Review: Katie Melua wows a sell-out crowd at Ipswich Regent

IPSWICH: Sophisticated songstress Katie Melua delighted a sell-out crowd at the Regent last night as she brought hits old and new into town.

The concert may have been postponed since the autumn, but no one in the crowd seemed to mind the extended wait.

It’s a bit of a hostage to fortune to start a concert with your strongest song – but that’s what Katie did! She opened the show with a solo performance, just her with a guitar, of “The Closest Thing to Crazy.”

It was magical – but of course if you open with your strongest song there’s a danger that the rest of the show will all be gently downhill.

That didn’t quite happen last night. But it’s difficult to escape the feeling that there are too many forgettable songs in Katie’s repertoire now.

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The tour is to promote her new album, House, issued last year.

As a piece of work it lacks the hooks that made her first two albums, Call off the Search and Piece by Piece so great.

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“A Moment of Madness” sticks in the mind but there is little else here to get excited about.

In fact there’s a lot of angst in many of her songs: “I’d Love to Kill You (with a Kiss)” sounds like an amusing title – but it’s a dark little ditty!

She really came alive when she performed her older material – Nine Million Bicycles was a great encore – and I couldn’t help feeling that she should go back to working more closely with her mentor Mike Batt.

Her distinctive voice and sheer power still make her a wonderful performer – but I’d rather listen to a CD for about 40 minutes than sit through a 100-minute concert again!

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