Over the past couple of years I’ve been lucky enough to have seen several of my favourite artists live: Blondie, Suzi Quatro and The Sonics, to name a few. But I have to say, Lulu’s show at the Bradford Alhambra theatre was by far the best gig I have ever been to in my life, and I don’t think anything is going to come close to topping it anytime soon.
I grew up knowing who Lulu was; I remember her being mentioned a lot when I was young, so much so that her name became iconic to me long before I’d heard her music. Of course she was in Ab Fab, but I think it was when I was about 13 that I heard her version of ‘Shout’ for the very first time and realised that she was definitely something special. I’d never heard a voice like hers before, and I haven’t since.
Last night’s performance lived up to that iconic reputation. Lulu was just as you’d expect her to be: full of energy, wonderfully funny, yet also refreshingly open about her career and personal life. She’s a consummate performer. She absolutely owns the stage from the second she steps onto it, and really knows how to work a crowd: the embodiment of a rock star. She has this incredible energy and it’s just so infectious and engaging. And of course her voice is still truly amazing: powerful, unique and pure rock and roll.
The show was brilliant from start to finish, packed with hits (‘The Man Who Sold The World’, ‘The Boat That I Row’, ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, ‘Relight My Fire’) as well as a handful of brilliant covers including ‘Ex’s & Oh’s’ by Elle King, ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ in tribute to Tom Petty, and a phenomenal rendition of ‘Hound Dog’. ‘Shout’, her most iconic song, was met with a thoroughly deserved standing ovation.
What’s so impressive about Lulu is not just that she’s still here after more than 50 years in music, but also that she’s still absolutely at the top of her game (or anyone’s game for that matter) and has so much still to give. She’s one of the best rock stars the world has ever seen, and what’s really evident is how much she enjoys it and how much fun she has on stage, which I think is rare these days.
The show ended on another great cover and sing-a-long song, ‘Still The One’ by Orleans. I bought a signed CD; it says “Rock on! Lulu” in gold – I think that sums everything up well enough.
Image: Bradford Theatres