We’ve Got a Soft Spot for This One… A Review of Last Night’s “Endless Love” at the Spa!

Being a big fan of old school funk, soul, R&B, I already had a soft spot for this show. But a few days ago, my interview with Ryan (performing as Lionel) pushed it a little further, and last night’s show just took it to another level. My love for Lionel and Diana has well and truly been reborn! 
After opening with 'Running With the Night', Ryan came on stage donning a black and gold sparkling jacket, warning us all of two rules: 
  1. To dance in the aisle up to row K, and 
  2. “You gotta keep your clothes on!”

That last one made us all giggle and set the tone for a fun evening led by two down-to-earth, incredibly talented singers.

The chilled vibe of 'Easy like a Sunday Morning' got me noticing lovely details like Endless Love written on the pristine white baby grand piano, and on the bass drum. 

This is when Leanna (performing as Diana Ross) took front and centre with 'I’m Coming Out' With that red lip, golden gown and feather shawl - she really did ooze the queen that Diana Ross was. I’m not going to give away too much, but one thing I will say is that Leanne nailed every one of her many outfits beautifully. And I’m pretty confident she's been practicing the art of unfurling from those shawls and dress jackets is that sassy/fierce way that she does!

Backed by the lovely Lucy and Kelly, the stage took on the flavour of the Supremes with hits like ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Stop! In the Name of Love’. 

As Ryan quite rightly admitted to me in his interview that his change of outfits weren’t quite as impressive, but we couldn’t fault his fab red velvet jacket as he sang ‘Penny Lover’ at the white piano. Followed by Lionel’s first number one hit, ‘Truly’, this was really one of my favourite parts of the show. Accompanied by Damian on flute, and Mark on keyboards, I can safely say, the audience also felt “truuuulllyyyy in love with you” too! Some really wonderful wow moments… well done Ryan!

While Ryan swooned us with ballads, Leanne came back and took us to the club with 'Upside Down’ and then Andy on lighting lit the stage up in full colour with ‘Love is all that Matters’. The ending was pretty adorable as the audience sang the last line.

Audience participation didn’t stop there… we swayed in our seats during ‘Stuck on You’ and piped up singing “Guess I’m on my wayyyy”. This song brought out a lovely sax solo from Damian and a cheeky grin from Ryan just before he sang “mighty glad you stayed.” Really cute! 

Leanne’s incredible performance of ‘The Boss’ made me think I could get away with trying those “Oooh, oooh, ooohs” when I’m next in the shower (my singing “skills” will stay within those four walls I can assure you). But wow, Leanne! Girl you nailed that song! 

The whole show took a new course with ‘The Boss’ -  Ryan brought the bopping audience to their feet with ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’… absolutely brilliant! John on electric guitar brought some lovely energy to the room, and Billy on bass, Liam on drums and Mark on keyboard all shone! 

We of course were treated to big hits like ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, and though not a Diana Ross original, Leanne and the band paid homage to Diana’s fantastic cover of ‘I Will Survive’. The audience needed no encouragement to sing along, and even prompted a very funny comment from Leanne; “Oh, you know this song?”

There were many great songs from both Leanne and Ryan… and I was so impressed with Lucy and Kelly for their tireless enthusiasm and choreography as backup singers... and yes girls, I did notice how you very coolly crossed the stage during ‘Angel’ with those moves!

I had another personal fave… ‘Three Times a Lady’ and I was delighted to hear the audience sing again – it was such a cute vibe! But this is how clever Ryan is with changing pace… he soon got a lot of the audience up on their feet and dancing in the aisles with ‘Lady’.

And honestly, there’s one lady in the audience I really want to bow to… you know who you are missy… the lady on the left dancing like it was just you and the performers! 😊 You are my hero! I loved your energy throughout the whole show! 

Not long after, the song we’d all been waiting for; ‘Endless Love’. The band, lead singers, staging team… you did not let us down. You paid homage to this song beautifully! The audience’s appreciation was evident from their audible “awww” when we saw Leanne and Ryan on stage together for the first time as one of the world’s favourite duos. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I won ‘t lie, soppy mare that I am, I did get a bit emosh.
We were spoilt with many more hits like, ‘Say You, Say Me’ and a real belter from Leanne, ‘You Love Me’. And… another that I was waiting for, ‘Hello’ – it was so beautifully performed by Ryan and brought back a lot of memories of my sister and I attempting to sing it when we were younger. 
To wrap up the night (or so they thought), Ryan treated us to ‘All Night Long’ – once again, we were on our feet! Leanna then comes out at the big chorus, the perfect way to bring up the crowd.
But… we didn’t want it to end, and the crowd successfully got the encore they hoped for… the most perfectly chosen song, ‘Reach Out & Touch’. 

Before the show ended, there was just enough time for a full house selfie 💖

Ahh… what a fab evening. Truly… the team couldn’t have been better. Mark the tour manager and producer has done an exceptional job at bringing everyone together.

The live band was the glue to the whole show and brought such a level of authenticity that I’m sure would impress Diana and Lionel. So to the team that heralds from Dorset to Wolverhampton, well done! Liam (drums), Mark (keyboard), Damian (flue, sax and alto sax), Billy (bass guitar) and John (electric guitar). 

There are two people I want to applaud; Andy (light engineer pictured below) did a flawless job at orchestrating the atmosphere of each song and Stuart (sound engineer) made the singers and band sound sensational. Well done lads. 

Kelly and Lucy… your energy is amazing! It’s obvious you work incredibly hard and were impressive backing singers.
Once again, well done to all… and Ryan, we wish you and your fiancé a wonderful wedding in August... Talk about true endless love! 💖
Written by Mandeep Birdy, Editor of The Felixstowe Magazine and Director of The Felixstowe App

We hope you enjoyed reading this review... For all you die-hard fans, here's a little cherry on the top, Diana and Lionel with 'Endless Love'...