By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHEN?: Wednesday 30 March, tour runs until 6 March 2023
SETLIST: Take Me Home; Disco Inferno; Wild Forever; Over and Over; All Night Long; Hypnotised; Mixed Up World; Young Blood; There Are Worse Things I Could Do; Love Is a Camera; Dancing Queen; Get Over You; Lady; Groovejet; Sing It Back; Crying At The Discoteque; Like A Prayer; Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer); Murder On The Dancefloor; Our House; My Favourite Things
It’s hard to imagine this Kitchen Disco Tour being quite so successful if Sophie Ellis Bextor hadn’t broadcast shows live from her home on social media featuring her family during the Covid lockdowns.
- Read on for reasons including how to see clips from the highlights of this show
We’ve caught her many times live, including when she fronted indie band Theaudience at The Wedgewood Rooms, in Southsea, Portsmouth in the 90s, but we’ve never seen her in her element like this or with her fans engaging so joyously and uproariously with her.
The audience remains seated during Bextor’s big hit and opening number Take Me Home which sees the curtain drop to reveal our hero astride a giant toy horse.
Everyone’s up on their feet for 2nd song Disco Inferno however and that is where they predominantly stay for a set that is a mix of Bextor’s biggest hits, some covers that mean a great deal to her and all delivered in a format that takes its inspiration from those Instagram sets in the darkest Covid-19 lockdown days of 2020 and 2021.
There’s even a spinning wheel which audience members are invited to take a turn on which includes 20 songs which Bextor can insert into her set and even a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ option where our star can choose what she wants to play next.
The songs aren’t always well-known hits and it’s a delight to hear Bextor’s take on Hot Chip’s Over and Over shortly before she explains that showbusiness legend Bruce Forsyth has his ashes scattered on this very stage.
Bextor is of course married to The Feeling bassist Richard Jones who joins her onstage here and so when she explains that the spirited cover of Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long (All Night) she and the band are about to launch into was the 1st dance at their wedding it is a special moment.
Even more special was the moment when a man in a couple invited onstage to spin the aforementioned wheel dropped to his knees to propose to his girlfriend – and she accepted.
Bextor illustrates just how far she’s travelled as part of this UK tour as she reels off a fact she has learned about each venue she has played.
We spy an audience member in a T-shirt emblazoned with PECKHAM in capitals which reminds us of the chart battle she had over 20 years ago with Posh Spice, AKA Victoria Beckham.
The evening finishes with many of her children who featured so prominently in those social media Kitchen Discos joining their mother onstage.
One of the things we loved so much from the covers chosen by Bextor to sing on this tour is how much so many of them mean to us including There Are Worse Things I Could Do from Grease, Alcazar’s Crying At The Discoteque, Madonna’s Like A Prayer and Madness’s Our House.
She often ends her shows with acoustic versions of songs in a high and unusual vantage point away from the stage and so it is tonight with My Favourite Things from The Sound Of Music from a box.
This gig just serves as a reminder why we shouldn’t leave it so long before seeing her live again.