The Jubilee Concert: A Review

5 Jun

 Diamond Jubilee concert fireworks

I watched the Jubilee Concert last night.  I wasn’t there, of course;  I watched it on telly, but I figure if I can review movies after seeing them on screen, why not a music show?

I had better state my credentials so you can see how serious I am about this review: the last concert I attended was Right Said Fred in Johannesburg.  In a club, not a stadium; and in the afternoon.  It was so hot in there, Fred’s lead singer shared his bottle of water with the audience.  Sweet.  At least three people managed a drink before it ran out.   By the way, he really was too sexy for his shirt; he had to take it off.

I bought a RSF shirt and wore it to death, it was so comfortable.  It was only when a young couple passed me on the street and I overheard one of them say, ‘Right Said Fred?  Are they still alive?’ that I decided to retire it.

It was on the way home from that concert that I realised cars have waists.  We were in downtown Joburg traffic during rush hour, when a car overtook us from behind as another approached us head on.  I swear our car sucked in its breath to avoid being hit.  The Hub maintains it was his skillful driving but he’s just a Hub, so I don’t believe him.

Back to the concert.  It was fun.  I enjoyed it.  I can’t share any of it because I still can’t upload videos for some reason that no one can fathom, so I will add links to the names of the acts I mention (where available), in case you are interested.

There were performances from artists from every decade of the Queen’s reign – literally, in the case of Rolf Harris, who arrived in the UK from Australia in 1952.  I expected more Commonwealth artists.  There weren’t many, though we sneaked in a couple from the States, or ‘the Colonies’, to give them their real name.

The comedians who hosted weren’t particularly funny, especially Rob Bryden, who made a couple of dated jokes about queens, which made him sound a little homophobic.

Cheryl Cole proved she really doesn’t sing very well.  It was embarrassing.  Ruby Turner proved she is a fabulous singer.  It was fabulous.  I couldn’t help wondering why Cheryl is such a massive star and Ruby Turner isn’t.  I had never heard of her before last night; though her Wikipedia page is impressive.  I think it’s because Cheryl looks like this:

English: Cheryl Cole wearing a Lurex dress whi...

English: Cheryl Cole wearing a Lurex dress whilst performing with Girls Aloud at Battle Abbey, Hastings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 And Ruby doesn’t:

Ruby Turner with Jools Holland and his Rhythm ...

Ruby Turner with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra (Photo credit: Man Alive!)

Even Zemanta favoured Cheryl – look at the difference in the size of the photos.  And I could find a You Tube link for Cheryl but, surprise, surprise, not for Ruby.

Skinny beats talent every time in this shallow, celebrity-obsessed world of ours. Mind you, a lot of last night’s talent, no matter how skinny, was, um, past its prime.  Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, even Rolf Harris, all sounded croaky.  And was it me, or was Elton John lisping?  He sounded bizarre.

Perhaps it was nerves: even pianist Lang Lang (I thought they were introducing one of our new pandas) hit a bum note; and Paul McCartney called Prince Charles’ wife the Duchess of Cornwell.

Madness weren’t bad, up on the palace roof.  The projections onto the front of the palace were impressive.  Kylie and Stevie Wonder were great.

My favourite act of the night, however, was Grace Jones.  She wore an anemone hat, a plastic swimming costume and hula hooped while singing Slave to the Rhythm.  Utterly bonkers and therefore quintessentially British, even though she isn’t:

If you didn’t watch the concert, at least click on Grace’s link; and take a look at the photos at Sky News, where you will see Annie Lennox in wings and Kylie as a pearly queen.

It makes you proud to be British.

49 Responses to “The Jubilee Concert: A Review”

  1. adinparadise June 5, 2012 at 11:42 #

    Grace Jones. 😉 Scary stuff, Tilly. I think Cheryl was busting out of her dress, and Ruby should be called “June is busting out all over.”


  2. Tom (Aquatom1968) June 5, 2012 at 11:45 #

    I noticed the lisping, Tilly… but it was the same with Stevie Wonder so I put it down to the microphone they were using. Rolf invoked some memories for me!


    • Tilly Bud June 5, 2012 at 11:51 #

      I didn’t notice Stevie doing it. Maybe you’re right.


