In the first part of a two part special Kiki Dee chatted to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio about her early career. First broadcast in March 2015. Part 2 is available here
Kiki Dee is a Featured Artist at Get Ready to ROCK! Radio.
It might be argued that in the space of a year only the venues change with Kiki and Carmelo’s latest musical journey. This time a converted railway goods shed in Prince Charles’ local stomping ground, the setlist almost identical to our previous sortie in October 2018. But it is a measure of the quality of this show that the duo played some of their key songs in the first half rather than saving them up for later.
The second half might be termed a little more experimental following the spirit of their 1998 album ‘Where Rivers Meet’ giving Luggeri a chance to introduce aleatoric eastern flavours. Kiki’s vocal on She’s Smiling Now (written for her mum when still active in her eighties) reminded of Joni Mitchell, both soulful and fragile at the same time.
As usual there was a fair number of cover versions and all are a great vehicle for Kiki’s sonorous tones. ‘Running Up That Hill’ in particular a standout. Carmelo Luggeri seems particularly pleased with his arrangement of this Kate Bush classic and it is especially stunning for first timers.
It has to be said, though, the couple could repeat this formula and – given the apparent lack of new original material – fashion their own unique take on other people’s material.
Only ‘It’s Been A Very Good Year’ really impressed in this context. Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’, sticking closely to the original, was more a vehicle for Luggeri’s guitar layers (a trick repeated later, perhaps excessively, on ‘Forward Motion’) although a suitably frenetic first half finale.
Throughout this engaging concert the packed audience were delighted to hear about the context of the songs, with both musicians easy raconteurs. For his part, Carmelo still seems a little star-struck with his musical journeywoman.
We’ve mentioned before that whilst Kiki’s post-1960s career is dealt with in respect of the “Elton Connection” – and including her appearances on Top of the Pops - her earlier incarnation as a backing singer (for Dusty Springfield and a formative Robert Plant) and solo artist (with Motown) is ignored.
Perhaps it wouldn’t easily fit in to the present set but it remains relevant and would certainly widen the musical palette. That same relevancy might also apply to her appearance in the 1988 national tour of the musical ‘Blood Brothers’ when she was nominated for an Olivier award.
There is no doubt that Luggeri is a formidable musical partner – a talented guitarist fleshing out the tunes with looped samples. But once again with a rousing finale of ‘I’ve Got The Music In Me’ you couldn’t help thinking – logistics and costings notwithstanding – a full band would further enhance one of the UK’s still finest female vocalists.
Review and photos by David Randall
Set 1: Pretty Tune/Sweeter Rain/Don’t Go Breaking My Heart/Small Mercies/Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Kate Bush cover)/Let It Be Me (Everly Bros cover)/Never The Twain (Harry Manx cover)/Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode cover)
Set 2: Amoreuse/ Dance Me To The End Of Love (Leonard Cohen cover)/Amen And Goodbye/She’s Smiling Now/A Very Good Year (Frank Sinatra cover) /Till We Meet Again/Forward Motion/I’ve Got The Music In Me
Encore: Roll Um Easy (Little Feat cover)
Tour dates (November 2019)
Sun, NOV 3
Thu, NOV 14
East Riding Theatre
Fri, NOV 15
Settle Victoria Hall
Sat, NOV 16
Fri, NOV 22
The Rec Rooms
Fri, NOV 29
Stables Theatre Ltd
Sat, NOV 30
The Albany Theatre
Sat, DEC 7
SAS BAND 25 RIFF TOUR
Gig review (October 2018)
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)
MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)
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