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the sage gateshead

Sophie Ellis Bextor review

SOPHIE ELLIS BEXTOR + LOCK – At The Sage Gateshead

~ a guest blog by John Gregson

I was invited to be guest blogger for “Nights Out In Newcastle” to cover Sophie Ellis Bextor’s concert at the Sage – Gateshead.  I’m not a huge fan and can only remember one song by Sophie Ellis Bextor “Murder on the dance floor”, which was a little catchy, back in the day (2001).  Due to this, and never having done a blog before, I was a bit unsure of what to expect, if I’d even enjoy the concert and whether I could portray the experience into words – but thought what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.

A few looseners at the bar inside the Sage were called for (well it was a concert after all) and the price was a pleasant surprise – it didn’t break the bank.  This was a bonus as I’d arrived an hour early – so was forced to have quite a few looseners.  A “5 minute, get to your seats” warning came over the tannoy signalling a mad rush to the bar, this time plastic glasses were issued as drinks were allowed into “Sage One”.

The warm up band “Lock” were already on stage as I took my seat and were belting out what they thought was music.  The two lasses had lovely voices and harmonised well, shame this was completely drowned out by over excessive bass, turning the whole thing into an irritating noise.  The guy next to me couldn’t take anymore and left part way through the first song.  I stuck it out as long as I could, but gave in at their third attempt and joined him in the queue at the bar.  Judging by the amount of folk hanging around the bar, I don’t think “Lock” will go far – and not quite sure why they were picked to be a support band, baffling.

We took our seats again as the roadies and crew put things in place, ready for the main act. Suddenly, the light show illuminated the room as Sophie Ellis Bextor made her entrance, arriving on stage to huge applause.  Her first track was belted out, in tune, lifting the atmosphere immediately, making “Lock” a distant memory – easily forgotten.  Over the next hour she commanded the stage, dancing as if no-one was watching, but letting her voice do the work – beautifully singing material selected from her new album “Familia”.

 

familia

 

Tracks from her previous album “Wonderlust” brought the crowd to their feet and it was evident that I was the only person in the room not singing. This wasn’t for trying, but I didn’t really want to recreate the “Lock” effect and clear the place.  By the time “Heartbreak – make me a dancer” echoed around the room, the isles were over flowing with folk “dancing and singing their hearts out”.  Older hits were mixed and blended together to form the finale, and what an end it was.  Old songs that even I remembered, could sing along to, but didn’t realise she had originally sung them. After exhausting her play list, she thanked everyone and disappeared off stage, leaving the baying crowd, demanding more…….

…….and more they received.  After a few minutes, the lights dimmed and then suddenly, a spotlight picked out Sophie Ellis Bextor, standing alone on the balcony – one tier up. The crowd all looked up in unison and became deathly silent, that quiet you could just about hear a pin, dropping.  A beautiful melody broke the silence and filled the room as Sophie sang, no microphone needed this time and accompanied only by a lone acoustic guitarist.  I don’t know the songs title or what it was about, all I do know is that the crowd loved it – and so did I.  It was fantastic and just about brought the house down.

What an end to a great concert.  The room emptied fast with promises of merchandise and signing’s downstairs – by the time I made it down, the queue had already formed and was snaking around the foyer. I decided to give that a miss, call it a day and enjoy a nightcap at the Crown Posada, joined by quite a few other Sophie Ellis Bextor fans.  My next Deezer music search will definitely be for Sophie Ellis Bextor’s back catalogue!

~ a guest blog by John Gregson – courtesy of a “Nights Out In Newcastle” facebook Competition.

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