2003-06-06 Annie Lennox - Bare - Sadlers Wells Theatre - London - The UK


Artist : Annie Lennox

Date : 2003-06-06

Tour Name : Bare

Country : The UK

Town : London

Venue : Sadlers Wells Theatre








The Times (UK)HAVING been touring in North America and Europe since March, Annie Lennox finally arrived in London last night for the first of two shows in Britain, in this intimate, decidedly un-rock’n’roll setting.
After the disappointing saga of the Eurythmics reunion tour of 2000, a desultory affair which fizzled out after Lennox fell ill, it seems she is not taking any chances with this campaign. Her album, Bare, is out on Monday but she has no further dates scheduled, so far.

A pity, since it is only onstage that the complex and often contradictory elements of Lennox’s persona truly come into focus. As a performer, she is a natural. Starting off with Money Can’t Buy It and Legend In My Living Room, two lesser-known tracks from her first album, Diva, she wore a black leather jacket, a black beenie hat, her glasses and no more make-up than she would apply to go out on the school run. It was as if she had arrived disguised as an old French beatnik, yet she was mesmerising — singing in a tough, funky voice that suddenly reminded you where blue-eyed soul stars such as Alicia Keys and Anastasia got the idea from.

So magnetic was her presence that it was not until several numbers later that her five-piece backing band even registered, but three backing singers, including the statuesque, purple-haired Carol Kenyon, were not so easily overlooked.

She spoke not a word between new songs such as A Thousand Beautiful Things and Pavement Cracks which sounded very much of a piece with older material including Little Bird and No More “I Love You’s”.

Then, while a piano was being moved on for her to play a pared-down version of Here Comes The Rain Again, she talked in a sudden, nervous gush, assuring us that she loved us all and, hey, wasn’t this venue a bit of all right? The “acoustic” section included a romp through Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves and a poignant reading of Who’s That Girl, during which old photos of Lennox were projected on to the scrims at the back, implying that the focus had been turned inwards.

But all uncertainties were banished as she swept through encores of Missionary Man and I Need A Man, strutting across the stage, brandishing the microphone like a silver-haired Amazon, before concluding with the demure Why.


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