Saturday, March 21, 2009

22 Mar: Duffy Live@Singapore Arena, Singapore

Set List
Hanging on too long
Rain on your parade
Syrup and honey
Fool for you
Warwick avenue
Breaking my own heart
Stepping stone
Enough love
Oh boy
Stay with me baby
Delayed devotion


Please stay
Distant dreamer

Review by MTVasia:
The Singapore Indoor Stadium may not have been an ideal venue to provide the appropriate ambience for her soulful crooning. But Duffy rose magnificently to the challenge and delivered a concert worthy of the standing ovations she was showered with.

Elegantly decked out in one of her key signature black slim-cut dresses, Duffy opened her showcase, shrouded in complete darkness with "Rockferry", following with "Hanging on too Long" before she disappeared for a quick change of wardrobe. Her flirtatious second outfit put the audience in just the right mood for her quicker numbers, "Serious", "Rain on your Parade" and "Syrup and Honey". As the tempo picked up, several concert goers (which consisted of a more mature crowd devoid of teenyboppers) began grooving to the beat along the aisles and who can blame them?

While her interaction with the audience was not as strong as one might have hoped for, Duffy managed to spread the feel good vibes, making the night out an extremely well spent end to the weekend. She teased and taunted, pausing in between chart-topping hits such as "Warwick Avenue," making sure she had the audience hanging on to every note she delivered. It was a sure win tactic as it was met with booming applause.

Her powerhouse vocals were nothing short of impressive. For the record, it must be put down on paper that such a unique voice like hers can only be truly justified by hearing her live. The quality of her voice from recordings on compact discs simply cannot hold a candle to the goose-bump effect that Duffy leaves on her audience with her live performances. An hour's worth of her flawless renditions could not however satiate her fans as the 2000-odd crowd screamed for an encore after the last song, "Mercy" was finished.

Lapping up the well deserved attention, Duffy bounced back onto the stage with her musicians and backup singers, belting out three more of her songs to the appreciative audience, who punctuated her performances with roaring screams of approval and bellows of "I love you Duffy!"

This was by far, the simplest set for a concert. Yet, it was an extension of Duffy's persona - simple but bursting at the seams with character.

Video of Stay With Me Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another review from Christopher Toh from - thanks to DL for finding it:
SINGAPORE: From Tom Jones to Shirley Bassey to Manic Street Preachers to Stereo-phonics, the Welsh have often shown us that, given a chance, they can — and will — kick serious butt on stage when they perform here.

On Sunday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, another Welsh singer, Duffy , took to the stage.

As far as the music went, it was a flawless performance by the Welsh lass. However, we couldn’t help but feel like there could have been so much more.

I’ve always felt that concerts are supposed to be engaging. Duffy ’s show was more like a “live” TV performance. There just seemed to be some invisible barrier that stopped her from breaking through.

Don’t get us wrong, there were quite a few things we liked about the show, not least of course, Duffy ’s fine set of pipes. Boy, that girl can sing.

She cruised through her set effortlessly, and the money notes during Delayed Devotion, Stop and Mercy were proof that she can really belt it out as hard as Janis Joplin or Sarah Vaughn if she wanted to.

The musicians were also in fine form, with every precision fill and riff played faultlessly and complemented Duffy ’s voice perfectly.

But the audience were pretty much content to just (a) sit and sway, (b) sit and clap along, or (c) sit and stare dumbfounded (these were mostly guys who looked like they had been dragged there by their girlfriends, or got their dates mixed up with the Coldplay gig scheduled for the day after).

Only a handful near the front of the stage were on their feet the entire night.

Of course, that reaction could be do to the fact that the show felt so polite, so precise, so choreographed. It was almost as if Duffy and the band were afraid to let loose and rip it up.

Could she have generated a bit more rapport with the audience, other than the odd “xie xie” (Mandarin for “thank you”) and the occasional exhortation to dance? Probably. The only time everyone got up was when she sang Mercy.

My pet peeve though, was the guy operating the spotlight. I’ve never seen anyone take that long to put the spotlight on the lead singer before. Many a time, Duffy was left in the dark, literally, while the spotlight searched the stage to find her. Tip: She’s the one in front singing.

So, was it a good show? If you’re the type that likes a pumpin’ party at every gig, then no. But for those who wanted a lesson in precision performance, Duffy ’s gig has to be a keynote example.

The videos about the gig from Razor TV:

Overnight singing sensation. The next Dusty Springfield. The voice of soul for the next generation. Duffy may be hailed as all these and more, but the Welsh singer-songwriter's meteoric rise to fame has been anchored on hard work, with her award-winning debut album, Rockferry, taking nearly 4 years to be produced.

