Wednesday, 31 December 2014

One more thing before 2015 - I was wrong

Sometimes the only thing you can do in life is hold your hands up and say “I was wrong,” whether you reach that conclusion alone or after a push from others.

Well, I have been wrong about a lot of things in 2014 so I only think its right to clear some stuff up before Big Ben tolls and Jools Holland goes berserk on the ivories in a few hours time.

I was wrong about Ronan Keating.

Totally wrong.

I wrote a light-hearted blog a few months ago exploring my irrational negative feelings about the singer; berating a decision to cast a celeb in Once the Musical.

I went to see the musical last night and well, dear readers, I eat my words, my hat and anything else that one can consume when they’ve been daft. He was great. Well cast, superb vocals and a naturalistic style that completely blended with the style of this show. The show itself is perhaps not my cup of tea, but you cannot fault the incredible ensemble work and insane musical ability that create an emotional and evocative few hours of entertainment. Some of the performers were playing 3 or more instruments whilst singing with Celtic glee and energy.

When I found myself yearning for a bit more performance quality from Ronan, I quickly realised that he didn’t need it at all. This isn’t a showy piece of theatre at all – his understated naturalism was perfect, funny and moving. When there were glimmers of West End showbiz from others it felt totally wrong and didn’t sit with the ensemble piece. The only clue that he was anything other than another West End lead was the one whoop of “Go Ronan” after a particularly impressive riff and two fans with their “selfie stick” outside. But doesn’t that happen in most musicals now? Think of the screams when Sam removes his shirt in Ghost, or the adoring glances at the boys on the barricades.

So I was totally wrong and out of order.

Life is full of people who are willing to say nasty things about you – whether in print or in person. But it hurts. I am sorry that I was one of those people, albeit in the style of light-hearted bloggy opinion. It seems I have outgrown those feelings. Maybe it’s a sign of growing up or tastes changing? (Hindsight has also seen me lose the passionate argument with Ally Sturney in 1990 about Mark Owen being way fitter than ugly Gary Barlow, how I’ve been proved wrong there in 2014!)

Shedding old bad habits, opinions or negative thoughts is a good idea as a new year dawns. So I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that 2015 is full of positivity, happiness and life lessons to make it the best year yet.

And congratulations Ronan, on a fine West End debut.

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