Blake: The Story So Far


The Story So Far

The Pheasantry, London, U.K., August 11, 2017

Reviewed by Thanasis Kalantzis for Cabaret Scenes


What do three school friends who haven’t seen each other in years do when they hook up through social media? Have a beer and catch up? Take a vacation together to have some fun?

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Form a classical “crossover” group which has produced several Number 1 hits in 10 countries, sold multiple-platinum albums, had over 150 TV appearances and won a classical Brit Award for album of the year?

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Well, check, check and check. Blake is the name of the group, and the three dashing young men that comprise it are tenors Ollie Baines and Humphrey Berney and baritone Stephen Bowman—and they are simply to die for. With their show The Story So Far at The Pheasantry they celebrated their 10 years together, and told their amazing story so far. Eclectically mixing classical and pop songs with rich harmony vocals, they gave us a delicious melange of eternal numbers we all know and adore.

They started with the unforgettable “She” (Charles Aznavour/Herbert Kretzmer; English lyrics by Elvis Costello), and moved on to a beautiful rendition of “Nella Fantasia” (Ennio Morricone/Chiara Ferraù). The Eagles’ hit “Desperado” benefited immensely by Bowman’s baritone, and so did “When I Fall in Love” (Victor Young/Edward Heyman), while Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was just a marvel.

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Piaf’s beautiful anthem to love “Hymne à L’amour”—English title “If You Love Me (Really Love Me)”—(English lyrics by Geoffrey Parsons) was done with all the sensitivity it requires, and I particularly loved their heartfelt rendition of Sting’s “Fields of Gold.”

Musical theater numbers could not be missing from their repertoire. They sang “The Music of the Night” (The Phantom of the Opera), “Summertime” (Porgy and Bess), an exquisite “Bring Him Home” (Les Misérables), and “On the Street Where You Live” (My Fair Lady). They concluded with nothing less that the aria “Nessun Dorma” (Turandot) and brought the house down.

I could really not pick a showstopper.

Their ability, agility, and harmonious delivery made each song sound unique, and they owned every song.

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Their capacity to connect effortlessly with the room highlighted their professionalism and love for their craft and their crowd.

They made us laugh, they made us cry, and they made us marvel with their talent. 

Happy anniversary, Blake! Here’s to many more nights together!

Thanasis Kalantzis

Thanasis started reviewing for Cabaret Scenes in 2012. He started by reviewing primarily jazz and cabaret artists visiting from the U.S., but these days, he concentrates on British talent. Recently, he added covering musical theater to his duties. He was born in the heart of rural Greece in 1967. He studied Archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki, worked as an excavator in the prehistoric town of Akrotiri, Santorini, and then spent two years on the beautiful island of Crete excavating a Roman village, among other sites. In 1991 he moved to London to study for his MA in Archaeology at University College London thinking that, upon completion, he’d return to Greece and continue with his excavation work. Nevertheless, he gave this amazingly diverse city a go, and started working with various companies, including the Horniman Museum, Sotheby’s and, most recently, the Big Lottery Fund, the organization that allocates lottery funds to arts and charities. His been in London for 26 years, and is happily married to his husband and runs a small, successful business. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. 4evrswiss

    Thank you for this Fantastic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️review
    This is Blake 🎶❤️

    Sherrill (Blake Passion)

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