Review: Katie Melua, Secret Symphony Tour, Ipswich Regent

Melua first broke onto the music scene with the Closest Thing to Crazy – a 19-year-old singer songwriter with just a beautiful voice and a guitar.

Now 27 and married with a string of chart-topping albums behind her, it was interesting to watch her start off alone on stage with just a guitar. But she has come of age in more way than one.

This tour is to headline her new album Secret Symphony and although still collaborating with Mike Batt, she also works with the likes of Rick Nowells and Guy Chambers which shows in the depth of music she now produces.

I enjoyed the first few numbers. She was originally inspired by Eva Cassidy and her intimate, almost self-effacing lyrics, work well in a stripped down setting, but she soon introduced a string quartet and then added a complete band – two guitarists, drums and a pianist - to up the tempo.

Melua has a wide repertoire of between 70-80 of her own songs and we were treated to an hour-and-a-half set of older numbers including Piece by Piece, If you were a Sailboat and Mary Pickford plus new numbers from her forthcoming album.

She gave us the favourites of course – Call off the Search and Nine Million Bicycles – but it was good to hear some of the newer ones including Somewhere in the same Hotel which I especially liked and Forgetting all my Troubles, which she announced will be released as a single.

Supported by an interesting Swiss trio of two girls and a male guitarist called Boy who opened the concert, this was an entertaining evening which the almost capacity crowd at the Regent really enjoyed.

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This wasn’t a concert to get you to your feet, more a mellow laid-back evening of relaxing and getting in the grove. But with oodles of feelgood factor this was an evening to savour.

Come back soon – we love you.


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