After hastily digging out some three decades old vinyl, and quickly reminding myself of some top late 80’s tunage, I took a musical trip down Memory Lane last weekend.
I battled my way through the wettest and windiest Friday night this year for one of my generation’s most perfect blasts from the past.
Thirty years on from her first solo album Affection, Lisa Stansfield was back to celebrate her best selling disc to date.
The sell out St David’s Hall was also the absolutely spot on intimate setting for the Rochdale lass to belt out all her classic hits.
For me, it had the cosy vibe of a Jools Holland Later set that was just right for her mix of pop and RnB to a small but perfectly formed audience.
Lisa, as is well-documented, is the English singer, songwriter and actress whose career dream came true.
The girl from up North was plucked from the Tesco checkout and catapulted to superstardom when she won the singing competition Search for a Star.
Affection and its worldwide chart-topping lead single All Around the World were major breakthroughs in her career – even leading to two Grammy nominations.
It is those songs that still, despite the test of time, stand up today. And whilst the commercial success of her heyday is long behind Lisa, that voice is as sharp and soulful as ever.
We were treated to a blistering two hour set that included all the faves. She opened with the seminal Affection and then moved effortlessly through the classics from her seven solo albums.
This included Mighty Love, When Are You Coming Back, Poison, and This Is The Right Time – I bloody love that one.
Surprisingly, she didn’t include All Woman, another one, I and many others mark down as one of her personal best.
Even more surprisingly, in my view, was the decision to chuck in All Around The World, three quarters into the set.
I would have finished with that one personally, as it would have left the compact crowd wanting more.
Nevertheless, I sang my little heart out to it – just because you can’t sing, don’t mean you shouldn’t!
And I vocally joined in too with the last part of the Show. The Real Thing, What Did I Do To You, Never Ever.
And People Hold On – the song she made with Cold Cut, and which was, in my opinion, her last great tunage.
Blue Zone the band she formed with Ian Devaney and Andy Morris were largely ignored.
Then before you knew it, it was time for the Encore. Live Together with its kind of slow, feel good factor, sing along to end the night.
I loved a bit of lovely Lisa back in the day, thirty years on, the singer did not disappoint.
She still may have not have found her Baby but she found the perfect pitch for my Friday evening.
You can’t deny it!
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Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs, and writes, about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
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