Tag Archives: 30th Anniversary

REVIEW: Lisa Stansfield Affection 30th Anniversary Tour – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Ivor Novello and BRIT Award-winner Lisa Stansfield is currently riding the second wave of her career, after bursting on the scene in 1989, and re-emerging after a sabbatical of over a decade with 2014’s album Seven and 2018’s Deeper.

Hot on the heels of last year’s Deeper tour, this time we are going back, waaaay back, thirty years, to celebrate her debut album Affection. And it’s a full-on nostalgia fest for her fans as she transports them back to those heady days where it all began. As the hall is filled with the rich, full sound of her smooth eight piece band (and two outstanding backing vocalists) you’d be forgiven for thinking this was Stansfield’s 90s heyday – the illusion only shattered by the grey haired, middle-aged audience bopping along with the hits.

Stansfield is still as strong a vocalist as she ever was, the power unbelievably coming from such a teeny, tiny, frame. She storms through Sincerity, Poison, Mighty Love, This is the Right Time, the title track Affection and of course, All Around the World among others.

For someone who is known as a gregarious and verbose interviewee she is surprisingly mute throughout most of the set, rarely engaging with her audience beyond a word or two. There are no frills – the set is a cloth with Lisa on it and the lighting is simplistic. Stansfield relies on the music, and her lauded vocals to do the talking for her.

It is all very low-key and very mellow, and while the mega-fans are lapping it up, to those less invested, the similar sounding songs and the lack of light and shade mean that many of the songs are indistinguishable from one other.

It might not win her any new fans but it’s definitely an evening of quality and nostalgia for Stansfield fans.

The Affection tour continues to:

Tue 29 Oct 2019 – UK, Birmingham Symphony Hall
Thu 31 Oct 2019 – UK, London Royal Albert Hall
Fri 01 Nov 2019 – UK, Cardiff St David’s Hall

 

REVIEW: The Steamie – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

There’s a nostalgia for and great expectations of any production of Tony Roper’s Glasgow classic, The Steamie, and audiences can rest assured that this 30th anniversary production does the much-loved work complete justice.

Hogmanay, a Glasgow wash house. The race is on to get the laundry done before the midnight bells. As the 1940s give way to a new decade, the four women: Dolly (Libby McArthur), Mrs, Culfeathers (Mary McCusker), Margret (Carmen Pieraccini) and Doreen (Fiona Wood) chew the fat, share the details of their lives and provide much-needed support to one another as they reflect on their hard lives, their hopes and dreams, and their often, useless men.

Heralded for its reflection of real Glasgow women’s lives, the camaraderie between these women delivers as many laughs as tears, a more perfectly pitched piece of writing you would be hard to find. Roper is a master manipulator of your feelings: just as the sentimental tears roll down your cheeks, a killer comic line is delivered so precisely that your emotions are tugged in completely the opposite direction.

Fans will be glad to know the now legendary Galloway’s mince routine is still as hysterical as is always was, as are Dolly’s peat bath purge and the imaginary telephone conversation, iconic scenes that have a firm place in Scottish theatre goers hearts.

That a play about a public wash house, set in a time when a sense of community and neighbourliness still existed, a world that is beyond the ken of a vast portion of the audience, still has the ability to pack out a two week run in a theatre is testament to the quality of the writing. Roper’s expert grasp on the rhythms of his native tongue, make this play as sharp today as it has ever been. Nostalgic it may be, and Glaswegian to its very core, however, the themes of friendship, loneliness and of womanhood transcend the years.

The roles are perfectly cast, these women deliver a masterclass in acting (and singing) and Roper’s own direction ensures it remains tight and true to the original.

You will be hard-pressed to find a work that tugs at your heart strings and equally make your heart soar. A classic, and deservedly so, this 30th anniversary production is simply unmissable.

Runs until 4 November 2017 | Image: Douglas Robertson

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub at: http://www.thereviewshub.com/the-steamie-kings-theatre-glasgow/