Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Bungy-jumpers excite DuffyBy VICKI ANDERSON, stuff.co.nz
Welsh soul sensation Duffy (Aimee Duffy to her mum) is screaming. Yes, she is delighted to be performing her first shows in New Zealand but the screaming relates to the view outside the window of her Auckland hotel room.
"Somebody is jumping from the next building. It's quite scary, I thought we had a suicide on our hands this morning but apparently you Kiwis do this sort of thing for kicks," she laughed.
"I feel a bit guilty; it's my first time here and I just got given a disc for selling three times platinum."
The Grammy-award winner plays in Wellington tonight and at the Christchurch Town Hall tomorrow.
Her debut album Rockferry, the biggest-selling album in Britain in 2008 containing the hit singles Mercy, Rockferry and Warwick Avenue, has sold millions worldwide.
It recently earned Duffy three Brit Awards, including the Best British Award.
The 24-year-old star admitted she used to find fame difficult to deal with but these days was keeping everything in perspective.
"I'm making music, not sending the first rocket into space. I just get on with it."
After her tour, her main priority was to have a holiday.
"I'm going to take a bit of time to be human for a while.
"I would like to go spend some time with my cats and stay in my pyjamas all day or something."
She can also look forward to having a type of daffodil named after her, called the Duffydil.
"It's being named after me and they're planting them on Warwick Avenue.
"I think that is such a lovely legacy and a great honour."
Another scream is heard down the phone line.
"Did you hear that? It's another jumper. Personally, I'd rather have my own flower than leap off a tall building."
If you have the setlist or any reviews/pics/vids please leave a comment.
Review: Duffy at Vector ArenaBy Scott Kara, NZ Herald
It's strange how someone so small can wield such power.
Ghandi did it with peaceful persuasion, Stacey Jones has a deft chip kick ... and Aimee Duffy has one of those voices that seems on the verge of breaking but never does.
It also helps that this petite, blue-eyed blonde from the small northern Wales village of Nefyn has always dreamed of being a pop star and throughout the last year the 24-year-old has finally got to live her dream.
She's lucky she's got that voice though because while she is foxy, commanding, and a little naughty sitting up there on that bar stool, Duffy is not yet the whole package.
You wouldn't let a guitarist do a couple of wimpy solos if you were, and she still wanders the stage rather than strutting.
But one suspects that eventually she will be an all-round star if her sweet "Kia ora", in that lovely Welsh lilt, followed by "You have fine wine here" is anything to go by. It proves this lass has got her head screwed on.
And the costume change after only two songs - from refined dinner wear to party dress - oozes star quality.AdvertisementAdvertisement
Since her first album, Rockferry, was released early last year it has sold nearly six million copies world-wide (more than 50,000 in New Zealand alone).
And in the process it transferred the British soul queen crown from Amy Winehouse to Duffy.
Her breakthrough song, Mercy had much to do with that success. That song is a swinging, sing-a-long hit that gets the masses up off their feet for the first time.
But it's songs like Rockferry that reveal the power and range of her explosive pipes.
That song opens the show and starts quietly before escalating into a serenade worthy of a solo at Cardiff Arms Park.
Elsewhere she wends and winds her way through Warwick Avenue, which is nothing but a cabaret swoon until she hits and holds the high note, and Hanging On Too Long, another smouldering belter.
Even though Duffy tends towards the adult contemporary market rather than pure R&B soul status, she is no wallflower as she shows with venomous lines like, "My love for you has turned to hate, When I drop you boy, you'll need another toy" on the sinister Delayed Devotion.
Put it this way, those sparkly crimson stilettos she's wearing would hurt you my boy.
She may not have the slinky and staunch moves yet, but she's sure got the hairdo to pull off the dismissive head shakes that go with what she calls these "songs of love and hate".
Another review is here and another review is here.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Duffy brings pop to the big stage
by Noel Mengel, CouriermailHIGH heels and mini skirts aren't usually associated with popular music festivals, but if anyone can pull off such a look it's Duffy.
The Welsh singer making her first Australian tour, is changing a lot of preconceptions about what pop music can do in 2009.
She charmed the audience in her afternoon set at the V Festival on the Gold Coast yesterday, ripping through an hour of songs built from the time-tested virtues of great songwriting, powerful singing and charismatic performance.
Duffy dresses like no one else at the festival, except for the twins who are the backing singers in her band.
