Live at Chelsea, Magnificent Music and a Magical Atmosphere

17th June 2019

For the last few nights, the tranquil setting of the Royal Hospital has come alive as three main acts and their supporting artists took to the stage for Live at Chelsea. The South Grounds had a festival vibe with stalls selling food and drink and guests picnicking before making their way to the auditorium. The stage glowed against the stately colonnade and the audience put aside their cares for a few hours and let their hair down. Each night was unique but all four were a resounding success, enjoyed by visitors and Pensioners alike. 

TOTO and special guests THE DARKNESS (Thursday 13thJune)

The overcast skies didn’t dampen the spirits of the audience as iconic rock band Toto and special guests The Darkness took to the stage on Thursday evening.

Opening act The Darkness delivered a fantastic set to the elation of loyal fans of all ages before Toto set the crowd alight with old favourites and new tracks. The atmosphere was uplifting and when the strains of their anthem Africa resounded around the beautiful setting of Figure Court, one fan described it as “a bucket list moment”.

“Unadulterated fun – all I’d hoped it would be and more”.

As an elated audience of old rockers and young hipsters swayed to the music, Pensioners could be seen dancing delightedly in the windows overlooking the auditorium.

GIPSY KINGS and support act Soham De (Friday 14thJune)

They may have been playing for over 40 years, but the Gipsy Kings are as full of life as ever. After young singer-songwriter Soham De had transported us with his soulful set, the seasoned musicians from the south of France took to the stage – and we were transported.

“A beautiful setting and everyone enjoyed themselves, including the Pensioners”

The band’s unique fusion of flamenco, Latin and pop resounded against the magnificent backdrop of Sir Christopher’s Wren’s building. As the evening streaked the blue sky with pink and apricot, the windows of the Chapel and Great Hall were lit with gold, making it the most magical setting. 

The crowd – an eclectic mix of young and old, families and the odd Pensioner in scarlet – danced and sang along to numbers including Bamboleo, Hotel California as the moon rose above the gilded statue of Charles II.

TOM JONES and support act Jazz Morley (Saturday 15thand Sunday 16th June)

What a wonderful place to see the legend that is Tom Jones! He may be 79 (relatively spritely in Royal Hospital terms) but Tom Jones’ voice and stage presence are as powerful as ever. 

We were captivated by Jazz Morley’s exquisite voice before the man who’s commanded adoration since the ‘60s entered the spotlight. The crowd went wild as he rocked the Royal Hospital with favourite tunes from What’s New Pussycat and It’s Not Unusual to Green, Green Grass and Delilah. Equally uplifting were the gospel numbers and covers like Prince’s Kiss and Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

“Absolutely unforgettable! I didn’t want it to end.”

Every moment kept us electrified as stalwart fans were joined by a host Pensioners singing and dancing along from the surrounding windows. The consummate showman entertained us with anecdotes about Elvis Presley and Lonny Donegan, as well as those iconic songs that have kept him in the charts and our hearts for decades.

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