Petula's star still shines brightly
Petula Clark, Ipswich Regent, October 11PETULA Clark returned to Ipswich last night and showed just what an enduring and iconic star she is.She captivated her audience with a delightful mix of hit songs from across the decades and reminiscences of her wartime childhood.
Petula Clark, Ipswich Regent, last night
PETULA Clark returned to Ipswich last night and showed just what an enduring and iconic star she is.
She captivated her audience with a delightful mix of hit songs from across the decades and reminiscences of her wartime childhood.
Having staged an incredible three-week tour in the spring which brought her to Great Yarmouth she was last night refreshing the show for the Suffolk fans before just one other performance on home territory in Canterbury.
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She admits herself that she is shy, deep down, and that is something which produces a very personal, almost intimate, relationship with each member of her audience when she is doing her eclectic one-woman show two hours of exciting entertainment - during which she is on her feet throughout, except for the odd occasions when she accompanied herself on the piano.
And she remains as dynamic and vivacious as ever.
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In fact her voice today is so strong and natural, so bright and versatile, so clear and unforced that I could close my eyes and I was back to the first time I saw her live - at Norwich Theatre Royal in the mid 1970s.
And she is as polished a performer as ever her voice retaining the full range and breadth of nuance as in her chart-topping heyday in the Sixties.
As at home with lilting love songs as with the strong ballads and out and out rockers that kept her at the top for years.
From the time she walked on stage singing her Sixties classic Who Am I, she was at home with her audience and very warmly welcomed.
Following up with the first of her single hits among many during the evening in Don't Sleep in the Subway and, unusually, The Twelfth of Never, she was captivating.
The evening was full of hits, I Know a place, Colour My World, My Love, Call Me, Sign of the Times, Charlie Chaplin's enigmatic This is My Song, I Couldn't Live Without Your Love and, of course, Downtown.
But for me, as always, it was singing her own compositions that I was most captivated.
I recall on one occasion during an interview with her in 1986 in Cambridge producing my own personal Pet favourites on tape (it was long before ipods) which were all songs she had either written or co-written only to have her spontaneously bursting into song on one of them - Mad About You.
I find to my delight that she has just released a new album - featuring all her own compositions.
At the end of the show it was typical of her to say goodbye in song, a new song she has written called I'll Be Here For You - personally I hope that she will be, for a very long time.