GIG: Mari Wilson
DATE: Saturday 20th April 2013
VENUE: St James Theatre (studio) , London
COST: £17.50 (incl booking fee)
OUR VERDICT: Pure class
St James Theatre is a lovely little place downstairs from the main theatre, and resembles Ronnie Scotts to some extent, with low lighting, and small tables to sit at instead of rows of seats. We liked the venue immediately.
Mari came onto the stage for the first set, dressed in a lovely little black dress, with sequins along the bottom hem and changed into a smart trouser suit for the second half.
Backed by an acoustic guitarist and a pianist, her set included songs from her back catalogue, mainly from her "Emotional Glamour" and "Dolled Up" albums released a few years ago, but we were also treated to some 80's fayre with"Just What I Always Wanted", "Cry Me A River" and the theme from the Ruth Ellis film "Dance With A Stranger".
A number of songs in the set were taken from her latest album "Cover Stories" which is a set of cover songs, stripped down and sung most beautifully. Mari proves that "Be My Baby" doesn't need the big Hal Blaine drumbeat and her voice sounds wonderful on songs like "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" and "Disney Girls".
In between songs, we were regaled with some funny anecdotes, stories from Mari's early years which sent ripples of laughter around the studio. She is a great raconteur and every time we see her, we hear different tales.
The reaction from the audience spoke volumes of what they felt about the show - total silence and respect whilst she sang and thunderous applause when she finished each song.
We have seen Mari many times now, and have enjoyed each and every show. Long may it continue.
Check out her albums.