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JUDIE TZUKE The Lowry, Salford
11 October 2010
On an autumnal
evening, in one of the best theatre venues in the North West, this
lesser spotted songstress gave a masterclass performance spanning her 12
studio album and 30 year career.
For an artist not always comfortable on stage, Judie Tzuke looked
relaxed, confident and happy to be in the spotlight as she delivered a
set culled from a recording career that, in recent years, has simply got
better and better.
Ostensibly touring to promote her recently released 'Moon On A
Mirrorball' 35 track 'definitive collection' (get it on your Christmas
list - it's the best 'best of' this year by a country mile) all bar two
tracks from the set list (the superb 'Enjoy The Ride' from Morcheeba's
2008 'Dive Deep' album, and 'Bring The Rain' from her 1979 Welcome To
The Cruise debut album) feature on it.
One could argue until the cows come home about the inclusions /
exclusions in the set list - as many fans did on Facebook - but that
just serves to underline the strength of her catalogue. For me, given
that she so rarely tours, I'd have liked to hear more from her recent
Songs albums which contain some of her best material to date. Both in
the vocal and songwriting sense she continues to surprise.
In many ways the gig was a family affair with daughters Bailey and
Tallula providing backing vocals and strangely being given a front stage
presence along with guitarist Graham Kearnes (with whom she co-wrote the
excellent 'Love Me No More', and 'If'). Whether that was a comfort blanket
(along with her lyric sheets) I'm not sure.
But for me it was a visual distraction and to my mind it got no better
than when Judie was alone centre stage backed by just piano - on a quite
magnificent version of 'Come Hell Or Waters High' - or guitar ('One
Minute') that demonstrated what a very fine vocalist she is. And like a
fine wine, it's a voice that has improved with age.
In contrast, it only served to highlight that if Bailey is serious about
a career in the music business, then a name change and a move from out
of her mother's shadow might be necessary.
But these, like the set list, were minor niggles and the gig was an
unquestionable triumph. As a hardened reviewer (and frequent cynic) I
was surprised to find myself moved by her marvellous rendition of
'Submarine Boy'. And I can tell you, that doesn't happen very often in
these days of over rehearsed and CD perfect performances.
If only she could have doubled the length of the set, or would tour more
regularly we could all have gone home happy. All of which just goes to
demonstrate that Judie Tzuke remains a rare talent and one to be
treasured. Invest in her music and catch her on tour if you can.
Set list: The Ride / Under The Angels / Secret Agent / Faith / Submarine
Boy / Joan Of Arc / Come Hell Or Waters High / One Minute / Bring The
Rain / Love Me No More / I Will / Vivien / Sukarita / Stay With Me ‘till
Dawn / Sports Car / For You / If (When You Go)
Photos by Noel Buckley
Judie Tzuke regularly
features in the singer-songwriter sequence on
to ROCK! Radio, Mon-Fri 14:00-16:00 (GMT)
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