Review: Petula Clark, From Now On, Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, October 15

Petula Clark. Photo: PA Photo/Julien Scussell

Petula Clark. Photo: PA Photo/Julien Scussell - Credit: PA

She wrote the words and she sings the song, but for me they capture the essence of how I feel about Petula Clark - “the way that you are is a miracle to me, when I see your face I see a shining star”.

Those are the opening lines of A Miracle to Me which, with many other songs in her two-hour one-woman show, captivated me and the rest of the highly appreciative audience.

Here is a singing star with remarkable charisma who walks on stage unannounced and immediately is greeted with warm and rapturous applause. A diminutive figure with huge stage presence and a voice as clear and crisp as it has ever been through her illustrious radio, stage, television and film career.

The show was part of her From Now On UK tour, itself a remarkable undertaking with 15 show dates around the country in just 20 days – particularly since exactly a month on from her Southend date she will be 84.

Not that her age was ever mentioned in the show and she is still as dynamic and vivacious a performer as ever she was.

She sang a fascinating selection of her huge catalogue of hits set against tracks from her new CD From Now On, including A Miracle to Me, Lennon and McCartney’s Blackbird, her friend Peggy Lee’s Fever, her latest single Sacrifice my Heart, the beaty Never Let Go and From Now On.

There was warmth, passion, a depth of feeling, sensitivity and optimism throughout the new songs from a star who can look back on more than seven decades of success and record sales of more than 65million.

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I have admired Clark since long before she became an international superstar and cannot wait to see what she gives us From Now On.

Chris Mills