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Ipswich to welcome chart topping star

PUBLISHED: 14:27 10 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Regent is preparing to welcome one of music's top stars, The Evening Star can reveal today.

For Sophie Ellis Bextor, who is riding high in the charts with her hit single Murder On The Dancefloor, is due to take to the stage on April 25.

IPSWICH Regent is preparing to welcome one of music's top stars, The Evening Star can reveal today.

For Sophie Ellis Bextor, who is riding high in the charts with her hit single Murder On The Dancefloor, is due to take to the stage on April 25.

But as the announcement was made today a debate is bubbling over the state of the theatre where she will be performing.

For visitors say it looks tatty and down at heel and is in urgent need of a facelift.

Work will cost money – and the theatre is a listed building so it can't be radically changed.

Today, Hazel Clover, publicity spokeswoman for The Regent, said: "We are delighted that an artist of Sophie's calibre will be coming to the theatre and helps to put Ipswich on the music venue map.

"She is one of the biggest stars of the moment and it's a real bonus that she is coming here,"

Having enjoyed a previous hit with Take Me Home and a successful debut album, Read My Lips, which is currently at number nine in the album charts, 22-year-old Sophie is fast making a name for herself as one of Britain's most exciting new female pop star.

Her music is a sassy blend of pop, funky dance rhythms and eighties soul and is what Sophie calls "sophisticated pop".

And it's bold. As she said: "It's stuff that doesn't talk down to people.

"I just want something that has got a bit of conviction to it and a bit of depth. I don't find there's too much of that around.

"There're so many singers and you watch them and a lot of it is waving around. You don't get this feeling that they're really thinking about what they're saying."

That is not a problem for Sophie who is as renowned for being outspoken as she is for her music and fashion sense.

She famously rejected Robbie Williams when he invited her former band, the audience, >>> to support him on tour.

And when the battle of Posh Pop took place between Spiller, whose track, Groovejet, she provided the vocals for and Victoria Beckham's collaboration with Truesteppers, Sophie was more than willing to comment on her rival.

Her willingness to have her say and not conform aside however, it is her music that does the talking.

First there was her role as the chic and glamorous singer with indie-pop band the audience who enjoyed two top 30 singles and a critically acclaimed album before they split.

Then she decided to go solo but before she launched out on her own she received a track by Italian producers, Spiller.

Initially dismissing it she soon started playing around with the lyrics and eventually wrote the final verse and the infectious chorus which would help make the track the smash summer anthem of 2000 and take it to number one.

Now she's completely on her own, however, and she's enjoying every minute of it and so are music lovers.

She wants to have fun, be bold, and make the kind of songs she wants to make and if people don't like it that's there prerogative.

Sophie said: "I think there's a lot of cowardice in music. I don't mind if it goes wrong, I just want to go for it. This is a great opportunity. I don't want to look back and think 'I should have been a bit bolder'.

"There's music as a way to be famous, and all that side of it," she continued. "And there's music because you love singing. For me, I love a good mixture of both."

Judging by her music sales and the media coverage she receives, so does everybody else.

N Sophie Ellis Bextor will be at the Regent on April 25. Tickets go on sale on Friday priced £15 and are available at the Central Box Office, Princes Street, Ipswich, by calling 01473 433100 or on-line at www.ipswich-ents.co.uk

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