Bowl swings to singers - but drinks annoy

Last updated 05:00 24/03/2014
john farnham
THE ENTERTAINER: John Farnham charmed the crowd with his humour and strong performance.
Stars dazzle at the Bowl
Lionel Richie and John Farnham's show

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Glowing reviews flooded in after Lionel Richie and John Farnham's show but concert-goers were less than impressed with an hour-long wait in the drinks line.

Almost 10,000 revellers packed the TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Saturday, but the night was tainted for some by disorganisation on the catering front.

Aside from the frustrations in the drinks line, the concert was a hit with revellers.

"I've nearly lost my voice," die-hard Lionel Richie fan Denise Wood said.

Mrs Wood had visions of meeting the American popstar, but security guards thwarted her efforts to go backstage.

"I said ‘it's on my bucketlist!' but they didn't care."

Despite the disappointment, Mrs Wood was certain she and Richie had a "connection".

"When he played my favourite song Hello it was spiritual.

"When he cast his eyes upon the audience he looked my way."

Even her sore back didn't stop her from jumping up and dancing.

"I'd get off my death bed for Lionel."

Sue Taylor said the concert took her back to her teenage years.

Farnham didn't seem like the support act because he was just as good as Lionel, she said.

Natasha Renau was surprised by Farnham's humour and ability to connect with the crowd.

"His voice was strong and recognisable from his heyday."

She said the best song of the evening was Farnham singing A Touch Of Paradise

"It was such an honest and moving performance."

She said Richie came on late so maybe some of the crowd energy had waned. "It took a while to get people on their feet but he gave us all the hits. Dancing On The Ceiling had us all jumping and jiving."

Stacey Kennard said the performers were fantastic "but the hospitality side really let down the event".

Mrs Kennard waited an hour for drinks.

The "four standards per person" rule slowed things down too, she said. "If I wanted a bottle of wine hubby would've had to re-queue just to get his beer."

New Plymouth District Council manager of recreation and events Ron Murray said the caterers were overwhelmed at the start but as the night went on the queues eased.

"Because the weather was so beautiful there was a pretty big early turn-up of customers."

Mr Murray said they would debrief with the catering company so things would run more smoothly at future events. "We'll take it on the chin and get it right next time."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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