50 years of Welsh rock and pop hits celebrated on St David’s Day
Special guest Ricky Valance and featuring John Owen-Jones, Sophie Evans, Lucie Jones and Steve Balsamo
Hosted by the One Show’s Alex Jones, Wales Millennium Centre takes Wales to number one this St. David’s Day in a concert celebrating the best Welsh music from the UK charts over the last 50 years.
Ricky Valance made rock and roll history in 1960 by becoming the first Welshman to reach number one in the UK charts with “Tell Laura I Love Her”. The track sold over a million copies and following its success, Ricky went on to release Movin’ Away, Jimmy’s Girl and Six Boys. Marking the start of a long history of successful Welsh musicians, Ricky takes to the stage together with an impressive lineup of Welsh talent to relive some of the UK’s favourite Welsh tracks.
Joining Ricky will be John Owen-Jones and Sophie Evans who will be singing some very special arrangements of No 1 hit songs. Famous for his roles Jean Valjean in Les Misérables and as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, John Owen-Jones is an award- winning West End and Broadway performer. Named runner-up from over 10,000 hopefuls, Sophie appeared on the hugely popular BBC series Over The Rainbow. She subsequently took on the role of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.Since then Sophie has gone on to become an accomplished live performer, feature in several TV programmes and make her big screen debut alongside Simon Pegg in The World’s End.
Famous for playing the leading role in Jesus Christ Superstar during the mid-1990s, Steve Balsamo has joined forces with English/Dutch singer and songwriter Rosalie Deighton forming Balsamo Deighton. This duo performs alongside Jessica Lee Morgan – daughter of Mary Hopkin (Those Were The Days and who signed for The Beatles label) and Gabrielle Murphy – an up and coming BBC Horizons star.
Soloists Lucie Jones, Alys Williams and Shaheen Jafargoli, who wowed judges on the shows X Factor, The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent, will also be there to takeus through the decades with covers of some of their favourite hits made famous by Welsh artists.
Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre said “What better place to celebrate St David’s Day and Welsh culture than in the heart of Wales’ national centre for the performing arts. I am hugely excited about marking St David’s Day during the Centre’s special 10th anniversary year with the artists we have lined up for Wales at No 1, and also for our collaboration with Lucy Morgan and the Welsh Pops Orchestra.”
Lucy Morgan, Artistic Director of Wales Pops said “”This year marks the 50th anniversary of Sir Tom Jones’ first number one hit ‘It’s Not Unusual’, which got me thinking about all the other great number one hits that have come out of Wales. They are all songs which are ingrained in our musical memory and I knew that a concert featuring this stunning music would be a winner. What better place than the Wales Millennium Centre or a better date than St. David’s Day to celebrate the achievements of those great singers and songwriters from Wales who have topped the charts in the UK and beyond. We are also planning a few moments in the evening with some more special guests – it’s growing day by day!”
The night will include tracks made famous by Dame Shirley Bassey, Ricky Valance, Spencer Davis Group, Mary Hopkin, Dave Edmunds, Shakin’ Stevens, Bonnie Tyler, The Flying Pickets, Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Duffy, and of course Sir Tom Jones, whose huge hit “It’s Not Unusual” got to No 1 50 years ago, in 1965.
The stars will be accompanied by the Welsh Pops Orchestra featuring pianist Gwilym Simcock and conducted by Matthew Brind.
Wales at No.1 is made possible with the support of Lloyds Bank, principal sponsor of Wales Millennium Centre’s 10th Anniversary.
The Centre will celebrate St. David’s Day throughout the weekend with free performances from Welsh artists on the Glanfa stage plus a chance to experience the taste of Wales in the Centre’s ffresh Restaurant. On the menu will be an array of traditional Welsh dishes including Cawl, Roast leg of Welsh Lamb and Slow Cooked Welsh beef.
Wales at No 1 is also supported by First Great Western.
Wales at No.1 is at Wales Millennium Centre on St. David’s Day, 1 March 2015. Tickets range from £17.50 – £35. For more information and tickets visit https://www.wmc.org.uk/Productions/2015-2016/DonaldGordonTheatre/WalesAtNo1/