“When I first moved from Dublin, I lived in a little bedsit up the road and it’s so bloody brilliant to be playing here (Camden’s Roundhouse) at last.” From the moment that Imelda May slinked on stage with her 50s-inspired quiff, wearing a sexily skin-tight little green dress and killer heels the entire audience were put under her spell. It was obvious she belonged on the Roundhouse’s very special stage and wanted to be there so very much. Teasingly tapping the tambourine, she opened her mouth and revealed a voice more killer than her heels. Enticing the audience to “Feel Me”, May instantly won applause with her subtle sex appeal and Irish charm.
“Feel Me” proved to only be a teaser of what was yet to come, with each song May went from strength to strength. A versatile performer who was completely in tune with the musicians backing her. May is far from a selfish lead, she gave both to her audience and her band. Supported by the sublimely wonderful Steve Rushton (drums), Al Gare (Double Bass), Dave Priseman (Trumpet) and Darrel Higham (Guitar), May ensured everyone had their time to shine and ensured everyone got a suitable applause.
A truly spine tingling evening.
“This one I wrote a little while ago after having a few words with the big man above.” May proved herself to be “Proud and Humble” in equal measure. Covering material from debut album “Love Tattoo” as well as treating the audience to a preview of “Mayhem” from her forthcoming release, there were some real treats. “Count my fingers: one, two, three. One in the middle is to you from me.” May proved her comic timing on the mind blowing “Whatcha Gonna Do”. A cover of The Beatles “Oh! Darling” showed the true capabilities of May’s dynamic vocal. Moving away from the original, May added her own distinct flavour to “Oh! Darling”. Heart tingling tender moments contrasted with her spine tingling full belt, making it a colourfully emotional rendition.
Closing on the stomping “Johnny Got A Boom Boom” was not enough for the Roundhouse audience. Having shaken her captive audience into a frenzy, whoops and shrieks beckoned May back centre stage. Once again she proved that classics are not out of bounds. An unforgettable rendition of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” rounded off an amazing evening full of energy and dynamism. May is a sexy, sassy, mind blowing, hip swinging phenomenon who soon enough the world will be talking about. Shes made it down the road from the dingy flat to the Roundhouse, now the world is her stage. A truly spine tingling evening.