With the short skirts and beehive hair, Duffy looks like she's just arrived from Swinging London circa 1967.
Her music also has that flavour, in the tradition of great British singers such as Dusty Springfield.
Duffy feels comfortable in Australia. Pre-fame, she came on holiday to visit her sisters who were backpacking here.
"Australia is the last place I get any peace," she said in an interview after her set.
"It's relatively calm when I walk down the street and that's refreshing."
But her days of anonymity here are numbered, judging by the response to songs such as Warwick Avenue, Stepping Stone and Mercy.
The V Festival, in its third year, has a more laidback atmosphere than the Big Day Out.
A crowd of about 15,000 people enjoyed a line-up including Snow Patrol, The Killers and Madness.
A clip of "Stay with me Baby":
Saturday, March 28, 2009
If you have pics,vids,reviews or the setlist please leave a comment.
Stay With Me Baby:
Fool For You:
This section is from here.
Backstage at Sydney's V Festival Welsh chanteuse Duffy has just arrived at the Centennial Park site.
It's noon. The headline acts are still asleep at their hotels and the gates haven't opened yet.
But Duffy's armed with caffeine and nicotine and ready to go.
Despite having one of the biggest-selling albums of last year with her debut Rockferry she's virtually opening V Festival, with a 2.15pm slot.
"I'm headlining a European festival in six weeks' time that there'll be 60,000 people at. Here I'm playing at 2pm.
"I don't know if that's soul-destroying or really balancing and healthy. I can't quite decide. But you're at the mercy of your surroundings at a festival. If you want me at 2pm, fine."
It's fine for all concerned. Duffy's premature performance has drawn a large crowd of early birds -- pleasing to organisers who've struggled with sales for V's entire existence.
Rampant singalongs ensue. Local radio may have been allergic to her hit-everywhere-else-in-the-world Mercy, but it becomes the day's first anthem.
"I don't walk on stage feeling a need to address angst or darkness or heavy moments," Duffy says.
"When it's your own show you can really go to the edge of a cliff. When it comes to a festival you have to go a bit more light-hearted and compromise. We're here for fun."
Her slick band sit at ease with your regular festival fare, and Duffy's two backing singers (twin sisters dressed identically) and her big hairpiece certainly don't hose down those Motown comparisons.
Her set proves that though commercial radio has belatedly discovered Duffy through Rain on Your Parade, the public have embraced Rockferry without their help.
The singer seems to enjoy her word-of-mouth appeal in Australia.
"I've earned my innings. I don't normally pat myself on the back but I know I've done my service," Duffy says.
"I've played s--- venues, where out the front it seems amazing but out the back there isn't even a bathroom you can use.
"So in 40 years or four weeks or four months' time when I'm at an arena of 15,000 people I won't feel ashamed or afraid to be on that stage. I've earned every part of it from the ground up."
Friday, March 27, 2009
Duffy’s in the spotlight as a presenter at Oz MTV awards
by Andrew Dagnell, Western Mail
POP sensation Duffy, right, has graced the red carpet at the MTV Australia Awards, continuing the Welsh singer’s quest for global chart domination.
Wearing a black dress with a plunging neckline, the 24-year-old Nefyn-born star presented an award alongside X Factor judge Dannii Minogue.
Other big names from the world of music at the star-studded ceremony included indie group the Kaiser Chiefs, rockers The Killers, as well as pop star Delta Goodrem and her fiancé, ex-Westlife member Brian McFadden.
The Mercy singer, whose real name is Aimee Ann Duffy, is riding high in the Australian music charts with her debut album Rockferry. It is currently at number eight having already gone platinum and spending 35 weeks in their charts.
She also recently played to a sell-out audience at Sydney’s Opera House.
But in a recent interview with an Australian newspaper, Duffy said the first time she had performed in Australia it had been a slightly different story.
The Grammy-winning singer said she and her sisters had jumped on the bar at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel and started singing along with the house band.
She joked: “It was so much fun but, of course, now I know the rule about that. Don’t rain on someone else’s parade.”
Duffy savors fruits of success
By ROBERT MICHAEL POOLE
Special to The Japan Times
"Half of my quarter of a century belongs to music, so I never belonged to anything else," says Welsh songstress Duffy. "I feel very able and ready!"
