The West End Frame Awards are here again, which gives me the perfect opportunity to write about my favourite show once more.
The very first award of 2016 is for ‘Best Performance of a Song’. Last year it was won by none other than John Dagleish for Waterloo Sunset – sound familiar? So this year, you’ll probably be unsurprised by the fact that our current Ray Davies (Danny Horn) has been nominated for exactly the same song.
Of all the actors who have played Ray (and remember, I’ve seen all six of them!), Danny definitely sounds the most like the real thing when he sings. From what he’s said, it basically comes out like that naturally – so not only do we have incredible musicianship from the band, but pretty authentic vocals too. As I’ve said before, I don’t think it’s essential for a show like this one to have ‘soundalikes’, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. And it definitely does make it special when you can close your eyes and wonder whether you’re listening to the real thing. In my case this usually happens because I’m crying!
Waterloo Sunset is a very special song indeed. The first time I remember hearing it was on the ‘Music of the Millennium’ double album I got when I was 12, but it was only when I came to see the show (as a London resident) that it really had an effect on me. I’d never really listened that closely to the lyrics before, so it suddenly became quite pertinent & emotional.
“But I don’t feel afraid, as long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset I am in paradise…”
It’s the perfect song for London, and one that I will always listen to prior to a journey away from my adopted home.
Technically the song is played by the band (also with backing vocals from the entire cast), but I see Ray’s monologue leading up to the performance almost as part of the song – it explains it perfectly, rounding off the main show in elegiac fashion. Danny’s delivery of that speech, as well as the performance itself, gives away what it means to him. It’s an added layer of honesty & commitment that makes this show stand out from the crowd.
You have exactly one week left to vote! Waterloo Sunset’s fine…