Turn round to hear Bob

Bob Blakeley
Bob Blakeley

John Murray on the voice missed by talent show ‘The Voice’

Do you follow the BBC talent show ‘The Voice’?

Would you remember who last won it, never mind any outstanding performances from it?

I personally have avoided it so far, with better things to do on a Saturday night, but having said that, I do take notice when apparent injustice is done.

Even Chris Evans was tweeting his outrage that one guy failed ‘to turn the chairs’ with such a remarkable voice.

Mr Evans, note, is now the biggest name in radio, adding 100,000 listeners in the latest RAJAR (radio listening) figures, averaging at 9.83 million listeners every week.

On ‘The Voice’ judge Sir Tom Jones reportedly said ‘Your singing is flawless, it’s a beautiful voice with a beautiful tone.’

So this unknown warehouse worker from Stockport then secured a spot on BBC Breakfast TV, whereupon he was offered a record deal live on air from producer (and ex-Womble) Mike Batt.

It’s time we heard more of Bob Blakeley then, and this week, that resultant album ‘Performance (Dramatico)’ is released.

On the programme he sang the Michael Buble arrangement of ‘Cry Me A River’ so that has to be there, but to avoid comparisons Mike Batt has re-arranged again but still with that big orchestra feel and it works with a hint of James Bond for dramatic effect.

The big orchestra is essential here and choices like Sinatra’s ‘It Was A Very Good Year’ marries well and a full American songbook would not have been amiss.

‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’ may be a standard in every repertoire but Batt includes Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’ and 60’s hit ‘Kites’ for diversity.

Also in the shops this week comes ‘The Collection’ (Sony) from Julio Iglesias with 18 well chosen passionate love ballads.