Whinging (mine) and Wolves (Our Bev’s)
Your (not-so-) intrepid correspondent has had a blast of tonsillitis just lately. Sympathy grapes/chocolates/wine/cashmoney will be accepted with no small amount of gratitude. It feels more-or-less gone now, but I’ve done the sensible thing and not gone out tonight. That means I’m missing the boxing and Wayne Elcock winning the English title, but oh well. I’m sending him good luck vibes from right here where I sit. (Edit 2/12/6: my faith was justified).
Anyway, it was off to Wolverhampton on Thursday the 23rd of November, to see Beverley Knight at The Civic Hall. I was working till eight and so had missed any support act that there may have been by the time I got there, and when finding my seat after arriving I was approached by a bloke who asked if I’d swap with him so he could sit with his friends. His original seat on the opposite side of the room was a few rows further back, but I said yes ‘cos I’m nice like that (shut up). A little while later he came over and presented me with a pint he’d bought for me as a thank-you. Score!
Our Bev, anyway, back to sacred yam-yam-land as is only right and proper (“Still Black Country” she ad-libbed in ‘Same [As I Ever Was].’ Bostin’). Bev is another artiste in a category I’ve mentioned before, where there’s a sufficient cannon of good enough songs present for me to really enjoy myself as long as they A) turn up; and, B) start and stop playing at more-or-less the same time. I suppose the flip side of this is that you’re never likely to hear all of your favourites, but the fact that Bev herself brings a whirlwind of energy, charisma and lovely personality along elevates it even higher. Technically strong singing, too, if that sort of thing is important to you.
‘Gold’ sounded especially lovely this time around, as did ‘Shape Of You,’ while the aforementioned ‘Same…’ powered out of the starting blocks. Her customary cover versions took the form of a stomping ‘Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart’ and a powerful acapella of ‘Angels,’ and the few new ones she played really reminded me of Tina Turner (what was odd was that the rocky one and the couple of 70s-influenced soulful ones all had me thinking of that, but for different reasons). Now doubt that will turn out entirely inaccurate when we hear the recorded versions, but that’s what struck me at the time. Fantastic and hugely enjoyable all round, anyway.
As an aside I would like to point out that in terms of the local 2,000-and-odd capacity venues, the Civic is better in every facet of its existence than The Academy by a factor too high to compute.
~ Russ L, with a sore throat.