Barry Manilow @ Ageas Bowl – Poor Value

Last Saturday, I was one of the many folks who braved the English weather to see Barry Manilow at the Ageas Bowl.

I will state here and now that it is not me that is the fan. Nope, that would be my wife.

The support act were great, Dave Koz and his band. Its a shame that they weren’t on for longer. An even greater shame was that the sound quality for Dave Koz was much better than that for the star performer. Mr Manilow’s vocals were somehow mixed in with the mushy sound coming from the band. If we didn’t already know the words, we would have struggled to understand what he was singing. We had good seats so it wasn’t down to poor position in the Ageas Bowl.

Dave Koz - Ageas Bowl Warming up the audience while they waited for Barry Manilow
Dave Koz – Ageas Bowl
Warming up the audience while they waited for Barry Manilow

The following is a direct cut and paste from BarryNet

Manilow has produced more than 40 albums over the course of his 50-year career and has been awarded countless awards, including a Grammy, two Emmys, a Tony Award and an Oscar nomination. Five of his albums were on the best-selling chart simultaneously in America in 1978 – a feat equalled only by Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Mathis. Sinatra himself gave Manilow his stamp of approval in the 1970s when he was quoted as saying “he’s next” regarding the singer.

He has worked with the likes of Bette Midler and Dionne Warwick, and written for musicals, films, and adverts. From February 2005 to December 30, 2009, he was the headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton, performing hundreds of shows.

Given that he has such a huge repertoire, to be treated to a reprise of mainly his biggest hits is disappointing. Maybe it’s because I am not a fan that I am being so critical but I think he is doing his true fans a disservice.

You can see from the following phone picture that there wasn’t much clearing away of equipment to be done. Yet, we were kept waiting for an hour, for the rather dubious pleasure of Barry performing for just over 80 minutes.

Barry Manilow - Ageas Bowl - Crap Blackberry photo
Barry Manilow – Ageas Bowl – Crap Blackberry photo

I have also read the reviews of some of the other shows around the country and it seems that we were short-changed. The big screen at the back of the stage wasn’t functioning properly on Saturday. So we missed out on some duetting between Barry and his younger self on film as well as some film footage from the neighbourhood of his youth.

This was my wife’s third time of going to see Barry Manilow. I have resisted going along on previous occasions and he did not sell himself to me on this occasion. I will not be going along to any future Manilow gigs.

All in all, for such a “big star”,  I would say that he is poor value for money.

Amberly Museum


On Sunday we visited Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre and took a trip down memory lane. The weather was kind unlike the previous Saturday and the following Monday. Here are a few photo’s to give you a feel for this venue if you have never visited before.

One of numerous Swallows that have taken up residence in and around the Amberley buildings.
A long long way from home.
A desirable residence.
Aveling-Barford Road Roller 758, “Gisela” Built in 1946. How many of you, like me, remember these fabulous beasts rumbling down the road and the smell of fresh, hot, tarmac being laid ?
Detail from Gisela
Detail from Gisela
Being a Sussex lad, I have ridden on many busses bearing the distinctive Southdown livery.
During my pre-teens our local garage, in Westfield, was very much like this.

e-petition – War Graves and War Memorials – Please Sign


War Graves and War Memorials

Responsible department: Department for Education

Whilst travelling around the edges of Great Britain I have seen a great many War Graves and War Memorials, the vast majority are cared for, some more than others some not at all.

I would like schools take on the research and basic maintenance of a War Grave or Graves in their local churchyard or cemetery. On the 11th of November each year it would be nice if they could put a poppy cross on the grave or graves.

I believe this would serve two purposes, educating the children about why we wear a poppy and remember the fallen and it would take some pressure of the Parish Councils that are responsible for some of this work.

Not only would it educate our school children but it may also make those who live on the edge of society think about their actions and the privilege of living in a democracy.

Community Service, Probationers and low risk prisoners could be used to do the major maintenance of War Graves and War Memorials in their area, how much this would involve would vary.

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