July 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Legendary crooner Barry Manilow turned back the years to deliver a masterful performance at Portman Road in Ipswich last night in front of thousands of fans.
The 70-year-old singer, who has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, was performing as part of an eight-date tour, which started at Wembley Arena in London on Tuesday.
The East of England Co-operative stand was described as “pretty much packed out” with around 1,000 spectators seated at ground level.
Manilow performed a selection of tracks from his latest album, 15 Minutes, alongside hits from his back catalogue.
Wearing a glittering blue jacket, the American star, supported by a superb live band, rolled out a series of timeless classics and ballads.
During mellow moments, such as Can’t Smile Without You, thousands of glowsticks swayed to the gentle rhythms.
“It was vintage Manilow. The crooner proved he has still got it,” reporter Matt Stott said.
“His fans are clearly still in love with him. He exceeded my expectations and delivered a masterful performance; probably the best seen all year at Portman Road.
“He engaged with the crowd throughout in a self-deprecating and endearing manner. The production was first-rate and the live band was superb. Manilow’s voice is as good as it has ever been, maybe better. He blew everyone away.”
To cope with the large crowds, train operator Greater Anglia laid on extra services on the Norwich to London mainline.
The last time Portman Road hosted a gig was in 2010 when pop star Pink brought her national tour to the town.
Previous star acts to have played on the pitch include Elton John, REM and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.