It's a cliché in the business world to aspire to "exceed expectations", but that is what the great Lillian Boutté did for us. What a wonderful performance from her and her band, and what a brilliant night we all had as we whooped it up with her!
As announced, the programme consisted mainly, although not exclusively, of gospel music. From “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho” to Curtis Mayfield's "People get ready" and Bill Gaither’s “He touched me”, the songs certainly touched an enthusiastic audience. And during “What a wonderful world” the singer literally touched us all, making her way around the audience exchanging handshakes and hugs with the whole crowd!
The chapel setting of course lent itself to this gospel repertoire. Lillian alluded to her faith more than she talked about it, but a song like Thomas Dorsey's "If we ever needed the Lord before, we sho' do need him now" speaks for itself. And she poured everything into this as into all her material.
Among the audience were 8 members of the Borlase school gospel choir who were pulled onstage to perform with Lillian and the band. Their efforts brought the audience to its feet and won them the biggest cheer of the night, which is saying something. We'll get them back again in 2013.
The band was just terrific. I rather doubt that anyone has ever played our Bechstein grand the way that Dan did (that's a compliment, by the way!). When you see the musicians grinning at each other you know that something special is going on - and Daisy spent most of the gig with a grin on her face. Matched only, of course, by an enthusiastic capacity audience.
So thanks to performers and audience alike for rockin' the church, and especially to Michael Eagleton of the Marlow Jazz club without whom this would most definitely not have happened. Come again, all of you!
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