Neil Diamond closed this year’s Radio 2 Electric Proms at the London Roundhouse last night (October 30) with his first live performance since 2008.
The singer, who releases ‘Dreams’, his new record comprising interpretations of classic songs tomorrow (November 1), treated fans to his version of his own ‘I’m A Believer’, made famous by The Monkees, plus covers of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ by Bill Withers and ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ by Gladys Knight And The Pips.
However, most of his set focused on his extensive back catalogue, including performances of some of his most famous songs, such as ‘Forever In Blue Jeans’, ‘Cherry Cherry’, ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’.
Announcing his arrival, Diamond told the crowd: “I’ve not performed for two years and I was wondering before I came out here tonight, ‘Are you going to make a fool out of yourself?’ And the answer is absolutely, yes. I have every intention of doing that.”
Halfway through his set, he also introduced the first of his special guests, Lulu, who covered his song ‘The Boat That I Row’.
The singer explained that he had first met Lulu at a recording of Top Of The Pops, after she released her version of the track as a single in 1967.
Diamond told the crowd that he remembered Lulu as a “little sparkplug, a little bit of champagne” after their first meeting, before joking: “She came from a very poor family – I knew that, because she only had one name.”
He was also later joined by Amy MacDonald, who he described as a “beautiful and talented Scottish lass who sings like an angel”.
She performed a version of his 1968 single ‘Shilo’, as well as a rendition of her own song ‘This Is The Life’ at his request.
Thanking the crowd, Diamond then closed his set with singalong performances of ‘I Am… I Said’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’, before returning to the stage for an encore of ‘Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show’, which received a standing ovation.
Neil Diamond played:
‘Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon’
‘Midnight Train To Georgia’
‘Ain’t No Sunshine’
‘I’m A Believer’
‘The Boat That I Row’ (with Lulu)
‘I’m A Fool For You’ (with Lulu)
‘Pretty Amazing Grace’
‘Shilo’ (with Amy MacDonald)
‘This Is The Life’ (with Amy MacDonald)
‘I Am…I Said’
‘Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show’