2008 saw the release of a string of hit singles such as "Mercy," "Stepping Stone," and "Rain On Your Parade". 2009 looks to be off to a stellar start for the soul-pop songstress with three Brit Awards and a Grammy on the mantle. You can't miss Duffy's unique vocals on the emotional "Warwick Avenue," now enjoying massive airplay.

MTV Asia caught up with Duffy before her concert on Sunday, March 22 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Clad in jeans, a casual white tank and a cream cardigan, the petite powerhouse was refreshingly candid and down-to-earth as she spoke about making movies, her fear of duets and having a daffodil named after her.

So what's going to happen in 2009? Will we see you in more projects, more music?
People talk to me about making a second record, as though it's like building a house. I suppose it is in a way, but you don't just resurrect the house. You have to find the bricks, the cement. You have to find where you're going to put it. So I'm going to take some time. I don't want it to be built on shaky ground, so even if I have to disappear for a few years, or take a holiday… I don't know. But I think I'm going to take it slowly from the beginning. I'm 25 now, that's a quarter of a century and I'm reminded that that's a lot of time to wait, to release a record. I won't wait another quarter of a century, but I will take some time. I might do some other things as well. I guess you live your life waiting for that moment you get to sing. Waiting for that day to go into the studio, waiting for that moment to go on stage, so I have always been looking forward, and I just want to do something that's really hands-on wherever I go. Whether it's something I do in the studio, whether if it's something else I try, I definitely feel like I need to live a little.

What will you be doing in the meantime before the second album comes out?
I'll probably be sleeping. That would be nice! [Laughs] I'm not going to give too many things away… Although I don't want to be superstitious, I made a record with no one knowing who I'll be, and it worked out fine. Everything I do, I want to keep it quiet, so that there's no disappointment. With expectations, naturally you'll anticipate more than what is naturally possible, as a human. If I go to a funfair today, I would expect to have the best time of my life, but it might not be that good, but if I didn't expect to go, I think I would have enjoyed it for what it was. I think I might try some movies maybe. I don't know if I can act though.

What inspired the lyrics to Warwick Avenue? Why Warwick Avenue as opposed to any other street?
I'm always conscious when I talk about songs. If I were to drop dead tomorrow, the only thing you'll remember is my story, but it's not about me. When you write a song, it becomes everyone else's property. When I sing that song on stage, trust me, there's nothing about the song that's about me anymore, it's about everyone in that room who's felt like they've been through that situation. I'll avoid explaining too many things about the underground, but I just think that the song is about saying goodbye finally. The more things I see in life, the more I feel that the song resonates, because there are so many things you can leave behind everyday, and they will never exist again. And if you have a friend for 5 years in your life and you suddenly have to part, then I think that end is inevitable, so if you really get to that, I think that song is yours.

What was your first reaction on winning three Brit awards and a Grammy? How do you feel now looking back at all of the recognition you've gained?
I've never been given anything. Everything has been sheer hard work. When you're given something, it's scary, because you feel as though it's like a gift, and maybe I'm just not good at receiving things. I hope people don't dislike me for being the receiver of these awards. I've earned everything else by myself. When I got them, I thought to myself that it could get to the point where I could become really annoying as a public figure. Call me superstitious or old-fashioned, but I just hope that everything's done tastefully. If I take an award, I do it in the right way. But of course, it felt really good to be recognized. For many years, I felt as if I was underneath the surface. Every year, I'll be at my local pub and some drunken guy would come over and say, "I watched the Brit Awards last night, where were you?" And that really hurts. I felt like smacking him, but I kept my cool. So I was at the Awards and I thought, finally I can get to this place. I hope I haven't taken anything that was not rightfully mine.

You've got a daffodil named after you, aptly called the 'Duffydil', tell us more about that.
I do love flowers actually. But when I recently got that through, I thought it wouldn't have taken a genius to think that one up. Daffodil, 'Duffydil,' I'm Welsh so I thought, here we go. But at the same time, it's a massive honor. It's such a recognized flower for my country, and I used to steal those as kids. I don't have to steal them anymore, they're in my garden. When I got back to Warwick Avenue, they said they were going to plant some there. So I felt that I left a nice legacy there, making it pretty and everything.

Why did you choose the name Duffy rather than Aimee Ann?
You can't help what you're christened with, and in fact this Christmas, for the first time ever, I argued with my mother about it. She just didn't understand why I never really connected with my birth name. But I just didn't, I was always a bit scruffy, always a bit of a tomboy and I liked to do things a little bit differently. I felt that there were a thousand people named 'Aimee,' heaps of them when I was a kid. I went on these school excursions and if someone was misbehaving, there was like 20 'Aimee's'. How was I ever going to be singled out for being the one that was causing the most trouble? I would kind of introduce myself as Duffy when I was younger, and it just stuck. I think it happened to be what I really wanted in life, and I really wanted that. If I was a character in Harry Potter, I would be named 'Duffodore'!

