Gig Review – Celine Dion, British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park, 5 July 2019

You know the summer gig season has truly arrived once the British Summer Time Festival rolls around again. Mind you last year we had everything from searing heat for Eric Clapton to torrential storms for Michael Buble.

Headlining tonight’s opening show was Celine Dion. I’ve only photographed her once before, back in about 2008 at the O2 Arena. The years haven’t been kind. She very sadly lost her husband to cancer three years ago and appears to have lost a lot of weight. Mind you, she can still sing. She was supported by a wide range of performers across three stages.

One of those was Claire Richards, formerly of Steps.

Josh Groban was another.

Probably the most interesting for me was Alice Chater. She is practically unknown outside of Bournemouth where she lives and she powered through a set on the tiny Bandstand Stage. Playing to a tape with a guitarist, drummer and at one point random dancer, she appears to be tapping squarely in to Rita Ora’s market and was impressive – watch this space.

The night belonged to Celine Dion. Although when she came on at 8.15 the sun was still so bright on stage she wore sunglasses during the first song. The sun has the effect of destroying all the beautiful stage lighting, and leaves the shots looking quite flat, but she gave a belting performance.