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26 May 2015

Clarkson, Hammond & May Live - Belfast

Clarkson, Hammond & May Live - Belfast

The Return of Three Musketeers

Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis

Top Gear, sorry, Clarkson, Hammond & May are back! The trio have reunited to launch a 6 month global tour of live shows, which have now been renamed "Clarkson, Hammond and May Live". The 90 minute long live motoring show included spectacular car and bike stunts, fireworks, explosions, display of super cars, and their typical humour.
The former co-hosts of the BBC's most sold TV program "Top Gear" arrived in Belfast on Thursday afternoon, a day ahead of the first show. Greeted by the media and fans and despite a delayed flight Richard, Jeremy and James performed a press shoot, and seemed genuinely thrilled to be back together to do what they do best - entertain.
"Clarkson, Hammond & May Live" will travel across the globe over the next 6 months, visiting many countries, including South Africa, Poland, Australia and Norway, with the tour finishing in the London's O2 Arena. Clarkson admitted, “It is the most badly organised world tour in history, someone needs an atlas. I think someone has done the cities in alphabetical order rather than where they are on the planet”. However, it might not be such a coincidence for Belfast to have been selected as the premiere after all, as it turns out, the two automotive stars of the show: Liberty Walk BMW M3s, were built and tuned by a local Northern Irish tuning company "Momentum Motorsport" before being shipped off to "Feeding the Fish" to be wrapped in thousands of LEDs. A total length of 600 metres of light strips were used to create the pixel perfect light show on the vehicles.
Whereas the host of the event, Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, would typically be covered under a hard layer of ice for local ice hockey team, the “Belfast Giants”, it was transformed for the three night duration to accommodate some of the finest and craziest automotive action for the three night duration.The world was not ready to part with the petrolhead show as it could be witnessed on the opening night as there was no free seat in sight. Following a short 70's style detective intro movie the show was ready to kick off.
Riding the magnificent Ducati bikes it was Hammond and May first to make an entrance into the Odyssey Arena, shortly followed by what the duo described as the "orangutan" on a hovercraft. Once the fireworks and crowd cheers had stopped the trio proceeded with their typical banter.
Paul Swift, backed up by his driving team, were up first, giving the spectators a taste of the adrenaline filled action the show was going to deliver. What looked like four ordinary lime green Ford Fiestas entered the arena; however, very soon it became clear they were not normal at all. The cars had been heavily modified to appear to be driven in ‘reverse’ and steered with the ‘rear’ wheels! The team proceeded to perform breathtakingly complex precision driving stunts across the relatively small stage.
In the next part of the show the headline trio revealed they had been assigned a task of building an electric car using appliances found in a household. Richard's design consisted of an ironing board with two irons acting as the throttle and brake pedal, whilst May opted for the washing machine and Clarkson produced a V12 food blender powered hot rod.
Once the custom electric machines were unveiled it was time for the challenge; the three cars were set to do a short 3 lap slalom course. With Dyson hoover steering the hot rod it was never going to be as successful as Clarkson predicted and the smiles were short lived as Jezza failed to complete a single lap. Captain slow inside the washing machine was making his way round the course slowly under the gentle setting, so it was Richard’s incredibly fast and not entirely safe looking Ironing board hybrid that claimed the victory.
An evil laughter echoed the Arena as the lights went out...a beautiful girl shooting flames high in the air entered the stage.  Some say she was born with petrol guns attached to the hands and flamethrower on the back. The evil hero, aka Naomi performed a superb fire show, whilst two matte black Porsches “danced” around her on the stage performing handbrake turns and donuts.
Soon after the two “Beetles” were set alight. The Porsches continued to impress the spectators by laying down fire tire marks while performing burning donuts.
The show continued with ridiculously entertaining Reliant Robin race, bike stunts, a display of supercars, a race between an Olympic runner and the GT-R as well as many entertaining pre-recorded videos shown on the big screens.
Following the funny and not so impressive drifting challenge from the trio it was time for the biggest eye feast of the night as they welcomed the Liberty Walk BMW M3 on the stage. The  V8 screaming beasts were mechanical and visual work of art. Equipped with the “Liberty Walk” wide body kits and months of LED light sequence programming, the two cars drifted around the two performers and displayed a mind blowing visual show.
The show finished with the “La Crosse” where team England – Clarkson, May and Hammond played against the team Northern Ireland. The red and black Suzuki Swifts bashing against each other were great entertainment and the victory of the local team made it even more impressive.
This was the first appearance of the three stars back together since they left Top Gear and going by this show, nothing has changed; the trio provided even better entertainment, fun and action. It was an amazing show and I cannot recommend it enough.
For more about the show visit their site: www.clarksonhammondandmaylive.com

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