Touching BB King Tribute as Lulu shines on Tyneside
The super pint sized Lulu, looking almost young girl like in her jacket tight fit trousers and trilby hat, defied her 66 years to produce an impressive performance at The Sage on Friday.
Backed by a super ‘young’ band of 4 guys and a female bassist Lulu’s soulful voice is still incredibly impressive as ever with its raspiness and grittiness. She began talking about how great that she is still here having some stinkers along the way and been round the block. But “Yes!” she’s still doing it and having had rave reviews of her self-penned new album Making Life Rhyme. Always chatting, Lulu speaks of always hunting for songs that fitted from the inside. I Don’t Wanna Fight, a song apparently given to Tina Turner by Sade, was wrote whilst getting divorced from Maurice Gibb, she was on her knees, and struggled getting back into the recording business, this massive hit song was reworked tonight as a duet, sang delicately at times. Then it was an uplifting rocking track Poison Kiss.
The whole 2 sets were an interesting mix of songs spanning Lulu’s 50 year career or that meant something to her life. Funny moments like when she arrive back on stage after an interval costume change with her trouser zip down and laughing.
Prior to a Bee Gees Melody, she described how she got master classes from the Gibb brothers either at her house or Barry’s house, they wrote songs 24/7 until often falling out, and Lulu saw at first hand these classics being created. The biggest cheer was from a wonderful rendition of To Love Somebody.
There was an interesting version of Hound Dog which was sung like duet, clever.
The self-penned Cry was full of emotion, her voice bending certain notes with a great slide guitar solo.
To Sir With Love, once sang with Al Green but she decided to sing this in Reggae vibe.
During Try a Little Tenderness some women asked if they could dance in the aisle, of which Lulu was ecstatic to see.
The last of the second set was saved for, yes you guessed it. Lulu saying “it’s that time of night you make me feel so good, you and you, you make me want to Shout. With a tremendous intro she gave this old hit a new whole lease life even to slowly toing it down until she was literally lying on the stage the taking it up to frenzy. The final “feel alright” was as she put it “oh what a disappointment” the crowd bashfully holding back “I know you’re waiting for me so I’ll sing it with you. We all felt Alright.
During the encore Lulu gave special mention to the passing of BB King and gave a wonderful rendition of The Thrill Has Gone, both guitarists doing the great man justice taking turns with solo effects. This was a true soulful tribute, well suite to ‘sister Lulu’ who had sold out the BB King Blues Club in New York a couple of years ago.
For Can’t Turn You Loose and 25 Miles, the whole audience were on their feet in admiration. It said when she was 16 that her vice will never last singing like that, well she proved them wrong.
Tyneside really does love you Lulu as confirmed by the buzzing audience members behind me, Tracey Calder and her mum Gerry Trainor who could not stop raving about that voice and grabbing a quick selfie with the Lulu endorsed drum kit behind them.