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Review: Books, Theatre, Movies, Albums & Gigs.

Elkie Brooks

Theatre Royal, St. Helens

Saturday May 10th, 2008.

Image: Elkie Brooks 2008


As the lights dimmed and the curtain lifted, there was a certain feeling of awe in the auditorium of the theatre as Elkie Brooks took the stage with a wave and a smile. There can be little doubt that singer, who is now in her sixty-third year, is amongst the legends of British music and that her style is as rock-solid as it is impeccable. The only mystery is that she hasn’t had more hits.

 


For the first half of the show, Elkie was in ballad mode, warming up the audience. Dressed in a figure-hugging black dress, she coaxes the assembled along with delicate ease and beautiful versions of Percy Sledge’s Let Me Wrap You In My Warm And Tender Love and Love Potion Number Nine break up a smattering of her own hits. Fool If You Think It’s Over, Sunshine After The Rain and We Don’t Cry Out Loud still sound as fresh today as they always did, delivered here with astonishing power.

 

The second half kicked off in grand style, as Lilac Wine filled the theatre, quickly followed by a simply fantastic version of the Muddy Waters classic, Man Don’t Wanna Help Me. But, of course, it is Pearl’s A Singer that everybody wants to hear and, on this occasion, Elkie beefs up the ending with an elongated Blues/Soul finale that is just sensational.
Backed by a truly tight, skilful band – Melvin Duffy on guitar, Steve Jones on Sax, Brian Badhams on Bass, Mike Richardson on drums and Lee Noble on Keyboards and percussion – Elkie clearly enjoys herself, encouraging her audience to join in with her and clap and dance.

Elkie Brooks, Helen Ryan and Chris High backstageYet the highlight was still to come A hard hitting Baby What Do You Want Me To Do is just jaw-dropping, as Elkie holds a final note for something like eternity, as the Blues wash the hall in brilliance.

Okay, Nights In White Satin, Gasoline Alley and No More The Fool were all notable absentees from the set list, but what was left had everybody satisfied and the girl proved she’s still got the moves, the voice, the grace and the style to Rock with the best of them.

A truly fabulous night.

http://www.elkiebrooks.com

Read Chris High's interview with Elkie Brooks - May 2008

Elkie Brooks review 2009 by Chris High

 


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