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Sunday, February 09, 2014

Elkie Brooks @ Sage Gateshead February 9

Elkie Brooks (vcl); Stevie Jones (ten); Andrew Murray (keys); Brian Badham (bs gtr); Rufus Ruffell (gtr); Michael Richardson (dms); Lee Noble (various).
(Review by Lance).
After Natalie Williams had sent us on our way rejoicing from Hoochie on Friday night, the feeling was that it would be many a moon before a star shone so brightly again. Then, lo and behold, less than 24 hours later we were once again bedazzled, this time at Sage Gateshead and by a woman almost twice Natalie's age!
Elkie Brooks.
Elkie, by her own admission, is pushing 69 but, unless you were sitting in Row A and with 20-20 vision, you'd swear she was still the young jazz chick that used to appear with Humph from time to time.
Hall One, two levels full, erupted as the band played the intro to He Could Have Been an Army, vamping till ready as Elkie strutted her stuff welcoming the welcoming fans before taking up the song. Has she still got it?
Elkie's still got it!
All the old faves were given a fresh airing. Gasoline Alley, Fool if You Think it's Over, Nights in White Satin, and of course Pearl's a Singer, Sunshine After the Rain, Why?, Don't Cry Out Loud and Lilac Wine - just some of the tried and tested numbers we've never forgotten. There were also songs from her more recent album Powerless (2009). Purple Rain the one that sticks in my mind.
Some voices deteriorate with the passage of time.
Some don't.
Elkie's voice, despite her at times raucous delivery, hasn't! In fact I'd swear she's sounding better than ever (if that is possible!) Only minor criticism is that she does tend to overdo the repeat/delay effect at the end of a chorus. Stunning in small doses but not in overkill. However, this is a small price to pay for the magical moments that held us spellbound Till the End of Time to quote the Perry Como number that was a hit the year she was born (1945). The Chopin based piece is still a hit when Elkie sings it.
Once again Stevie Jones on tenor gave a man of the match performance which is praise indeed given the quality of musicianship on stage. Stevie ranks with the best - look out for a review of his own album Brother Strut soon.
Yes this was quite a night - not in white satin, but in a slinky black gown for the first set and a black and white outfit for the second.
Lance.

6 comments :

Unknown said...

Elkie is an amazing singer , her concerts a great.

Derek Richardson said...

I was there!
Elkie gets better and better, fabulous voice and still going strong after all the years she has had as a singer.
Looking forward to the next time.

Anonymous said...

I was there in Row A and she looked and sounded fab!

Anonymous said...

Am waiting for her to get a Brit Award for lifetime achievement (probably never happed though as she's not 'popular')

Unknown said...

We were there, we have seen her every time she has been in the North East. She never fails to deliver.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% with you here! Pure enduring British talent!

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