Dolly Parton

Sometimes you’ve got to be thankful of what you’ve got! Following on from V festival and reviewing megastars like Eminem and Rihanna, it was now on to review and photograph our 3rd Global Superstar in 3 days. Step forwards Miss Dolly Parton on her Better Day World Tour.

Dubbed the tour to spread a ‘message of hope and a little ray of sunshine’ it seemed everybody was up for a carnival. Blonde wigs and pink Stetsons a plenty were in attendance.


The Queen of Country made her way to the stage engulfed in a chorus of crickets and a star spangled night sky – most likely reminiscent of her Smokey Mountains Tennessee upbringing, playing a fiddle greeting what seemed every one of the audience with a giant and heartfelt ‘hellllloooooooo’.

Dolly Parton

Dressed in a glorious white dress emblazoned with 1000s of sequins, not only did Dolly look delightful, but she instantly set the tone of the evening as she belted out a cover of Katrina and the Waves ‘Walking on Sunshine’ – the perfect opener and very much a tune which said a lot about her outlook on life. “If you wanna sing along you just do that” chimed Miss P in one of her many monologues and a large percentage of the audience did just that as she picked up her white acoustic guitar to play fans favourite ‘Jolene’ early in the set.

Dolly Parton

“We love you Dolly” shouted one reveller. “I told you to wait in the truck” retorted the highly intelligent Southern lassie as she jovially moved to the bluegrass section of the set – Wailing banjos having their obvious inclusion, together with an awesome version of Led Zeppelins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and the Beatles ‘Help’.

During another interlude she talked about doing cover versions and how much it meant to her to hear other artists singing her songs. She even joked about Whitney Houston screwing up her song… “I cry every time I go to the bank” joked the diminutive songstress.

Dolly Parton

“It costs a lot to look this cheap” said Dolly, whom openly admits she modelled herself on the town hussy from her youth with high heels, bright nail varnish and sparkly dresses.

What I didn’t know about Dolly was how musically talented she is. She moved seamlessly from guitar, to saxophone, over to piano and even played a number of instruments I’d never seen before. Is there no end to this Woman’s talent?

What becomes apparent about Dolly when listening to her speak is how proud she is of her family, her heritage and her achievements. Stories, from her upbringings as part of a family of 12 Children, being the granddaughter of a Preacher man, to having a bronze statue in her home town which her Daddy used to clean after dark, brought tears to many an eye, so genuine were there recitals.

Dolly Parton

‘Coat of Many Colours’ and ‘Little Sparrow’ beautifully followed together with more tears in the audience. Lovely moments.

After an interval and a costume change – this time to a red sequin emblazoned outfit – between songs she took time to talk about everything from her Imagination Library project (whereby she’s given away 40 million books to children under the age 5) through to her latest film starring alongside Queen Latifah – to whom she’d even penned a rap….

“I don’t hip and I don’t hop, I’d black my eyes with my big top”

Following yet another glorious cover version – this time Tina Turner and Ike’s ‘River Deep Mountain High’ where she could “practice her shimmying” Dolly moved onto 3 of her ‘classics’ which really got the crown pumping – namely “Here you come again”, “Islands in the Stream” and “9 to 5”.

Dolly Parton

Her encore came in the guise of the glorious original version of the song made famous initially by her film ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and then again by Whitney Houston “I will always love you”.

A fitting way to end the 2 hour spectacle and a fitting finale to what was simply a perfect evening’s entertainment courtesy of one of the World’s finest ladies.

Dolly Parton Review by Zak Edwards

Dolly Parton Photography by Bianca Barrett

To the lovely Dollyites I met outside the show. Click here to get in touch and I’ll email over your photos… :) x

8 Responses to “Dolly Parton @ The Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, UK – 22nd August 2011”

  1. Sylviecheese Says:

    Wonderful photos and review. As ever!

  2. Wayne Fox Says:

    Loving your works, guys. Well done for the fan shots too :o)


  3. Official Photos | Dolly Part'ners: UK Dolly Parton Fan Community Says:

    […]… Filed under Tour Information […]

  4. Michelle Taylor Says:

    Dollyites! Hi you mentioned getting the picture, what a brilliant one that is. Can you email me Thank youuu!!

  5. Claire Mathias Says:

    What Great photos!! from all the Dollyites thanks alot its made our day!! thanks again!! xx

  6. Lee Says:

    these are STUNNING B! awesome job.

  7. Gobinder Jhitta Says:

    Whaweeewooowaaaa, you nailed it!!!! Top banana

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