The blonde bombshell was in Tokyo for her first full-length live show in Japan — at Shibuya AX on March 17 — and is still basking in the success of her debut album, "Rockferry," released in March 2008.
Three BRIT awards and one Grammy later, the old-school soul singer is the lady of the moment, with 5.5 million album sales to her name. Bouncing in to a five-star Roppongi hotel room with her sparkling smile, the 24-year-old proves far more contemplative and self-aware than first impressions might suggest.
"I'm traveling around more than I anticipated, but I am just about young enough to handle it. Give me five years and I'll be complaining! Or I'll have a private jet, a huge Duffy one with a games room and a recording studio so I can still be a creative!"
Still promoting her first record a full year after its release apparently hasn't exhausted Duffy yet. "If I made a record to be in fashion — one that would be quickly outdated — then maybe, but I don't feel like that. If I disappeared now for 25 years and came back, I think I could do a tour of these songs. I feel that they are me, so until I feel tired of myself, I won't get tired of these songs," she claims.
From humble beginnings in Bangor, North Wales, to standing on the stage of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February 2009 may seem a nerve-wracking leap for some, but for Duffy, it's just another of life's challenges.
"You have to survive don't you, like everything in life. We all have fears and have to let go, and have to accept that we are all equal; that you have the same problems as I do. Just because I sing in front of 6,000 people doesn't mean that together they are one. We are each one individually, so even if I am meeting and singing with Al Green for the first time, he is still human with feelings and thoughts, happy days and sad days. So it's about relating to the human within."
Duffy had a tough childhood. Her parents divorced when she was 10, resulting in her and her sisters moving in with their mother. Then, at age 13, she was put into a safehouse by police when they uncovered a plot by her stepfather's ex-wife to kill her stepfather allegedly using a hitman. Duffy ran away at 15 to live with her natural father, causing further discord in the family. All these experiences have kept her grounded and wary of anyone who considers themselves exceptional.
"You can't (consider yourself exceptional) because it's so detrimental and you'll never learn anything," she explains. "We are in this life alone. Don't get me wrong, it is exceptional to be recognized globally. If you are Tom Cruise, life must be unusual to have kids and grandmothers recognize you, but you have to adapt, that's just his role and what he is doing. I think he does it very well personally, if you look at all these people who see it just as 'coping.'
"But you can see these people who are really high in a law firm and who see themselves as untouchable — who are they trying to kid? I don't think anyone is an exception."
In a recent interview, Duffy was quoted criticizing the behavior of American stars who felt themselves to be above the common man. Asked further, she explains: "Music is an unusual thing; if everyone could do it, they would. It's cathartic, you are extending and externalizing yourself as a human. Certain artists have an ability to take over the listener — special artists like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye or Madonna, they have an ability to run through your veins. But the one thing they relate to is humanity and vulnerability, so I can't understand artists (who behave like exceptions).
"Music is a thing with no violence," she continues. "There are no wrongs, it can never hurt anyone. You can hear violence, but it's a delicate format of expression, so I can't understand how it can manifest into a physical form where someone feels like an exception. It's filled with possibility, and if you are good at it and become world famous, it is a big responsibility to have. It goes beyond your control and you are taken somewhere and you don't know why, so you consider that you don't belong in the world.
"Maybe you will meet me in 20 years and I will be considering myself an exception, maybe something massive happens to me, or maybe I will disappear into obscurity — that's just the way life is!"
On her first visit to Japan for a showcase at Tokyo's Ebisu Liquid Room in October 2008, Duffy gleefully greeted fans after the event, her modest and approachable personality showing no egotism, just a genuine glee that her own songs have touched people around the world.
"It becomes part of their lives. I've met surprising fans who say my record hasn't left their car (stereo). When you are part of someone's life, you can't be an idiot and disregard what you stand for. They want to enjoy the pleasure of meeting you, so you have to be humble and respect that. But accepting compliments is not easy. I have never been good at receiving anything, so I try to apply some grace to it."
It's not just Duffy's fans who have embraced her music, but musicians too — reaching out even across Asia.
At the Grammy Awards, Duffy was greeted by Japanese-American singer Utada Hikaru, who she recalls "had a black bob and was a very sweet-looking girl!" Meanwhile, the track "Warwick Avenue" from "Rockferry" was covered by another Asian superstar, China's Jane Z, on her 2008 stadium tour. "It's mad!" Duffy exclaims, "I've never heard great singers come from this part of the world. Jane's gorgeous and she's got a great voice!"
