Monday, 2 March 2015

Review: Daniel Koek Live at The Pheasantry

Daniel Koek Live 
The Pheasantry
Reviewed on Thursday 5th March 2015

Following the release of his solo album High, last week West End actor Daniel Koek took to the stage at The Pheasantry to celebrate his next chapter as well as his theatrical career. Nothing beats hearing such a powerful voice in such an intimate venue; Koek found the right balance between formal and informal, hosting a relaxing evening of musical pleasure.

Koek opened the show with songs from the first musical he did in the UK, West Side Story. It was impossible to fault his rendition of ‘Maria’ which set the bar extremely high for the rest of the evening. Being cast as Tony in the UK Tour of West Side Story was a big deal for Koek, and the song still seems to mean a great deal to him. Another highlight from the opening section was ‘Where I Want to Be' from Chess (Koek appeared in Craig Revel Horwood’s touring production).

High is a fantastic album because not only is it respectful of Koek's roots in musical theatre, but it also exposes a different side to his talents. We were treated to several numbers from the album with ‘February Song’ being my personal favourite.

The orchestrations on the album are big and impressive, but the numbers also sounded stunning inside The Pheasantry with just piano accompaniment from Greg Arrowsmith (who also arranged most of the album tracks). 

The evening included a couple of duets with upcoming performer Maisey Bawden; the pair's voices blended beautifully together and it was nice to hear Koek performing something a little different from The Wild Party.

The two other big stand out moments were Koek's renditions of ‘This is the Moment’ from Jekyll and Hyde and, fresh from playing Jean Valjean, 'Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables. Both numbers showcased Koek's huge voice terrifically and received tremendous applause from the audience. Not only does Koek impress when taking on iconic roles, but he is clearly at home on stage as himself performing songs that are close to his heart. Koek breaks away from the musical theatre stereotype, performing with passion and individuality.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Visit Daniel's website to purchase his new album.

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