Review: Michael Ball, The Regent, April 9

Michael Ball

Michael Ball - Credit: Archant

It is not hard to see why Michael Ball has been one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers for nearly 30 years.

From the moment he stepped on stage during the Ipswich leg of his UK tour his audience was captivated.

Armed with a voice as soft as velvet and a full house in his thrall this was only ever to be an evening which was going to go one way.

Setting aside his huge vocal range which veers from the smoothness of honey to the power of a jet engine, Ball is also blessed with that intangible quality, charisma.

In short he just has a way about him.

Even when he is only talking the melodic rhythm of his voice is enough to charm the birds off the trees.

Ball is a huge talent and comes across as a nice man, unaffected by the gilded lifestyle and accolades he has received for being at the top of his game for more than a quarter of a century.

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Supported by talented musicians and backing singers Ball began the evening in an upbeat fashion with songs from his new album If Everyone Was Listening.

These were followed by songs from the musicals to wrap up the first half.

Ball has the delivery and stagecraft to cover all types of music, but it is the ballads and the show numbers at which he excels.

As befitting a man who looks so at ease with himself on stage, Ball’s cover of Elvis Presley’s The Wonder of You was one of the highlights of the evening, never one putting himself in The King’s shadow during an immense rendition.

With virtually everyone on their feet, it left him to bring the show to a close with the song he has made his own, Love Changes Everything.

By the end it appeared everyone had had a ball.

Colin Adwent

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