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PP ARNOLD, Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush, London
20 May 2011
Now some of
you may be wondering why the first lady of soul is doing here on the
pages of a rock website but the roots of PP Arnold branch out into the
very heart of rock high society.
career she has performed and toured along with the likes of Ike & Tina
Turner, Rolling Stones, The Nice, Small Faces, Jimi Hendrix, Roger
Waters and Oasis to name just a few.
has led a very colourful life of exceptional highs and lows and it is
those human emotions that she has lived through that make the remarkable
lady that she is today.
career spanning five decades Miss Arnold still looks dazzling in her
evening dress and high heels and with a youthful energy that keeps her
complexion looking so young.
This is by
no means a one woman show, Arnold has got herself one hot backing band
including some of the best session musicians around, including guitarist
Tony Remy and bassist Henry Thomas who some of you may remember from the
BBC2 musical learning programme Rock School back in the mid eighties.
must also go to keyboardist Alex Bennett who stood in at the last minute
as her normal joanna player Anders Olinder was away busy touring with
opened up with the band themselves doing a great instrumental blues work
out before introducing the angel of the evening. 'If You Think You're
Groovy' got the hips swaying, a song penned for her from those tin
soldiers Steve Marriot and Ronnie Laine.
followed was a delightful evening featuring songs from her whole career
and including some fine more recent collaborations.
The Morning' was surprisingly early in the set, a song that you would
instantly recognise not realizing that it was originally done by PP
Arnold but you would've heard countless times on the radio over the
years. Amazing when you look back at the history books to find out this
song only just broke into the Top 30 when first released back in 1968.
recent 'I Saw Something' a duet she originally did with Dr Robert of the
Blow Monkeys was a nice little lounge number sung by herself tonight.
Arnold then pours her heart out on 'Though It Hurts Me Badly' a
self-penned tune about her relationship with Mick Jagger.
party with her time as an Ikette with an up tempo 'River Deep Mountain
High' and ending the first half of the set with a Small Faces number she
originally sang backing vocals on with 'Understanding', a track that she
re-visited in later years with Primal Scream.
the second half with the moody 'Moody's' was followed by my favourite
song of the night 'Break The Chains' a song written for her by Chip
Taylor, Arnold really sings her heart out on this autobiographical song.
cover of the Beatles 'Eleanor Rigby' was tonight done in a jazz funk
fashion, another hit for out lady in the sixties.
was also spending time talking to the crowd making everyone feel as she
is their best friend happily sharing her thoughts of her ''In's and
out's and "in betweens'' and the band was on fine form all night, in the
words of Arnold herself ''The band have rocked, popped, souled and
The best was
yet to come in the finale with 'First Cut Is The Deepest' a song given
to her written by Cat Stevens. PP Arnold had a massive hit with this
before a certain Rodney Stewart.
song will be forever remembered when she invited some friends from the
audience to help her out on the chorus, and what helping hands they are
when they are some of the finest soprano voices in the country namely
singers Pearly Gates, Jimmy Thomas, Katie Kissoon, Simon Bell and also
Maury Richards and Mark Black.
took on a gospel feel and never wanted to end, a truly magical moment
that I will cherish. The last cut was the deepest, priceless.
enlightening evening spent with a delightful, endearing artist.
Set list : If You Think You're Groovy / Everything Is You / Angel Of The
Morning / I Saw Something / Though It Hurts Me Badly / River Deep
Mountain High / Understanding / Moody's / Break These Chains / Eleanor
Rigby / Speak To Me / Can You Feel It / Am I Still Dreaming /
Everything's Gonna Be Alright / First Cut Is The Deepest
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