WORTH A LOOK?: ****
RELEASED: 25 November 2022
TRACKLIST: Take Me Home; Disco Inferno; Wild Forever; All Night Long; Hypnotized; Mixed Up World; Young Blood; There Are Worse Things; Love Is A Camera; Dancing Queen; Get Over You/Lady/Groovejet; Crying At The Discoteque; Like A Prayer; Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer); Murder On The Dancefloor; Our House; Favourite Things
Live albums are always a fascinating snapshot of an act at a particular moment in time and this gig was much-postponed thanks to Covid but 1 we gave 5* to back in March.
- Read on for reasons including why this gig was 1 of our favourite things of 2022
It’s our album of the month for November because it brings back so many happy memories of a show where we felt Ellis Bextor had clicked with her fans in ways which we thought she had never done so before.
Much of her between-song banter remains on this live recording and her Kitchen Discos during lockdown were such a shared social media joy during some truly dark times that this gig attempt to recreate them with well-chosen covers and some of Ellis Bextor’s greatest hits can’t help but bring a smile to the face and a sense of bemusement about whether we really lived through such an unimaginable time.
We remarked in our gig review that the crowd at this 2,286-capacity seated venue was a little tentative at 1st and it took until the fabulous 2nd song, the unstoppable Disco Inferno, for the fans to rise as 1 and dance mostly on their feet for the rest of the night.
Ellis Bextor had a spinning wheel from which songs were chosen and some of the deeper cuts from the Kitchen Disco not heard at the Palladium but at other venues on the tour appear here.
Annie Lennox’s Walking On Broken Glass is 1 and, while it exposes the limitations of Ellis Bextor’s voice, the singer explains herself that the songs themselves were chosen as love letters to those she was missing and wanted to send support to via song through lockdown.
We criticised Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder at a Barcelona gig recently for relying on some fairly middle-of-the-road covers and also Ellis Bextor’s husband’s band The Feeling for a particularly ill-advised 1and the truth is that to these ears Ellis Bextor’s choices are simply better.
And by that we mean she’s picking material that we love – we’re thinking especially Alcazar’s Crying At The Discotheque, There Are Worse Things I Could Do from Grease, Madonna’s Like A Prayer and Madness’ Our House – and giving it her own spin.
We’ve seen Ellis Bextor on tour many times – at this year’s glorious Victorious Festival in Southsea, in venues as diverse as The 02 last year, the Royal Festival Hall in 2018, KOKO in 2017, Bush Hall, supporting Pet Shop Boys in Brighton and fronting Theaudience at Southsea’s Wedgewood Rooms last century – and 1 thing she does more recently brilliantly is encore memorably offstage and up high, here with My Favourite Things from The Sound Of Music.
What this album can’t do is bring you back completely to the atmosphere, feel and spontanaeity of being at a live show. But it is so good and so entertaining and Ellis Bextor makes for such a delightful host that you could, almost, be there.
For those of us who were there though it’s a fantastic souvenir of 1 of our favourite things of 2022.
- Main picture via Facebook courtesy Sophie Ellis Bextor Tickets
- Have you seen Sophie Ellis Bextor before and what did you think of her? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
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