Simon Bailey is a well established British performer, currently starring as Raoul in the UK touring production of Phantom of the Opera. He has many theatrical credits to his name including Les Miserables and We Will Rock You and is also a member of the brilliantly successful vocal group Teatro. In addition to this, he has somehow been able to find the time in his busy schedule to record this beautifully intimate album Looking Up.
Even the CD cover is very striking and the layers make it very appealing. It is evident straight away that this is a recording from the heart. The album features four of Bailey's own songs which, along with the other song choices, are very personal to him following his father's tragic death last year. Even without taking this into account, there is a real poignancy and quietly epic nature to his original writing. There is a very interesting complexity to Bailey's lyrics and paired with the great musical production is a real treat on the ears.
Also contributing to the album are remarkable talents; Katie Hall, Ramin Karimloo and Sabrina Aloueche. All give added dimensions to the recording and break the structure up nicely. A stunning rendition of the number Falling Slowly from Once, featuring Aloueche, is a particular favourite.
SimG Productions, intertwined with Tom Deering's musical direction, showcases Bailey's vocal prowess and evident songwriting talent in the best possible light. There is a heavy acoustic influence throughout the recording, which works well and in a very understated way; overproduction would definitely not have been the way forward for these beautiful pieces.
There is a lovely raspy quality to Bailey's voice and with the country vibe undercurrent works very well. Especially for his debut album, he has done a wonderful job and I look forward to hearing more from him in the near future.
Simon Bailey's album 'Looking Up' is out on Monday and is available from www.SimGProductions.com and www.SimonBaileyOnline.com.