Musician and singer Bob Drury brings his 50-date UK tour to Bedford next week with his acclaimed one-man show The Neil Diamond Story.
In what has been described as “more than just tribute show” Bob will trace the astonishing career of the legendary Neil Diamond from his early days as a struggling songwriter in New York’s so called ‘Tin Pan Alley’ through various career highlights in the seventies, eighties and nineties before bringing the story bang up to date with material from Neil’s recent albums.
Bob brings the show to Bedford Corn Exchange on Thursday, February 26.
As well as featuring many blockbuster hits such as America, Beautiful Noise, Love On The Rocks, Forever In Blue Jeans and Sweet Caroline the show will include unplugged elements reflecting Neil
Diamond’s acoustic roots and recent acoustic projects.
The show will play in theatres throughout the country bringing multi-media features to the stage with voice-overs and subtle video sequences to augment the stage action and help tell the remarkable story.
Bob said: “I’ve been working with Neil Diamond’s songs for about eight years now and have had a great time presenting his amazing music to audiences all over the UK and overseas. This show is my chance to dig a little deeper into the Neil Diamond song catalogue and include some of the fans’ favourites that wouldn’t find a place in a regular tribute night.”
An example would be the stunning song I’ve Been This Way Before which was written as part of Neil’s soundtrack for the film Jonathon Livingston Seagull but wasn’t finished in time to make the final cut.
The action opens with an homage to Neil’s famous 1972 Hot August Nights run of dates at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and, with a brand new stage set and lighting effects, Bob hopes to bring to the theatres a flavour of one of Neil Diamond’s memorable shows.
As a singer and guitarist, Bob Drury is an established and well travelled entertainer with experience in a wide range of musical genres. Some years ago, whilst learning a handful of Neil Diamond songs for solo vocal/guitar performances, he discovered that his voice had virtually the same vocal range as Neil Diamond but it was an entertainment manager at a London venue who first told Bob that his voice actually sounded like the man.
Drawing on his extensive performance experience as vocalist, guitarist and band-leader, Bob set about the creation of a Neil Diamond tribute show that would present the very best of this legendary songwriter’s work.
The original recordings of songs such as I Am I Said, America and Love On The Rocks feature a Neil Diamond vocal full of passion and power with that signature and distinctive rawness at the top end of his range. This could be Diamond at his best but you then listen to the sensitive and beautifully delivered ballads such as Hello Again, Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon and Play Me and realise that there is much more to the voice than this.
Bob said: “From the outset I knew that it would be attention to detail that would make these shows stand out. For me this didn’t mean black wigs or hair dye but a real focus on those iconic songs so I could get as close as possible to Neil’s amazing sound.”
The show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14 from the box office on 01234 718112 or visit www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk