Lene Lovich, West Acre

MARK NICHOLLS Famed for her penchant for deathly black, Lovich arrived in a mourning shroud Queen Victoria would have been proud of, dashing through an audience to open a rare performance in the heart of rural Norfolk.

MARK NICHOLLS

Lene Lovich, famed for her penchant for deathly black, arrived in a mourning shroud Queen Victoria would have been proud of, dashing through an audience to open a rare performance in the heart of rural Norfolk.

The great barn at West Acre was the most unnatural setting for the one-time wackiest woman of pop, friendly and informal, yet appropriate for the former Stiff star, who now lives a short distance away.

Lene Lovich, absent from the sharp end for almost two decades, was keeping a long-held promise to perform at the River Studios.

If this was a toe-dipping exercise in establishing whether she still had appeal, or whether there was an audience for her distinct style of music, then she should now dive headlong back into the business.

The performance was brilliant: pure theatre yet with drama, humour and fun and demonstrative of the full range of an extraordinary voice.

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And she was clearly enjoying herself.

The opening set consisted of an eerie blend of songs performed with her partner and long-time collaborator Les Chappell with magical versions of The Freeze, Craze and Momentary Breakdown. The second half featured a full band and a number of new songs including Little Rivers.

Predictably and understandably the show finished with Lucky Number.

And with that, Lene Lovich, plaits, black lace, a dark headscarf and a deathly shroud, once again disappeared into the night, yet – with a new album now being recorded – soon to return.

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