'She' in Holland 2011: A Report by Magdalna Grabias
Under the Musical Spell
After more than a year 'She' finally got back on stage. The eight-man version of the musical took place in Zoetermeer (NL) on September 3rd, 2011. The show featured four singers: Agnieszka Swita (Ayesha), David Clifford (Leo), Christina Booth (Ustane) and Alan Reed (Holly) and four musicians: Clive Nolan (keyboards), Mark Westwood (guitars), Scott Higham (drums) and Kylan Amos (bass).
Clive Nolan: "Returning to De Boerderij is always exciting with whatever band or project I am involved in, but this particular visit was something very special for me: a chance to bring 'She' to Holland. And I was not disappointed. I was amazed at how the audience engaged and reacted to the show, and relieved that all the technology allowed us to pass untroubled through the music. For me it proved just how effective the 'eight-man version' is, and now I am thinking that perhaps we could take 'She' to other countries as well! A thoroughly enjoyable experience, and thanks to all who made it so!"
The show in Holland became an opportunity to introduce two new members into the live universe of Caamora, David Clifford and Kylan Amos. It is for the first time in the history of 'She' that Clive handed the role of Leo over to another artist. David Clifford, a charismatic drummer of Red Jasper, with his rendition of the role at De Boerderij proved to have been the right choice.
David Clifford: "It has been some time since my last gig in Holland; 1994 on the Red Jasper 'Winter's Tale' tour, so I looked forward to this with some anticipation and a little apprehension. It has been some time, but any "proggers" who did remember me would do so not as a musician, but as the drummer in the band (sorry Scott!), so how the move up front would be perceived was always a concern. I needn't have worried as the Dutch audience was as enthusiastic as I remember. It brought back many good memories and hopefully is the start of some good new ones. Agnieszka, Alan and Christina were a joy to work with and made me feel right at home for which I am grateful; they have after all been performing 'She' for far longer than I. I would also like to thank the other musicians and crew for a great experience and not least of course to Clive for trusting me with what is after all his role. As I now look not only to February, but also to fronting my own band for the first time. I do so with a renewed confidence that I (hopefully) seem to have passed the initial audition!"
Kylan Amos, the most recent member of the Caamora Company, enriched the show with passionate bass parts matching well with ever-powerful guitars of Mark Westwood, Scott Higham's energetic visionary drumming and Clive's lavish keyboard performance.
Kylan Amos: "The show, from my point of view, was awesome! Loved every minute of it. Being my first Caamora show I was just really eager to get started, get the first few songs under my belt without a hitch and just enjoy it. Looking to my left with Mark there rockin' away, and Scott to my right, Mr. Octopus on drums!! The energy on stage was buzzing!!, the singers all interacting and enjoying themselves and Clive on his throne over-watching everything with a smile! Yep, thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, can't wait for the next one! BRING IT ON!!"
Musicians and singers of 'She in Concert' were supported by the Caamora Chorus, who although not there physically, sounded strong and mightily from the projection screen adding up yet another dimension to the entire show.
Farideh Clifford: "I am glad that it worked so effectively, as it was one really long day of filming! The chorus was gathered in the Playhouse Theatre for nearly four hours running the parts under heavy lighting, and we were all fit to drop by the end. David then spent many days swearing at the video editing suite whilst trying to sync everything up... So glad that the overall effect was worth it!"
The audience at De Boerderij had a chance to experience another top performance from the 'She' cast. Agnieszka Swita, Christina Booth and Alan Reed, in their original roles again, together with the rest of musicians, offered two hours of genuine feast for eyes and ears. For the whole evening the venue was filled with the air of artistic creativity and energy and both musicians and the audience enjoyed the event immensely.
Alan Reed: "Every time we do this show, it's a little different - and each time it gets better and better. David Clifford sings the part of Leo like it was written for him, and our new bass-man Kylan was right on the one from the start. Bringing the show to the Boerderij was a joy. It's been home from home for most of us for many years, and once again it showed why it's one of the best venues in mainland Europe."
Agnieszka Swita: “It was definitely one the best She chapters in my life - from the moment we got on the van in UK until the very last minute of the trip back. Performing in front of the audience who sang along and emotionally connected with me was a dream come true. You usually worry so much about technical problems…this time I consciously reminded myself of the essence of it all; enjoy while it lasts…and I did. Fabulous venue and crew, wonderfully responsive crowd and talented people on stage with me. What more can you ask for?”
A different nature of the 'She' show this evening allowed the musicians more freedom and possibility to have fun playing in a more dynamic fashion than in any of the previous theatrical productions. Clive, Scott, Mark, and Kylan rocked the night away turning the event into an impressive mixture of rock concert and musical experience.
Mark Westwood:“To perform 'She' in this new eight-man-show format was a great experience. Playing the songs as a band, along with the freedom of been able to stand up and play was a lot of fun. We all thought the concept of doing a small band format show would be an easy option and in theory far less work. How wrong we were. A huge amount preparation went into this concert, so much so that we only managed two rehearsals. The rest of out time was spent with technical difficulties and all the usual logistics associated with a band on tour. As for the show, I personally had a great time rocking at the back with the usual suspects. Scott was as ever as solid as a rock and a great guy to have on ones flank, and it was very strange seeing Clive rocking away on my left. Also hats off to new boy Kylan, who did a stellar job on bass and weird thing on a stand. I hope we get another opportunity to do a repeat performance of this version of the show. I think it was a unique experience for both the audience and indeed ourselves. Let’s do it again, real soon!”
Scott Higham: “Performing 'She' once again was fantastic. I love being part of this musical and really enjoyed playing it on my new small 'theatre drum kit' setup. The highlight of the evening for me was the amazing reaction of the audience to the entire show... I can already picture us performing this in the West End of London and Broadway in New York!.. Well hopefully! Thanks to everyone involved in this wonderful musical.. An Awesome team of people!”
Christina Booth: "I love De Boerderij! As a venue it's got a great atmosphere and the crew there are fantastic. I was a bit nervous as it was my first live performance since my solo album launch last July. But working with such a great bunch of musicians and singers really helped to settle the nerves. I didn't really know how it was going to go as with regards to performing 'She' as an eight-man-gig, but everything just fell neatly into place. Scott, Kylan and Mark rocked and helped to bring a real energy to it. The visuals with performances by the choir really bolstered the show. It was a pleasure to sing with David for the first time on stage (hope your not too jealous Clive!) and as usual Alan Reed was a ball of energy with Agnieszka giving a regal and vibrant performance. Here's to the next eight-man-show... Bring it on! Well done Mr. Nolan for getting us all together and making it work. And thanks to the audience for getting behind us."