Terwijl de deuren van het theater opengaan, lijkt het alsof de tijd heeft stilgestaan. Het is weer 1972 en Neil Diamond zingt ‘Sweet Caroline’, ‘Song Sung Blue’ en ‘I’m a believer’. Zijn hemd met wijd open boord glittert paarsrood.
De Canadese performer Bobby Bruce, alias Nearly Neil, is de perfecte Neil Diamond-vertolker. Als je je ogen sluit, hoor je het verschil nauwelijks. Hij zingt krachtig, kreunend of zoetgevooisd met een aangename dosis eigen lef en stijl. Na volle zalen in Noord-Amerika, Australië en Zuidoost-Azië, nu voor het eerst in België.
BOBBY BRUCE – (aka NEARLY NEIL)
Bobby Bruce is an internationally renowned entertainer who has enjoyed sixteen years of headlining tours around the globe. A consummate professional, his outstanding voice and commanding stage presence have captivated audiences worldwide.
From his origins as a childhood actor, Bobby honed his keen theatrical skills. Beginning with a decade of operatic training, Bobby compounded his natural abilities. Building upon his skill set, Bobby evolved into musical theatre. There, by chance, he realized his innate ability to recreate the unique sound of Neil Diamond.
In 1994, Bobby took the stage in his tribute to Neil Diamond and a “legend” was born. Within two years the world-famous Las Vegas based “Legends in Concert” had selected him for their line up. After his first ten-month stint in the United States, which took him to theatres in Branson, Missouri and casinos in Atlantic City and Nevada, Bobby’s talent caught the attention of producers from far and wide.
As a feature in “Legends of Rock” Bobby appeared on sixty stages across Australia. Performing on every major television program and in theatres, clubs and casinos from Perth to Sydney his celebrity spread and a new name was born – the Australian press dubbing Bobby’s tribute “Nearly Neil”.
The recognition by the press and public of Bobby’s talent within the “Legends” format inspired a revolution in thinking. Upon his return from Australia, Bobby decided to go out on a limb and introduce his tribute to Neil Diamond independently; he formed Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band. Expanding his show format to include his own band, some of their own arrangements of Diamond’s immense repertoire, Bobby could focus his well-developed entertainment expertise on a complete evening. Critics and fans alike embraced his newfound freedom and passion.
Since, Bobby’s Nearly Neil tribute has enjoyed resounding success. Bobby starred in MOCKSTARS, a feature length documentary about tribute artists that continues to air internationally. As well, the Pacific National Exhibition awarded him Entertainer of the Year in 2006. Bobby has performed to the King and Queen of Malaysia – indeed returning to Malaysia a dozen times. His tribute to Neil Diamond has headlined numerous national tours of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. His Nearly Neil show has thrilled audiences in the Cayman Islands, Borneo, and Hawaii.
Bobby and the Solitary Band are currently midway through their 50 date tour of the United States that will see them in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Washington, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, California, Arizona, Missouri, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee.In between legs of their US tour, the Solitary Band is excited to be performing a southern Ontario tour of soft seat theatres in late February and early March. After which they will complete the remainder of their American dates before Bobby embarks on his six week tour of Australia in late May through June. Of course he will return for his opening night concert at Western Canada’s largest fair – the Pacific National Exhibition – his fourteenth year running. From cruise ships in the South Pacific to 30,000 people in Calgary, everyone knows, everyone goes, to Bobby Bruce’s shows.