By Beth Eyre
The unfortunate death of David Gest shocked the entire nation, of which has grown fond of him through his appearances on reality TV shows like ‘I’m A Celeb’ and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. Prior to this, Gest had imagined and went on to plan an event, where in which he would handpick some of the phenomenal talent and performers from a generation of soul.
Seeing first hand how important and heart felt this showcase was to David, Imad Handi – his dear friend – has taken the reigns of Alive With Soul, now a heartfelt tribute to Gest, to continue David’s dream and legacy.
‘Now we get to do it my way!’ Imad jokes during a phone interview with myself. In fact, perhaps there is nobody more qualified to do the job.
Handi and Gest had been close friends for a long time, so inevitably Imad understands what David’s vision was, enabling him to channel that into Alive With Soul. Imad was previously his body guard and the pair had travelled the world together, seeing one another as ‘brothers’ and acting that way too, constantly playing pranks.
‘On a trip to Hawaii,’ Imad reminisces, ‘I kept getting strange phone calls in my hotel room telling me I had to leave immediately… It turns out it was David, who found it very funny cause I was getting so annoyed. We have spent such a large proportion of our lives together travelling to places like America. it was very funny at times, we were always playing jokes, acting like kids’.
An audience can expect to see the ‘real’ David remembered in the show, the David ‘behind the mask’; the David that was a fierce friend and notorious prank-player. As well as this, a spectacular array of raw, soul talent will be performing, from Dina Carroll making a comeback to Peabo Bryson and many others. It will also be ‘Ring My Bell’ star Anita Ward’s and Fern Kinney’s ‘exclusive first performances in the UK’.
Hull will also be extra special. Not only will Hull be one of the four cities featuring the ‘Very Special Guest Star’ Rose Royce featuring Gwen Dickey, Handi has family here and is excited to return to the ‘beautiful’ City of Culture.
Ultimately, Alive With Soul is a one-time event that you can’t afford to miss. Relax to the soothing sound of soul, dance all night and remember David’s genius with some of the most stunning music performers around.
For full details on the show and how to buy tickets, see our event listing.