The Carpenters timeless classics were recreated for a stunning show in Hunstanton

Carpenters tribute show We've Only Just Begun was a success in Hunstanton

Carpenters tribute show We've Only Just Begun was a success in Hunstanton - Credit: Supplied by the Alban Arena

Her voice is still one of the most recognisable in music to this day – and Toni Lee recreated the magic of Karen Carpenter effortlessly.

‘We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters Greatest Love Songs’ showcased the American duos greatest hits to a backdrop of sunshine in Hunstanton on Friday night.

Toni Lee, a singer from Kent, has a voice that bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Karen’s and with a live band behind her it was no wonder that she charmed the audience at The Princess Theatre.

The band, who were from Dublin, made the tribute experience one that could have easily resembled the real thing.

Close your eyes and think back to the 70s and you were almost there again.


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The evening opened with ‘Superstar’ and it was clear the show was going to be one filled with nostalgia.

As the night progressed you could see couples holding hands, singing along and even shedding a tear.

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The magic of The Carpenters - who scored hits with ten albums over their 14-year career - was not only captured in their musical arrangement but their lyrics on love and loss.

Rainy Days and Mondays, Goodbye to Love, I Won’t Last a Day Without You, Solitaire – the list goes on.

One thing for sure was Toni and the band knew how to bring that back to life and tug at the heartstrings.

But it was two songs in particular that stood out to me.

Toni’s nod to Karen with ‘I Need To Be In Love’ and the show’s namesake ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’.

I was completely focused on the stage as Toni sung I Need To Be In Love with such grace.

Clearly the audience were in agreeance with me as you could have heard a pin drop.

I’d grown up listening to The Carpenters with my mom, and We’ve Only Just Begun was a song often played in the car when she’d pick me up from school.

She was another beautiful lady similar to Karen who was taken far too soon, but she was in my thoughts on Friday night.

The show included a video tribute to Karen who tragically died of a heart failure following a battle with anorexia at the age of 32 in 1983.

But the show was far from a sad affair - it was a celebration and tribute.

The amusing Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft finished the first half while Jambalaya (On The Bayou) and Sing got everyone up on their feet for the encore.

Fan favourite A Ticket to Ride - a cover of The Beatles hit - was also included.

So for Toni and the band it may have been ‘one more round for experience and on the road again’ - but please don’t let it take too much time before you pay Hunstanton another visit!

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