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Review: Madeleine Peyroux, Norwich Theatre Royal

10:04 21 May 2014

NNF14 - Madeleine Peyroux. Photo: Rocky Schenck.

NNF14 - Madeleine Peyroux. Photo: Rocky Schenck.

Rocky Schenck

How does one describe a singer like this? The answer is not to try, but to enjoy every moment. For this was a sensational performance which brought a deserved standing ovation for an artist whose versatility is boundless.

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Madeleine Peyroux is ideally suited to a “close to the audience” situation, for she immediately connects with warmth and humour (by mentioning On The Ball City in the first five minutes, she was home and dry on Tuesday evening).

Backed, simply, by Jon Herington (guitar) and Barak Mori (double bass) and her own very accomplished acoustic guitar playing, she gave us jazz, blues, contemporary songs, love songs, proving to be a singer able to tackle almost any genre in popular music, all beautifully interpreted and with crystal-clear diction.

Beginning with Ray Charles’ Take These Chains From My Heart, she followed quickly by the Everly Brothers favourite Bye Bye Love, and proceeded through an eclectic selection including Buddy Holly’s Changing All Those Changes, Randy Newman’s Guilty, and Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me To The End Of Love and the jazz-tinged I Hear Music, swung effortlessly against Mori’s walking bass lines.

Thunderous applause demanded an encore and she obliged with Careless Love and her own This Is Heaven To Me. The audience obviously agreed.

David Wakefield

• Madeleine Peyroux’s performance was part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival which runs until Sunday. Visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

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