Natalie Imbruglia

UEA LCR, Norwich

> UEA, Norwich

It is seven years since international singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia played her last UK concert and it was Norwich that the Australian beauty chose for her return to the limelight.

Compared to upcoming destinations including Paris, Moscow and Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, the UEA's LCR was a low-key place to start a tour, but she wowed fans at her sellout gig there last night.

Wearing a casual grey T-shirt and jeans, the star opened with old hit Wishing I Was There.

Equalling the success of past albums White Lilies Island and Left of the Middle was never going to be easy, and the former Neighbours star kept older fans happy with a cautious set dominated early on by previous hits including That Day and Wrong Impression.

But songs from her latest offering, Counting Down the Days, went down equally well, with Sanctuary and Starting Today sparking applause.

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Imbruglia first won a place in British hearts in 1992 when she appeared as Beth Brennan in the Australian soap, but it was after the 1997 release of her debut single Torn that she really shot to stardom.

The song sold more than a million copies, remaining at number one for 14 weeks and breaking the record for the most airplay in UK history.

The 1998 album, Left of the Middle, placed her firmly on the international music scene but it was three years after this before the follow-up, White Lilies Island, was released.

Since then Imbruglia has starred alongside Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich in the spoof film Johnny English and become one of the faces of cosmetics giant Loreal. Work on her latest album started back in 2002, and it has certainly been worth the wait. Counting Down the Days has a more mature, melancholic sound than her previous albums but still packs enough punch to keep fans happy.

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