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Natasha Douglas at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford on Friday March 17th 2006
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I’ve said it before, and I’ll proudly, unhesitatingly, say it again: every single performance by Gene is a unique, uplifting and beyond-words experience.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen hundreds of shows or just a handful; if the running order stays the same or is completely different.

State of fact:  Gene Pitney is an awesome entertainer.  And last night at the Orchard Theatre here in Dartford he proved it once again to the sell-out audience of more than 900.

From the opening drum roll of the overture to the ending notes of Town Without Pity, Gene, backed by the always-on-form Maurice Merry orchestra, swooped from song to song with ease and had the audience eating out of the palms of their hands :).  He looked relaxed, as good as ever, and of course the voice was just as strong - after fast hits like ‘Who Needs It’, ‘It Hurts To Be In Love’ and ‘Princess In Rags’, and then the energy required for ‘Half Heaven, Hal Heartache’, it defies belief that there could possibly be anything left to hit and hold that note at the end of ‘I’m Gonna Be Strong’, but of course Gene did do it and it had the same powerful affect on everybody in the auditorium as it ever has, even forty-two years after it first hit the British charts.

Half-time saw the reading of cards/letters sent backstage by fans, plus the unveiling of the Only You dog from Jazz all the way in Colorado (what number dog is this now? LOL Here’s hoping this one doesn’t get lost or have a mishap :). For me there was an extra surprise because my dad had sent a card that was then read out (seeing as it was St. Paddy’s Day, let’s say it was the luck of the Sketchish LOL :) noting both his and my love of ’In Love Again’, which Gene promptly, surprisingly did a quick, excellent on-the-spot a cappella performance of, and - again - it didn’t matter whether the original single had been a hit or not: there were a good number of the crowd singing along, and on that night the song was a true gem, especially for me.  Add to all that the request/dedication for Just One Smile which was in the running order shortly after the cards (anyone with blood running through your veins, make sure you have hankies at the ready!), I was just too overwhelmed.

I won’t say what songs have been added/changed in case you want to be surprised, but I will say The Boss’s Daughter was there and......Wow! It has definitely found it’s place in the song list - here’s hoping it stays around, if not just for more than one tour.

To sum up what I’ve just said in a few short words?  Please don’t ask that of me, it’s impossible.  I could say ‘super‘, or ‘breath-taking’, or ‘wonderful’, or just as easily ’out of this world’, but they’ll never be enough  or good enough   There were a couple tiny teething technical problems that were probably unnoticeable to most (except for the excessively-productive smoke machine and Mr P‘s fight trying to take the microphone off/put it back on its stand LOL), but you expect that on the first night and I hope all goes well with the rest of the tour.  Plus, the man we’d gone to see was on top form and that was really all that mattered. ...I will confess I was personally happy to see a cut back in the congo blue lighting LOL It's a nice colour I know, and I knew several technician's that swore by it when I was at college training, but it can be a little overpowering hehehe.

A quick nod also to the support act, comedian Martin Gold, who did an excellent job entertaining us and giving a good laugh.

Gene: thank you so much for everything you’ve always done and what you did last night at The Orchard Theatre.  You truly are a legend, and we love you - please don’t ever stop being you.

..~~Natasha ‘Sketch’ Douglas xxx


---Also check out the reviews posted in the thread at the official forum posted by concert-goers and Gene himself by clicking here---