Russell Watson, Portsmouth Guildhall

Russell in action

Russell in action

First published in Music Reviews Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

IT WAS Jubilee-tastic! From beginning to end, the audience had their flags waving, swaying along to all the anthems that make us proud to be British.

From Rule Britannia to Land of Hope and Glory and even We Are The Champions, for those few England fans among us who have a little hope left that maybe we will be singing that come the end of the European Championships.

This was Russell Watson’s Anthems tour, during which he aims to rekindle a sense of pride and patriotism during a time when many are facing tough times – and he does it with ease.

His voice was incredible, rousing the patriotic side of everyone in Portsmouth Guildhall and giving very emotional performances of Abide with Me and Danny Boy.

The tone was set right from the start, with the audience rising to its feet for Russell’s rendition of God Save the Queen. He was joined on stage by Laura Wright on several occasions and her voice did not disappoint, with the hairs rising on the back of my neck when she sang Amazing Grace.

And accompanied throughout by the fabulous London Concert Orchestra and their shoeless conductor Robert D C Emery, it was as if we were attending the Last Night of the Proms.

Russell got the audience on their feet for Land of Hope and Glory, giving us the chance to sing our hearts out before he ended the night with World In Union.

It was the perfect way to mark the end of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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