Production – Hello Again Neil Diamond (helloagain.show)
After attending a summer camp
where he’d seen folk singer Pete Seeger perform, 16 year old Neil Leslie
Diamond was given his first guitar, took lessons and began to write songs.  Born in January 1941, Diamond began to write
poetry to impress the girls and soon became very popular with others who wanted
him to write for them too.


Diamond attended New York
University on a fencing scholarship and was a member of the NCA Men’s
Championship Fencing Team.  Fortunately for
the world of contemporary music, he preferred writing song lyrics and was
offered a job writing songs for Sunbeam Music Publishing, enabling him to ditch
college and take his first steps towards his future career,  


As the in-house songwriter at
legendary Brill Building it took a few years before he achieved his first solo
hit in 1966 with Solitary Man,
followed by Cherry, Cherry,.  Hit after hit followed, but in 1970 he
reached US No 1 with Cracklin’ Rosie,
which propelled him to global stardom.


In a career that has spanned
over 50 years, with hits performed by other artists including UB 40 and The Monkees, it’s sad to know that at 78 Neil Diamond has had to
retire due to Parkinson’s Disease. He has given the world an enduring legacy of
beautiful ballads including Love on the
Rocks, Hello Again
and You Don’t
Bring Me Flowers
, plus endless tracks that get people up on the dance
floors to sing and dance along to like Sweet
Caroline
and Forever in Blue Jeans.


When producers Darren Bazzoni
and Juanita Diaz were searching for a Neil Diamond tribute act for their
theatre production in 2016, they discovered professional musician Brooklyn Creed
who fitted the bill with his remarkably similar vocal timbre, as well as
exceptional guitar playing skills.

Hello
Again – Neil Diamond Story

features The Salvation Band, a group
of outstanding musicians with a brass band section, who have some great moves
of their own.  Juanita and Dee Diaz
provide some wonderful backing vocals, as well as performing some solo numbers
and duets with Brooklyn.


What’s really good to see is
that they’re all part of a close-knit team and Brooklyn is very good at giving
credit to those around him, including the crew who often get forgotten.

There were lots of songs that
I didn’t know, either as they were from albums or perhaps a bit earlier than I’d
remember, but when I did know the songs they were performed with energy and a
truthful version of the originals.

If I had to be a bit picky, I
was disappointed in Brooklyn’s versions of Hello
Again
and Love on the Rocks.  They are perhaps my favourite Diamond songs
and although vocally he sounded just like him, what was missing was the ‘light
and shade’ to tell the story of the songs and bring out the emotion.  As a singer myself, I felt they were both
performed full pelt, whereas they should have built up to the intense passion
that underlay each song.


Lyrically Neil Diamond has
always been a poet, observing life and emotional traumas without being sentimental.  The line from Love on the Rocks ‘Pour me a drink and I’ll tell you some lies’ has
to be one of the most insightful lyrics about a failing relationship that you’ll
ever hear.


Neil Diamond truly is a
legend and I know that this tribute show will ensure that his music will endure
for many years to come, giving us a taste of what it might have been like to see
him perform live.  I’m sure we all wish
him well with what is a most horrendous illness.


Tour dates and further
information visit:

https://helloagain.show/

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

7/9/19

@yvonnedelahaye