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LULU left her party piece until the second-last song of the night at Tuesday’s All About The Music tour date at Eden Court.
But there had been a whole night of songs to “Shout” about first.
Of course, it took longer to get to the start of them than some of us might have thought...
Two support acts filled up the time from the 7.30pm start till 8.15pm when Lulu’s band finally came onstage – the star maybe wisely pacing herself.
But for those impatient to hear Lulu, the time passed pleasantly enough in the company of singer-songwriter Chloe Reynolds and her inoffensive songs and one of Lulu’s guitarists Darren Hodson with his more skilled country-tinged songwriting – including winning future album track Songbird.
In a cool rock chick outfit that included trilby, dark specs, tight black leggings and sneakers, Lulu bounced onstage to kick things off looking a good few decades shy of her 69 years with Dancing Like A Rolling Stone.
Then it was back in time for The Man Who Sold The World, the Bowie cover she’d had a number three hit with in 1974, before moving forward to present us with her version of Neil Diamond song The Boat That I Row which featured the first of some strong electric guitar solos throughout the night from band members, this one from Louis Riccardi.
In between the songs, Lulu talked about her life and career in a way that felt intimate, often dipping into the natural Glasgow accent of her teen pop sensation days.
Oh Me Oh My from the Muscle Shoals recordings – that song later covered by Aretha Franklin – was just one less well-known revelation of a song, like I Don’t Wanna Fight, written with her brother Billy Lawrie and another songwriter. Lulu revealed that for most of her career she had never thought of herself as a songwriter until Billy encouraged her. And that song became a hit for Tina Turner.
“I’m a glass half-full person,” Lulu told the crowd, though she also confessed that song had come after going through her second divorce and that her first, splitting from Bee Gee Maurice Gibb, had left her “...heartbroken, but pretending to be fine, which is what I do.”
And throughout the night, there was a sense that the emotional punch she brings to her music is built on good and bad times – and learning to understand herself and what’s important in her life.
“It’s always been about the music and...with my grandchildren I have the perfect life!” she said early on.
But time appears to have had no effect on the God-given beast that is her crackling, soul-queen’s voice which came across as strong as the one her 15-year-old self unveiled in Shout back in 1964.
The night’s best numbers showed it off – I Could Never Miss You, the stunning version of Take Me To The River, the five-song Bee Gees medley with intimate recording memories, the big performance she gave in To Sir With Love, theme to the movie she starred in with Sidney Poitier.
Other highspots from the twists and turns of Lulu’s career included Relight My Fire when she was “invited to join a boy band” – Take That, also a short snippet of Bond theme The Man With The Golden Gun, even a cover of Ex’s And Oh’s by Elle King, proving her point she like to keep up with the new girls and new sounds – complete with high kicks.
And the woman can seduce a crowd. The initially-restrained audience was charmed by the skills of a queen bee of 70s Saturday TV entertainment, the Lulu who starred in her own long-running shows from 1968 to 1975 with showbiz royalty from Jimi Hendrix to Les Dawson.
At the intro to Shout, the Eden Court crowd sprang to its feet for what became a standing ovation after final song Still The One.
Too down-to-earth to be a diva, Lulu says she feels lucky to sing the music she loves.
But every song in this show demanded a shout out for Lulu the legend. MC