Ali Harper’s Triumph

A sensational singer: the amazing Ali Harper

By Roger Childs

Like many of the audience at Sunday’s Paekakariki concert, I hadn’t heard of Ali Harper and wasn’t sure what was in store. However, for just $25, with $10 going to the Aquatic Centre, we would hopefully get a good show and be supporting an important community cause. There were approximately 60 people in the Memorial Hall, but it merited 600 at Southwards.

Christchurch’s Ali Harper is an outstanding singer by any standards and would not be out of place on Broadway or in the Albert Hall. From the opening medley from My Fair Lady to the final duet with the equally talented Matthew Pike, she thrilled the enthusiastic audience and received a standing ovation at the finish.

A fantastic talent

Ali has a wonderful voice with a superb vocal range and skilful modulation. She showed her remarkable versatility in singing songs by Eva Cassidy, Edith Piaf, Doris Day, Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand in the style of those artists. However, she has her own very distinctive voice, and in singing a variety of show songs from Guys and Dolls to The Pyjama Game, Ali played to the audience with great flair and panache. There was plenty of humour too. Barbie’s Got it All was sung in a delightfully spiteful tone with exaggerated gestures and a romantic number was delivered on the knee of a surprised, but appreciative, elderly member of the audience!

Three accomplished performers

All of Ali’s vocals were brilliantly delivered and skilfully complemented by her accompanist Max Tocker, who provided sensitive backing on keyboard. A particular highlight was a moving rendition of I dreamed a dream: Fantine’s lost love lament from Les Miserables. There were also a number of other emotional songs, from her tribute to Christchurch It’s Wonderful World, to Led Zeppelin’s Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, which she sang in a moving duet with guitarist Matthew Pike. All their duets were enthusiastically received, and the audience appreciated the wonderful harmony and rapport of these two gifted singers. Another highlight of the concert was Matthew’s superb solo rendition of a French Canadian song The Age of the Cathedrals.

A star entertainer to remember

Ali has excellent stage presence and looked stunning in a glamorous, floral frock purchased a few days earlier from a Raumati boutique. She is a polished, professional singer and a talented actress, as well as being a highly gifted entertainer. A mother of three, she has run a half a marathon and loves staying on the Kapiti Coast. There will definitely another Ali Harper concert on the Coast and it will be an experience not to miss.

Hi Roger, just a wee message to let you know that Ali is coming back up to the Kapiti Coast to perform at Southwards Theatre on Friday the 10th of May, 2013. The concert is an opportunity to showcase her new double album entitled ‘Naughty and Nice’.

You can see a YouTube upload of some footage from the recording weekend here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPD-YmoCKfQ

This time she is being accompanied by an 8 piece band, which includes Roger Fox, and the other musicians are amongst the best in New Zealand… it should be a fantastic concert, and we are keen to get as full a house at Southwards as we can !!

We hope that you can make the concert… and can spread the word that this will be a show not to be missed 🙂

Warm regards,

Iain Cave
027 2077105