Monday, April 14, 2008

14 Apr: TCT review Telegraph

The below review from the Telegraph today.

Raising the money – and the roof
POP Teenage Cancer Trust Concert

NOW in their eighth year, the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs have become a rare thing: a musical event for charity that raises money for the cause while producing exemplary performances from the musicians – without too much selfaggrandisement.

New star Duffy fitted perfectly into this tradition. Despite being catapulted into the limelight with a numberone single and album this year, the 22-year-old showed no signs of nerves as she sashayed on stage like the sassiest girl from the valleys – a Top Shop Diana Dors in spray-on jeans, sailorstriped vest and peep-toe shoes. She introduced herself in a quiet, faltering voice, but when she began to sing, she nearly lifted the roof off the Albert Hall.

“There are more people here tonight than live in my entire village,” she quipped. Her sunny composure and easy banter were astounding, making her seem old beyond her years. Having honed her live show in a retro supperclub, she brought the air of Seventies Saturdaynight cabaret to the stage, and, rather than Dusty Springfield, she reminded you of Cilla Black or Lulu, hitting the high notes with a wink in her eye.

After the histrionic body-contortions of singers such as Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, Duffy’s unflinching delivery – nothing more than a languid flick of the right arm – was impressive, but it did make her seem disconnected from the songs’ broken-hearted emotions. But the mood never flagged for long. Ending with her uptempo number-one, Mercy, she danced like a mum on too many Bacardis, and the mums in the audience gleefully joined in.

Unlike Duffy, Paul Weller has form in this venue. Nineteen years ago, the Style Council played their last ever gig here to a jeering audience, outraged at Weller’s embrace of house music. Approaching 50 this year, Weller has since rehabilitated himself, returning to the guitar and becoming godfather to Britpop in the Nineties and now to the second wave of laddish guitar bands such as the Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys.

But he has clearly lost none of that defiance. Rather than rolling out the hits, he played a stark, stripped-down acoustic set of songs from his solo albums, accompanied by Steve Cradock, an acolyte from Britpop band Ocean Colour Scene. Despite having aged from a whippet-thin boy into a muscular, middleaged man, Weller was still squeezed into the mod uniform of skinny jeans and polo shirt, while the grey hair was arranged in an angrily razored feather cut.

Indeed, despite singing an entire set of hippyish love songs, everything about Weller still bristled with anger: clutching his guitar like a machine gun, eyes clamped shut, red-faced with intensity.

The mood darkened like a requiem mass but the large contingency of dad-rock fans made a more patient audience than from the past, who were finally rewarded with an ironic encore of That’s Entertainment. Bernadette McNulty


Grumps said...

Yes that's a good review, I'll even forgive the reference to the Valleys, that's a specific place in Wales - the old South Wales coalfield and nothing to do with Duffy.

There was a great review in the Evening Standard as well but Ben Walsh in the Independent was predictably snooty.

Why did he have to bring up Wawffactor? It was five years ago for heavens sake and totally irrelevant to the TCT performance. Perhaps he just likes the word Wawffactor but more likely he was trying to denigrate Aimee, guilt by association and all that. Then he brings Bonnie Tyler into the conversation ... er well Bonnie's Welsh of course and the up-its-own-arse London media treat her, very unfairly, as a bit of a joke, so there you go another attempt to denigrate Aimee by association.

Now I'm beginning to sense a bit of an anti-Welsh animus from this Walsh guy which he confirms by saying that the lass from Gwynedd would go down a treat on a cruise ship. Maybe it's because I've just been reading about a young black woman MP who keeps getting mistaken for a cleaner by the toffee nosed folk at Westminster. No, In Ben World I'm afraid a down to earth lass from North Wales should be working the cruise ships, she's obviously got ideas above her station.

danyelle6974 said...

Yes I posted the Evening Standard review earlier............. Haven't caught the Independent one so will go find it, thanks. :-) Hey I had a comment from someone else about the comments Duffy made about Estelle - the commenter said Duffy wasn't soul - what do you think?

danyelle6974 said...

Oh my goodness.... that Ben Walsh has certainly got a problem. I found the Independent review. :-(