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A hug and kiss from Alexander the great

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

REVIEW: Alexander O'Neal at Ipswich Regent - WERE two warm-up acts and a 30-minute break worth the wait?

Well, it certainly was for one ardent fan who got close enough to her idol to grab not only a hug, but a kiss too, and a lie down on a bed.

WERE two warm-up acts and a 30-minute break worth the wait?

Well, it certainly was for one ardent fan who got close enough to her idol to grab not only a hug, but a kiss too, and a lie down on a bed.

It was a moment that she will cherish for a long, long while and bought hoots of delight to the hundreds inside the Regent as the "comfort machine" was bought out on stage from underneath the drum kit.

As Alexander O'Neal soulfully swept into If You Were Here Tonight, he did not have to try too hard to persuade his blonde admirer to tread the boards with him.

They swapped the odd embrace and a sip of champagne before she left the stage clutching a red rose given to her by O'Neal to return to her front row seat.

It was one of many highlights of the American singer's performance, which included a string of his old favourite songs and a mixture of the new.

His 75-minute show was a polished affair and his voice seems to be getting better with age.

On his last appearance in Ipswich his vocal chords appeared to be on the wane. But that was not in evidence last night.

Although the show featured only 12 songs, they were all quality. And they included such hits as Criticise, All True Man, This Thing Called Love, Broken Heart Can Mend and Love Makes No Sense, just to name a few.

And for his finale he encouraged his fans up on to the stage for a rousing rendition of Fake.

There must have been more than 60 people cavorting with O'Neal before he bade farewell to an adoring audience.

All dozen of his tunes were given their own special treatment, from the ballads to the party numbers.

He also gave the opportunity for members of his superb, tightly-knit eight-piece backing group to shine, especially his keyboard player, with a stunning jazz solo.

It was a night to remember for all – and one fan must have had a blissful night's sleep as her head hit the pillow remembering her night in the spotlight with Alexander O'Neal.

RIC


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