One of the more intriguing parts of the story of the musical group The Seekers is that when they celebrated their 50th anniversary by reuniting and having a tour, mid-way through they had to cancel it because lead singer Judith Durham had a critical illness, a brain hemorrhage. As one might image, it was profoundly serious, and she was in a coma for a while. When she regained consciousness, there were still many issues to be dealt with, including her having short-term memory loss, needing to be retrained to write, and the question of if she was able to sing.
With a good deal of therapy, she did recover and was able to sing -- but more than that, the group committed to returning to their Golden Jubilee tour only a year later, and performed two concerts at Royal Albert Hall, in 2014.
And I have that concert here.
It's broken up into seven segment, and I won't post them all here, just the first and last one. But I'll include the links to them all, for those interested in seeing it all.
The visual quality isn't great, but it's mostly very watchable. For reasons I don't fully understand, there are sections where the video stops and is replaced for short periods by still photographs of the concert. But then the video starts up again.
This opening section is particularly good. It includes a new music video they did of the Beatles song "In My Life" (they performed with the Beatles during their '50s hey-day),and dthen goes into their biggest hit, "I’ll Never Find Another You." Following that number, there is a lovely, low-key but very touching expression of appreciation by bass player Athol Guy (I believe that's who's speaking, since this is one of the points where the video cuts out), that's not just for the overwhelming response from the audience, but in quiet reference to Judith Durham being there at all. (The group's affection for her shines through when he says, "It’s just such a joy to with you all here tonight.. Especially with this little miracle right here.") And this segment also includes another of their three very big hits in the U.S., "A World of Our Own."
As you can see, they are in fine voice after 50 years. But most impressively, so is 72-year-old Judith Durham just one year after being in a coma with a brain hemorrhage.
And then I'll jump to the final section of the concert because...well, it's the finale. At the 3:00 mark,Judith Durham speaks movingly about the help and support she received from the others in recovering from her illness and just getting her there on stage, along with the support from the fans. And that's followed by probably their most-beloved hit, "Georgy Girl." Their finale is touching with a roaring response from the audience, after which they return to finish with their traditional closing number, "The Carnival is Over."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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