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

Suzanne Vega

Beauty & Crime Tour, 2007.

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Saturday, June 30th 2007

Image: Suzanne Vega live in concert 2007


It is difficult to “label” Suzanne Vega genre of music. Folk / Blues / Soft AOR, she sings them all and with varying degrees of effect. There is an easier task, though, and that’s to say that the passing of the years since she was last in the UK charts has not diminished her voice. It still holds that childlike quality – sometimes curious, sometimes cheeky – that brought her so much adulation in the mid-eighties.


Striding purposefully on to the stage, dressed in black jacket, trousers and boots with a red blouse beneath, she started as she meant to go on with an unaccompanied version of Tom’s Diner and immediately had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. When her four-piece band joined her, the mood intensified, but barely.


Songs from the new album, Beauty & Crime, such as Angel’s Doorway and Frank and Ava, show that Suzanne Vega still has what it takes to pull the heartstrings in this post –9/11 world, yet also illustrate that here is a singer / songwriter who is more at ease with herself and her craft.

Of course, there were the hits too, with Left Of Centre, Small Blue Thing and Marlene On The Wall all coming later in the set, it was Luka that brought the second biggest ovation of the night, following the haunting and beautiful – and somewhat predictable, maybe – In Liverpool.

Between songs, Suzanne chatted and joked with the audience as though they were old friends, although all the time wary, it seemed, to leave the safety of her mike stand or to even hold the thing in her hand. Perhaps it was her reluctance to actually move around the stage that slowed the pace of the whole show and made it seem more like an audition than a concert.

Whatever it was, Suzanne Vega certainly knows how to succeed with those who follow her and – after a little under ninety minutes on stage, including three encores – the audience went home happy into the damp night air of Summer, with some of them no doubt searching for the clock who’s time never changes.



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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