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Vanessa lights up the Regent

PUBLISHED: 11:17 19 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

THEY don't come much more talented than Singapore-born Vanessa-Mae, who lit up the Ipswich Regent last night with her own unique style of violin-spawned techno-acoustic fusion.

THEY don't come much more talented than Singapore-born Vanessa-Mae, who lit up the Ipswich Regent last night with her own unique style of violin-spawned techno-acoustic fusion.

Whether the nuances of this musical genre were wasted on an older audience who perhaps were expecting a more classical theme was difficult to ascertain, but one thing is guaranteed – nobody left completely disappointed.

Unfortunately, while undoubtedly a virtuoso violinist, Vanessa-Mae is physically small and not the most charismatic of entertainers, often finding herself lost amid the strobing light-show and smoke. This, of course, not being helped by the sound quality of the now crumbling Regent, which

smothered her opening numbers, Art of War and Picante.

However, you can't keep a true star down and Vanessa-Mae adeptly overcame early technical difficulties that had the audience slow-handclapping even before the show began.

Her current tour, The Tour of Change, began in Athens in September and concludes in Germany just before Christmas. But Vanessa-Mae is no stranger to the spotlight, having recorded her debut album at the tender age of 13, as well as been a catwalk model for Jean-Paul Gautier and written for

the soundtrack of the Disney feature-length cartoon Mulan.

Subject to Change is an ambience-based move away from the artist's usual homage to the classics, but contrasted vividly with her traditional material such as the strangely absent Red Hot.

Strained vocal contributions, including the Scottish folk-song I'm A-Doun For Lack O' Johnnie , are less successful, but all credit to Vanessa-Mae for attempting to broaden her repertoire.

Something of a faux-pas by the some members of the near-capacity audience marred the end of Vanessa-Mae's show as they got up and left after the first carefully orchestrated encore. Cue a hasty return to the stage for the diminutive performer who stopped them in their tracks with a reprise of her

classic hit, Storm.

All in all, a successful return to Ipswich after six years for Vanessa-Mae.

PAUL COUCH

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