Mike Atkinson

Alison Moyet, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Wednesday January 23

Posted in gigs, Nottingham Post, Royal Concert Hall by Mike A on January 24, 2008

Following a wretched eight year struggle with her old record company, Alison Moyet emerged from the musical wilderness in 2002. Three albums later, with full artistic control firmly established, she has never sounded happier, more confident, or in better voice.

Last night’s set began in subdued style, with a selection of smouldering ballads that ranged from a cover of Windmills Of Your Mind to a sultry, stripped down, bitterly accusing All Cried Out. The pace quickened for a rapturously received Love Resurrection, making a welcome re-appearance after many years in mothballs. An audience request for Dorothy was instantly and cheerfully granted, with characteristic disregard for the strictures of the set list.

Current album The Turn was well represented, with seven selections. The more intimate, theatrical numbers worked best of all, particularly a heart-stopping rendition of The Man In The Wings. In stark contrast, a messy attempt at It’s Not The Thing Henry was stopped short after the first minute. (“I just didn’t feel like it” explained Alison, with a casual shrug of the shoulders.)

The twenty-three song set covered the full extent of Moyet’s career, stretching back to her early days with Yazoo. Of her solo albums, only 1987’s Raindancing was given the cold shoulder — a snub which suggested that she was never too happy with the bland MOR pop direction that was being foisted upon her at the time.

Perhaps the highlight of the whole evening was an all-acoustic “unplugged” version of Whispering Your Name. Like many of the strongest performances, it benefited from the absence of the drummer, who struggled to quell his desire to rock out during some of the quieter numbers.

An extended encore started with a Jacques Brel number, sung in the original French, and ended with a rip-roaring, triumphant Don’t Go.

Set list: One More Time, Wishing You Were Here, Windmills Of Your Mind, All Cried Out, Fire, Can’t Say It Like I Mean It, Ski, Love Resurrection, Dorothy, The Man In The Wings, Only You, Love Letters, The Sharpest Corner (Hollow), This House, Whispering Your Name, Footsteps, It’s Not The Thing Henry, Come Together, Momma Momma, La Chanson Des Vieux Amants, Smaller, That Old Devil Called Love, Don’t Go.

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