The Glamis Proms returned to Glamis Castle for a Prom on Saturday 18th July. The event was hours from being cancelled due to torrential rain and high winds, that also affected the Open Golf at St Andrews on the same day. The weather abated and the Prom went on, with showers of sunshine over a crowded Glamis Garden accommodating some 5000 people and not a drop of rain.
The traditional extravagant array of picnic tables and gazebo’s were in evidence. Ah yes gazebo’s that is a slight sore point. The VIP ticket area and VVIP area situated in front of the castle with access to a marquee for drinks and through to the “posh” loo was great. BUT, three fair sized gazebo’s had been erected directly in line of the seating area for VIP and VVIP ticket holders. The VVIP gold coloured, plush red cushioned seats were swiftly uplifted by the owners, yes the owners and moved closer to the stage area. Some of those VVIP ticket holders just could not help themselves and used the ticket price to influence a move, this was quickly broadcast to those within earshot, by the event staff as “I have customer who have paid ove £250 a seat and can’t see, they’re not happy” and neither would I be. The VIP area we were in was acceptable for our needs but the view was restricted and we were surprised to see the gazebo’s positioned there. For the optional extra’s it was still worth the premium, but basic Prom goers had the best views with a straight line of sight to the stage.
The compère flying close to the wind at times was somewhat corny and for me was kind of out of place.
First up a trio, The Cairn String Quartet, good sound, some Motzart including Eine Kleine NachMusik to warm up, the sound system certainly needed some warming up, initially seemed slightly mono switching back and forth to stereo, eventually settled. Nothing on The #cairnquartet website indicates they were playing at Glamis. A sprinkling of Scottish elements with Skye Boat Son included in their set, reminded the Prom goers they were in Scotland, although the slight chill wind did that on occasion in any case, and they were in the grounds of a great baronial castle ! No feedback at the Cairn String Quartet Twitter page, although they started the evening off in good style.
After a set change, of which there were three, giving time for comfort breaks, came Local lad Norman Bowman from Arbroath with a massive voice, clearly completely comfortable in his chosen career of London musicals and spectacular sound, such a shame he lost the words to Rabbie Burn’s My Love is like a red rose, singing just a verse or so before actually giving up, that’s live Proms for you. He got good reviews on Twitter, and his voice is truly amazing with a wide range.
Elaine Paige delivered the core performance supported by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, again nothing on the orchestra website indicates they were playing at Glamis. Elaine was well received and very crowd friendly in her approach. The sound was good and once again Elaine has an amazing range of sound, fair to say she did a great job. Her Twitter page has a number of pics to view.
Susan Boyle supported Eleaine in a Duo and then belted out I dreamed a dream to an ovation from the crowds who clearly loved it. Susan’s Twitter page mentions the evening and has good feedback on the night. Given that Susan was a guest of Elaine it was probably too much to expect more than a couple of tracks, but maybe the order should have been the other way around, Elaine guest starring for Susan ? The sense was the crowd wanted more of Susan! Talking later with Friends, the same sentiment was expressed, we should have been treated to mor of Susan Boyle. Perhaps the organisers for GlamisProms2016 should bear this in mind and maybe Susan’s fans could suggest this to them too ? firstname.lastname@example.org
Prom is short for promenade concert, a term which originally referred to outdoor concerts in London’s pleasure gardens, where the audience was free to stroll around while the orchestra was playing. In fact this tradition has been revived in parks and stately homes around the UK at promenade concerts such as the Battle Proms. In the context of the BBC Proms Promming now refers to the use of the standing areas inside the hall (the arena and gallery) for which ticket prices are much lower than for the reserved seating. Proms concert-goers, particularly those who stand, are sometimes described as “Promenaders”, but are most commonly referred to as “Prommers”.