Similarly to what we witnessed at the GB night in October, Take That fans like to treat the tribute acts as if they were the real deal. Considering the screams, energy and general buzz in the room, we could quite easily have been watching the real Take That performing.
It was then time for TT3 to have a break, and ‘Robbie Williams’ to take over. One thing’s for certain, ‘Robbie’s’ stage presence and mannerisms were 100% accurate. He sang ‘Let Me Entertain You’, ‘Rock DJ’, ‘Candy’ and ‘Angels’, with every song being sung back to him word for word.
Finally, it was time for the most anticipated part of the evening – the reunion of TT5! Yes, even ‘Jason Orange’ was back for one more show with the guys. (At this point, the crowd were practically beside themselves – imagine what their reaction would be like if it happened for real?!). They performed all of the greatest hits, including ‘Could It Be Magic?’, ‘Relight My Fire’ and ‘Pray’ complete with all of the dance moves (although ‘Gary’ was just a bit too good at the dancing bit haha). They came back to do an encore of ‘The Flood’ and finally ‘Never Forget’, where they were joined by the Sign Choir. The finale was once again reminiscent of a Take That show, as there was ticker tape everywhere!
Credit where it’s due, these guys were brilliant. Tribute acts can be quite dodgy at times, and whilst they might not have been the most convincing lookalikes, their outfits, mannerisms and vocals were spot on.
The night was an enormous success for the K Woods Foundation, raising over £5000 for Dementia UK. It was great to see such a talented line up of artists support an extremely worthy cause. There was so much fun to be had, that another concert has already been booked for next year. On the 11th of March 2017, another Take That night will be held, supported by even more great talent – save the date!