"When you write those songs, it's a moment in time," Duffy explains. "Like a diary, a reflection of all the things that you felt before are coming together in a moment of clarity. But once it ends, the songs aren't about you anymore, they belong to someone else. It's just a moment. It won't last forever, so you can't put your finger on it. Other musicians might want to cling on to them like children that they don't want to let go of, but for me it's not the case. It's something I once felt and continue to feel on several different days.
"When I revisit it, if I feel some form of emotion that was written in that song, then it might come through again. So when I see someone else do it, it feels like I am looking at it belonging to them. For that moment, they are not singing my emotions, they are singing theirs. So it's quite healthy!"
This year will see Duffy working on the followup to "Rockferry." After the debut's mammoth success, the pressure to deliver a second album that doesn't simply replicate the formula of the first may seem a challenge. But while the past has kept Duffy well grounded, so she considers the future with equal pragmatism.
"I feel as though I have Dutch courage and can take people with me in my development. It's all-consuming and comes totally from within, so you just accept it. If you didn't, you would be too self-aware because you would never be fluid.
"It's a big experience, the whole thing, and I am doing it all. I have to do it all. I am so involved and there is no separation, nobody sitting by my side and holding my hand. I've never been good at sacrifice; if I didn't want to do it I wouldn't do it. But I can't pick the fruits off the tree that taste the best, I am just doing it all, eating them all — probably because I am greedy! It's an all-consuming love!"
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Looks like Duffy did a costume change for this show also....
If you find pics,vids,reviews or the setlist please leave a comment.
Review from here:
It may be celebrated for it’s unique architecture, but make no mistake; The Opera House is easily the best music venue in Sydney, both in design and sound. The perfect surroundings for a young Welsh (wo)man’s chart-dominating white-girl soul, tonight the real star was the building itself, which managed to captivate sonically and visually despite its age.
While Duffy was here for V Festival duties, she may as well have been putting on a Mix106.5 concert; this was one gig where old-timers outgunned fresh blood at a rate of about five to one. Thankfully, Andy Bull managed to shake them up a little with his fantastic support set.
Tall, graceful and androgynous looking, Bull had many audience members questioning his gender from the second he walked on stage. But when he opened his mouth to sing, in a clear alto that seemed to descend from a higher plane, you could actually hear people saying, “So Andy, is that a boy or a girl?” While he sang in the pure tones that Justin Timberlake and Adam Levine usually bust their balls to emulate, Andy’s music definitely took a leaf from the classics, managing to evoke the colours of Stevie Wonder and Elton John with the simple accompaniment of his delightfully old-school Fender Rhodes. A talented vocalist, he proved his worth with a fantastic re-working of MGMT’s Electric Feel, almost embarrassed by the amount of enthusiasm from the audience. I see big things for this guy. Seriously big.
Duffy, meanwhile, was already seriously big. Not in stature (she’s actually one of the tiniest performers I’ve ever seen), but in reputation. After all, the huge contingents of CBD businessmen in attendance couldn’t be wrong: this woman is a phenomenon. Like Andy Bull, she proved herself to be musically chimerical; sounding like a typical UK punter when she spoke – “I believe I’ve been to Sydney before. You might have met me, drunk, in Irish pubs” – while turning on the most high intensity vocal range possible to lead her songs. Ably supported by a crack team of session musicians (including a remarkably overzealous percussionist), Duffy’s voice carried all the way to the rafters with what appeared to be minimal effort.
Hitting high notes like she was about to yawn, her note perfect conscious singing left detractors in the dust. And if you think songs like Syrup and Honey, Warwick Avenue and Delayed Devotion sound great on record, they were ten times better live, aided by the fact that Duffy came across like a professional for every minute of the show. It was hard to pinch yourself and think “Wow, this girl’s younger than me” when she stomped across the stage with the attitude of a stage veteran.
Closing out the set with killer tunes like Hanging On To Long and the inevitable hit Mercy, this adult contemporary artist managed to get adults on their feet, behaving like raucous children. Managing to ooze a fair whack of sex out of what I had previously thought to be quite innocent songs, she was endearing and raw in a way you don’t usually get from superstars. Come back anytime Duffy, we’ll be glad to have you.