Eddi delivers a perfect evening

Eddi Reader, Snape Proms, Snape Maltings, August 9

I don’t know what I was expecting when I walked into the Snape Maltings Concert Hall but as I walked out I knew I had just witnessed one of the best evening’s entertainment I had ever seen.

I realise that is quite a statement but Eddi, one time lead singer with 80s band Fairground Attraction, is the consummate performer. Not only is she a singer with an incredible range and a breathtaking ability to put over a song but she is also a brilliant storyteller and prefaced each song with a relaxed and highly entertaining background story about the song, her band and their misadventures.

The result was that the Maltings concert hall was transformed into an intimate folk club as she reinvented the work of Robert Burns for the 21st century and cherry-picked a wide variety of tracks off her dozen, highly diverse, solo albums released over the last 20 years.

The first half closed with a solo acoustic performance of the Fairground Attraction hit single Perfect. If you were lulled into thinking that she had peaked too early then she had a surprise guest for the second half, Suffolk resident and music legend Thomas Dolby who sat in on piano for three numbers and sang a duet.

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It was a hugely entertaining evening which left the audience on their feet cheering. Mention has to be made of her superb band, including her long-time writing partner and guitarist Boo Hewerdine.

A huge cheer went up when towards the end she announced that they weren’t going to bother with the ‘empty’ encore ritual, they were just going to play an extra couple of songs instead.

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A wonderful evening and someone should invite Eddi back to Suffolk very soon.

Andrew Clarke

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