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Review: Marc Almond, Ipswich Regent, October 14

16 October, 2017 - 13:26
Marc Almond performed at Ipswich Regent on Saturday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Marc Almond performed at Ipswich Regent on Saturday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

©Archant Photographic 2009

Sumptuous strings heralded pop icon Marc Almond’s arrival onto the stage at the Regent on Saturday night.

He was in Ipswich to perform songs from his latest album ‘Shadows and Reflections’. A collection of 1960s’ undiscovered classics by, amongst others, Billy Fury, Bobby Darin and The Yard birds, along with a handful of new compositions.

Anyone familiar with Marc Almond’s work will know he favours the Torch Songs, the drama and the desire for every song to tell a story. And so it was on Saturday night. To this end Marc was accompanied by a magnificent orchestra that perfectly reproduced the lush, sweeping sound of 60s’ baroque pop.

Dipping into his back catalogue, for the first time in the evening, Marc introduced a sumptuous version of “The Days of Pearly Spencer” with the line ‘60s’ songs have been good to me’.

The song brought a small crowd to the front of the stage expecting the momentum to continue and the hits to keep on coming. But it wasn’t that kind of show and as Marc remarked humorously “You’ll be sorry you’ve stood up as there are loads of depressing ballads before we get to anything resembling a hit.”

He was true to his word - going straight into Bobby Vinton’s “Blue on blue” and then onto a deeply personal original composition “Embers”.

This led to a situation where Marc spoke to a couple who’d been chatting at the front of the stage and told them, in no uncertain terms, to leave the gig or at least that part of the theatre.

It was an uncomfortable moment although Marc certainly had the audience on his side.

He followed this kerfuffle with a storming cover of “Something’s got a Hold of My Heart” - and we all moved on – with Marc guaranteed to have everyone’s undivided attention for the rest of the evening.

Another original song – “No One to Say Goodnight to” broke the rule that playing new tunes at a live show is a mistake; both intimate and epic it wouldn’t have been out of place in a Sondheim musical – a real treat.

Despite the prevalence of songs from the new album and more recent releases we weren’t denied the old favourites.

It was a well-judged moment two thirds of the way through the show to change the pace and let rip with the hits. “Jacky” followed “Torch” and then, introducing ‘A Northern Soul rave up’, we even got a few minutes of “Tainted Love”. Still sounding fresh and original “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” fittingly closed the show.

A fascinating and eclectic evening and proof that, as Marc had said earlier, “he’s still got it after forty years in the business.”

Soft Cell singer has foul-mouthed rant at two talkative women at Ipswich Regent

Today we can finally reveal the names of the people selected to be on our first ever Inspiring Women of Suffolk list.

The dedicated cancer ward at Ipswich Hospital has reopened after a touching moment with a dying patient inspired a refurbishment.

Suffolk’s emergency services have welcomed the introduction of a law designed to provide better protection for staff.

An Ipswich school has won gold and silver trophies in the Boccia under-19 county championships.

Suffolk police have confirmed that a man who spent more than 15 hours in a town centre tree has now come down.

This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of - 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.

The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

Investigations are underway following two burglaries in Ipswich, which are being linked by police.

Greater Anglia is due to take delivery of its first new suburban trains next year – but has still not yet formally announced where they will be serviced in north Essex.

Ipswich School’s Remembrance Day art installation will be open to the public again after overwhelming public interest.

The sea wall of an island off the coast of Suffolk is being lowered by almost half a metre to prevent it flooding in stormy weather.

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