  3. jmgoyder June 5, 2012 at 11:48 #

    I haven’t watched the whole thing because excerpts keep being shown over and over (which I like because I didn’t get a coherent look). Thanks for the links Tilly! Julie


  4. Helen Cherry June 5, 2012 at 12:06 #

    I was editing photos on my computer and watched some of it online… turning the sound off for the bits I couldn’t stand.. I personally MUCH preferred Ruby Turner to Cheryl Cole who’s singing wasn’t very strong and overshadowed by Gary Barlow who can really sing!
    I agree that all the oldies seemed a bit past it. though in fairness Elton John is getting over pneumonia!
    The opera was fantastic especially the 2 on the balcony.. tremendous voices!
    The light show on the palace when madness were singing was inspired.. and particularly Jessie J were good.. loves England it seems !
    There you are Tilly… my bit added 😀


    • Tilly Bud June 5, 2012 at 12:07 #

      And an excellent bit it is too. Didn’t know that about EJ. He did well, then.


  5. granny1947 June 5, 2012 at 12:16 #

    I can’t comment on the whole show.
    Fell asleep half way through.
    I thought the sound was lousy.
    Also thought Cliff should now call it a day.


  6. fisefton June 5, 2012 at 13:23 #

    I agree with you about Cheryl Cole – why does she keep getting invited to do stuff? Every time I’ve heard her live she’s been weak and out of tune.

    The one performance which stood out for me was the Military Wives, African Children’s Choir, Slum Drummers etc performing “Sing”. I watched the programme about the making of it on Sunday evening and seeing/hearing it all put together live (rather than the computer mix) was amazing.


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:23 #

      Can’t believe I forgot to include that! Thanks for reminding me 🙂


  7. Elaine June 5, 2012 at 13:39 #

    I saw the whole show, apart from Grace Jones, and enjoyed it on the whole. I thought some of the sound balance was off which didn’t help some of the acts. I noticed Elton’s strange speech (he’d sounded fine when he’d been interviewed an hour or so previously) and wondered why he was singing ‘I’m till tanding’ instead of ‘still standing’! When I looked closely he seemed to have his top lip attached to the microphone for some reason. I agree that some of the oldies should be pensioned off (particularly Cliff Richard), but Tom Jones managed quite well. I think my favourite might have been Alfie Boe, or Madness, or the group number of the new song written for the occasion. Some of the comedians’ links were totally cringeworthy – but I suppose something was needed to fill the gaps, and they were preferable to interviews with the audience about how wonderful it was to be part of this event.


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:24 #

      The comedians were awful, weren’t they? And I usually like them.


  8. bluebee June 5, 2012 at 13:47 #

    I was at that very same RSF concert in JHB 🙂


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:26 #

      I can’t tell you how thrilled I am by that! They should make a movie of our missed connection. Were you the person I shoved over in my rush to buy a shirt? 🙂


  9. restlessjo June 5, 2012 at 13:54 #

    Call me soppy and sentimental but I loved it! Yeah, some of the singing was so-so but what a spectacle. That balcony scene was like something out of a Disney film. And anything that ends in fireworks is ok by me. (Bet you liked Peter Kay, Tilly?)


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:26 #

      You are soppy and sentimental.


      • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:27 #

        What? You told me to do it!

        Yes, I did like Peter Kay; the best of the sorriest bunch of comedians ever to appear on a British stage.


  10. laurieanichols June 5, 2012 at 13:59 #

    I loved Right Said Fred! It should be talent before beauty yet for all that the masses criticize, it still hasn’t changed, skinny always wins. Poor Marilyn Monroe, she would have had complexes in this world of ours. I’m glad that Grace Jones doesn’t have any complexes whatsoever, lol!!


  11. terry1954 June 5, 2012 at 14:29 #

    great review! i love Stevie Wonder!!! he is so talented!


  12. judithatwood June 5, 2012 at 14:47 #

    My confession: I am not British, and I didn’t see any of the Jubilee but the boats on the Thames, which were cool. I don’t know how fast the Thames runs, but I bet they were ready to stop at the end! There isn’t much I hate worse than one of these young female “singers,” who obviously used Autotune on the record. Shame on whoever scheduled her, and shame on the entire industry for paying no attention to Ruby. Anyway, happy Jubilee. I love Elizabeth — I think she has handled herself admirably through some difficult years. My prayers for Prince Phillip.


  13. katharinetrauger June 5, 2012 at 15:17 #

    Yikes. You manage to be hlarious even when you do the news. 🙂


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:44 #

      You really don’t want any Maltesers, do you?


  14. SchmidleysScribbling June 5, 2012 at 17:54 #

    We didn’t see it of course, although our new WETA UK station may rebroadcast it at some point.

