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Review: Aled Jones & Russell Watson at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

The popular pair joined forces for some heartfelt hymns, a little 'dad dancing' and friendly on-stage banter.

Aled Jones and Russell Watson
Aled Jones and Russell Watson

Having released their first album as a duo last year (the well-received In Harmony), these two classical/Christian music heavyweights clearly enjoy each other's company.

This was immediately evident through their body language in front of a packed auditorium, who had given a very warm welcome to talented opening act, Natasha Hemmings - and who were treated to tracks from Jones and Watson's first album and tracks from their upcoming second album, Back in Harmony.

"They're the ones not watching Strictly," joked Aled, after beautiful opening number, Where Should This Music Be?.

On the subject of Strictly, Aled recalled his successful run on the show back in 2004.

"Not a day goes by without someone mentioning Strictly, and not a day goes by without someone mentioning Walking in the Air," he joked.

The pair's voices combined together quite brilliantly on a varied selection of songs - highlights in the first half included a medley of hymns, Mario Lanza's The Loveliest Night of the Year, and The Lord Is My Shepherd (introduced by Aled as "the theme song from the Vicar of Dibley").

A solid rendition of Frank Sinatra's Night & Day was made more amusing by Russell recalling the time when he accidentally looked at Aled while singing the line: "Till you let me spend my life making love to you".

He joked that he now moves forward to avoid Aled's gaze when singing that particular line.

The duo got the crowd singing along on Volare - Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me provided more uptempo fun - and delivered particularly touching performances of May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You, Shenandoah, and How Great Thou Art.

Watson revealed that Michael Ball and Alfie Boe are set to release their new album on the same day as Back in Harmony (November 1) and Aled even suggested that maybe the four should get together and form a "supergroup" - an idea which was met with cheers.

Aled Jones and Russell Watson
Aled Jones and Russell Watson

The show ended with an uplifting take on The Impossible Dream and the two singers deservedly took the applause, with some audience members giving them a standing ovation.

No Walking in the Air though, sadly - although I don't believe anyone would have walked away from the venue feeling deeply unhappy or dissatisfied.

Looking forward to seeing what these two do next.

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