When it comes to fashion, what or who are you inspired by?
My mum actually. I used to work as a checkout girl in a grocery store called Spa, it's like a big mall-shop, and it was the biggest place in our hometown. Everyone used to say to me that I remind them of my mom because she was so stylish in the 80s. It was amazing. My mum was a fashion pioneer. I love that stuff! She was very curvaceous and she always smelt really good, she still does, but in her heyday she had grand short hair, smooth skin, blue eyes, she was like a siren, so when I think about fashion, I think about things that my mum would wear that I'll enjoy wearing also probably.

If you could live your life again, would you change anything?
I'm the happiest person alive. I think every day is a different day, I don't think I would change anything. Why interfere? We talk about a lot of philosophical things on the road, you see many different cultures, and it's important that you make mistakes in life. It's the one thing that has to happen, because if you don't learn, then you'll never develop as a person.

If you're going to do a duet, who would it be with?
I'm not going to pretend I have enough guts to do a duet. In fact, I've turned down some pretty big offers, offended a lot of people, made enemies and had to regain their friendship once again. I'm still so scared, I'm at the beginning, I don't know if I can do a duet with someone who has 45 years experience and to share that stage with them. I had to learn that "no' is a hard word to say, but it doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. You just have to do it in the right way.

In 20 years, what will Duffy be?
Hopefully, I will be a mother, have some dogs, a sense of normality, and live in Wales. The most important thing to me is that I hope that when I'm 60, I'm like a sweet old lady and I walk into a room and maybe only 3 or 4 people know about me, and it's like they say that I did great things, I don't care about anything else, because all the rest is just material, I'll like to think I left something good behind that will hopefully inspire other people. That's all I can do really.

Another interview:

Another review of the concert:

Sister golden pipes
By MICHAEL CHEANG Malaysian Star

Welsh darling Duffy left Singapore Indoor Stadium begging for more with her swinging performance.

FROM the minute she came on stage, you knew Duffy was something special.

Maybe it was the way she strutted about the stage confidently, swinging the mike around on its wire with the attitude of a seasoned performer.

Maybe it was the way she was dressed – first in a slinky long black dress, and then a sexy short mini-skirt number, matched with chilli red stilettos.

Maybe it was the way she looked that night – sexy, proud and regal like a younger version of Dolly Parton (with err ... decidedly lesser assets).

But no matter what you thought of Duffy’s concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last Sunday night, one thing is for certain – there was one single aspect of her performance that overshadowed them all – THAT voice.

What a voice it was. Singing mostly songs from her hit debut Rockferry album and then some, Duffy’s voice was absolutely stunning that night. Whether it was raised to a crescendo of power on songs like Stay With Me Baby and Distant Dreamer; or lowered to almost a hush on quieter numbers like Oh Boy and Warwick Avenue, her voice was all you could focus on throughout the concert. Even when the backing band was at its loudest, her voice stood out like the peal of a bell on a quiet night.

The most memorable highlights of the night were the songs on which Duffy really stretched her vocal chords to the limits, including on the aforementioned powerfully soaring cover of Lorrain Ellison’s Stay With Me Baby and the equally impressive concert closer Distant Dreamer. Equally impressive was her cover of the Burt Bacharach standard Please Stay, and the beautifully rendered acoustic version of Rockferry B-side Oh Boy.

If there was a downside to the concert, it was that Duffy seemed a little apprehensive on stage at times, hardly interacting with the audience at all beyond a couple of lines in that adorably Welsh voice of hers, and teasing them with a little leg crossing action on a high bar stool.

All the same, those niggling moments were few and far between. For the most part, Duffy kept us spellbound and captivated with that voice of hers, and by churning out the fan favourites one after another – Rockferry, Serious, Delayed Devotion, Warwick Avenue, Rockferry, Stepping Stone ... they were all there.

And then there was Mercy. Without doubt the most recognisable and popular of Duffy’s songs, the crowd, which had been mostly seated throughout the concert, went absolutely bonkers and almost everyone immediately jumped to their feet and started dancing as soon as the opening strains to the song came on.

It also helped that her vocals on the song were also top-notch, down to that single high-pitched ‘Yes I DO!’ in the second verse. It was enough to make you want to get down on your knees and beg her for more.

So assured and mature was her performance that night that it’s really hard to believe that Duffy is only just 24 years old and only has one album to her name so far. And as for that “new Amy Winehouse” label, her music may bear some resemblance to Winehouse’s (their voices also share that same, distinct, slightly nasal quality); but that’s where the similarities end.

Duffy’s voice is far more powerful than Winehouse’s and she also looks a lot sexier too, if I may add. She may have lost the award for best new artiste at the recent Grammy Awards to her fellow “new Amy” Adele, but based on this performance alone, you could feel that Duffy deserved that award every bit as much as Adele did.

UPDATE: I just found this photo gallery aswell.

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