    I don’t hear the music anyway, I am too busy trying to determine what tricks the performers are using to hold up or on their garments. I love Alfie Bowie, thank goodness he wears white shirts. Now I could easily wear one of those to death. Not that long to go anyway. Dianne


  15. kateshrewsday June 5, 2012 at 19:38 #

    When Grace Jones came on Phil pointed at the screen and said, “Look kids, there’s Mummy.”



    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:46 #

      Hehe! I love that man! I hope to meet him some day. 🙂


  16. vivinfrance June 5, 2012 at 20:39 #

    Tilly, no way is this a compliment, but I have copied your review to take to my fellow poets on the course, who were regretting the fact that they were all too busy writing to watch the concert. I also showed it to the fish-kisser who roared with laughter and sent compliments which it is not in my best interests to pass on.


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:47 #

      Thank you for not complimenting me.

      I really have you lot terrified, don’t I?

      Kiss the fish-kisser back for me xx


  17. Paula Tohline Calhoun June 5, 2012 at 21:33 #

    Love Ruby! She is fantastic! Seems to me like a lot of Brit singers were missing. Did some of them refuse (could they?)? Perhaps, if it was possible, some of them should have! I am surprised Susan Boyle was not invited (or was she?) Perhaps she was that one “homely” singer too many – or was the 21st century’s two decades already too well or poorly represented?

    I haven’t checked yet, but I can check and see if I can post some of the videos over here – sometimes they let other countries di that that the host country can’t. If you want, I’ll post thhe ones you want me to, if i can get them.


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:48 #

      I think there are just too many to include. I imagine a lot of them performed at the Golden Jubilee concert so were left out this time.


  18. barb19 June 5, 2012 at 22:42 #

    I checked out every one of your links, so a BIG “thankyou” for putting them in. As regards Elton lisping, I though Cliff did too, but the sound generally didn’t seem spot on, perhaps a bad microphone? Anyway, I really enjoyed Grace (isn’t she fab?) and Cheryl Cole was awful.
    I loved your review Tilly, thanks again.


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:50 #

      Glad you enjoyed it, and clicked the links. I wasn’t sure anyone would.


  19. ns June 5, 2012 at 23:57 #

    I nominated you for a Sunshine Award!
    Here are the details:


  20. Gabrielle Bryden June 6, 2012 at 02:12 #

    I do love Grace Jones but I think you’ll find that is a rubber superwoman suit 😉


    • Tilly Bud June 6, 2012 at 11:55 #

      You seem to know an awful lot about it… 😉


  21. viveka June 6, 2012 at 10:39 #

    As I wrote before … UK don’t do any halve measures when it’s about their royal family. Today isn’t the Swedish national day .. and nobody gives a toss .. expect the organisations that will receive a flag from our kings hand. Great post … and Good Safe the Queen. I like her ..


  22. Gobetween June 6, 2012 at 19:51 #

    I like Grace Jones, she is fun. I enjoyed seeing Shirley Bassey still singing strongly and not missing a beat.


  23. eof737 June 13, 2012 at 06:10 #

    Sounds like a bloody good show… and I missed it. 🙂


  24. sarsm June 22, 2012 at 09:49 #

    Thank you so much for the links!! I only saw about half of the concert so I’m really pleased to catch up.

    To add to your list, I thought Robbie Williams gave an outstanding performance, but I was disappointed that he only performed one song. I also thought Tom Jones (especially when you compare him with the other older performers, was fantastic).

    I agree about Kylie (though I was shocked that she said the f-word in front of Her Majesty!!)

    Elton was definitely lisping. I don’t know how getting over pneumonia would cause lisping. But it at least explains why he looked so unwell. I half expected him to keel over during the show.

    I hadn’t seen Cheryl Cole until today – thanks again for the clip. Perhaps she couldn’t breathe properly in that fish dress?!? But Gary Barlow? Impressive.

    I, too, thought Madness were brilliant. And the light show was incredible. I loved the fireworks at the end too.

    I just watched your Grace Jones clip and that woman is amazingly fit.


    • sarsm June 22, 2012 at 10:07 #

      And now I’ve just discovered Robbie performed at the beginning too. Thank goodness for YouTube!!



  1. It’s All Over For At Least Another Sixty Years « The Laughing Housewife - June 6, 2012

    […] Bluebee, in response to the Jubilee concert post, where I mentioned a Right Said Fred concert I attended in Johannesburg in the […]


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