Sunday, 13 December 2015

Josh Kemp's Christmas Get Together.
Dagfa House School, Beeston.

Josh Kemp presents a whole lot of talented people to entertain with some brilliantly atmospheric songs could be the longer alternative title to the evening. Josh is the perfect host for these sort of nights. He laid on free drinks and mince pies and even lit the tea light candles to create just the perfect Christmassy relaxed vibe.

There was a serious side to the night as it highlighted the plight of the homeless and all monies raised went to Framework who support the homeless. A great cause and a wonderful evening of amazing music and talent.

Josh, as well as playing master of ceremonies and arranging the music, provided keyboard support, played guitar and sung a few of the songs, including his latest song "Leap Of Faith", also showcased generously his students, family and friends.Tom,Graham, Meg,Chloe,Erin, Adam,Mitch, Becky, Martin and several others.

The evening started off with a song from the musical "The Full Monty" called "Scrap", just to bring a slight uneasiness to the opening. The theme of the evening was "home" and the different aspects of home, or not having a place to call home, the longing for home and finding out where home is.

I apologise for not giving a name check to everyone in the company, mainly because I don't, as yet, know your names, but what a united class act presented to the eager audience.

Josh's brother, Tom Hopcroft, sang lead on several songs including "Only Home I Know" from the musical "Shenandoah", "Make Them Hear You" from "Ragtime" as well as a beautiful version of John Lennon'a "Imagine". Tom's voice is absolutely perfect for musical theatre, strong, powerful and controlled.

Graham Buchanan performed beautifully "Someone To fall Back On", written by one of my favourite musical composers, Jason Robert Brown, followed by a newcomer, Meg with the song "People Live Here", a song that I'd never heard before but with wonderful lyrics.

That's the great thing for me, coming to one of Josh's musical get togethers, as I get an education in music that I take away with me to discover back at home. An introduction into little gems that lie undiscovered by most, but unearthed by Josh.

There were songs from musical theatre like his duet with sister Chloe on "For Good" from "Wicked', Adam Guest paying tribute to Josh's songwriting prowess as Adam sung one of my favourite Josh Kemp's songs, "Coming Home To You". There was also a wonderfully touching version of Josh Groban's "To Where You Are" which sent the shivers down your back, sung by George. Sorry I don't know your surname George, but you have an incredibly emotive voice.

There were new compositions written by Josh in the form of "Grimm Duet", sang by Tom and sister Chloe and the highlight, nay one of many highlights, was "A Winter Lullaby", written and arranged by Josh and sung by the entire ensemble. It created just the most incredible Christmas mood over the audience. Truly magical.

Mix in these with some classic Christmas numbers like "Carol Of The Bells" and a stripped back "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" sang with just guitar and backing singers by Cibele, and topped off with an apt "Home" made famous by Michael Buble.

All in all an amazing night of classy songs for a wonderful cause presented by some incredible talented people who gave their time for free.

It's a tribute to what a well respected man Josh is when you see members of several theatre groups and musical societies come to support his causes, as was the case tonight.

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