Opening of the Cardiff International Arena 1993

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videocassette Cardiff 1993 CIA a

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alw-1993On September the 10th. 1993 Shirley Bassey opened the new Cardiff International Arena (CIA). (Now called Motorpoint Arena Cardiff)
The concert was broad-casted by the BBC. on September the 17th. and released on video. It was a very busy year for Shirley. It was also the year she received a CBE from Her Majesty the Queen, went on tour artcl511with Ray Charles and Liza Minelli, the 10,000 Voices concert in Cardiff Arms Park, her 40th. year in showbusiness, and Shirley on “This is your life” # 2. Also that same year her album “Shirley Bassey sings the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber” was being released. (To order your copy of this wonderful CD click on the CD cover). billboard-cardiff-a1

I went to see the concert in Cardiff and was even being interviewed, along with Janice and my dear friends Hilary and Sid,  by a local newspaper.
Shirley was slightly nervous at the beginning of this concert due to the fact she was playing in her home-town Cardiff but after singing Big Spender the nerves were gone.

Songs: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love, He Was Beautiful, Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me, Never Never Never, What Now My Love, Big Spender, You Aint Heard Nothing Yet, Hey Jude, I Want To Know What Love Is, This Is My Life, I Am What I Am.

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Interview about the opening of the CIA and Shirley at rehearsal for the CD: “Shirley Bassey sings the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber”.

You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet.
Music by Michael Alexander, Lyrics by Tony (Wiz) Withers.
You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet was in fact written for her by her musical director Michael Alexander, and Shirley mentioned and thanked him for the song after performing it at some concerts. The lyrics were written by Tony (Wiz) Withers.

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Michael Alexander and Shirley Bassey at rehearsal

About Michael Alexander:
Biography From Norwell Lapley Associates Ltd

Mike, throughout his 30 years experience in the music business, has covered many facets of this entertainment sector, from 3 piece jazz combos, to Symphony orchestras. He has worked in almost every country in the world for some of the business’s top stars, culminating in the role of Musical Director for Shirley Bassey from 1980 to 1995.

As musical arranger, Conductor and Director for Shirley, he has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls such as: The London Palladium, The Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, etc, alongside international artists including: Liza Minnelli, Ray Charles, George Shearing and many others.

In 1984 he arranged several songs for Shirley’s album I Am What I Am and conducted the London Symphony Orchestra for the title track. In 1991 he produced, arranged and conducted Shirley’s album Keep The Music Playing. He can be seen as Musical Director on a number of television shows, including A Special Lady, Standing Room Only and Live In Cardiff.

During his career he has acted as M.D. for other celebrities on TV, Radio and live performances. Among the artists who have benefited from his experience are: Mel Torme, Randy Crawford, Peters and Lee (MD for 4 years), Freddie Starr (MD 4 minutes!), Cannon & Ball (MD for various shows, including a 3 month season at the London Palladium), Brian Conley (M.D. Birmingham Hippodrome Panto), Danny La Rue, Marti Webb etc. In addition, he has had extensive TV coverage and has worked for practically every major TV company in the U.K.

Mike also runs his own Music Company called Output Music. Amongst his TV credits are: Family Fortunes (Central), Beadles Box of Tricks (London Weekend), Gas Street (Central), What’s Your Story (BBC), World Boxing Theme (London Weekend) and Steal (Central).

Mike was Musical Director for Pebble Mill and as such, he was required to write and arrange music and provide backing for many of today’s Pop Stars as well as up and coming new talent. He has also been featured in his own right as a performer many times on the Pebble Mill Show.

Mike’s ‘skill sets’ encompass a great deal of ‘man-management’ in that he is renowned for achieving excellent results, from what may start as a ‘less than satisfactory’ orchestra. He has always prided himself on getting the best from people who are working for him. This is made easier by the fact that his talent and his working methods are held in high regard by the musicians he is managing.

As can be seen from the above overview, his musical experience and skills cover a very broad spectrum from arranging for and conducting Symphony Orchestras, thro’ light entertainment, jazz, theatre, radio and live television.

He is regarded by his peers and the celebrities he has worked with over the years, as one of the most accomplished, versatile and experienced musical directors in the international music related business.

Other work includes a national tour of The Goodbye Girl, with Gary Wilmot and Marty Webb, Musical Director for the launch of the new Peugeot 206 Spectacular, a further tour with Gary Wilmot in ‘Music To Watch Girls By’ with the Mike Alexander Quartet. A national tour with Jane McDonald and Adam Watkiss. Mike has also directed, produced and arranged an album, The Last Serenade — A Tribute to Mario Lanza.

THE CARDIFF AUDIENCE

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This concert was released on VHS at the time. To order your copy of this great concert click on the videotape belowvideocassette-cardiff-1993-cia-a

3 thoughts on “Opening of the Cardiff International Arena 1993”

  1. Thank you Pieter. Outdone yourself again, bringing an interesting archive I personally have never seen before. The articles are really interesting, DSB is in top form, and Michael Sullivan is a great MD, and musician. Love the song he wrote for her.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Soon to be “20” more years added to this outstanding performance,
    and the Dame is still on top in my listening. She is so diversified in
    her music of songs that you could listen to her all day ! (which I do)
    Thanks Pieter for your sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

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