Now, I was taking a bit of a risk with this concert, and I was braced and ready.
A vocal icon from my much younger years, a performer who has been in the music business for 59 years…surely this was going to be a bit of a reality check?
Well, if your reality is a powerhouse of a singer, with a vocal range that is simply staggering, and whose voice just seems to have improved with age and experience, then that is an accurate description of the sensational Elkie Brooks!
From her first glittering step onto the stage, and immediate launch into “He Could Have Been an Army”, the audience was captivated and although I felt it was rather a surprising choice as an opener, it played to the power of her voice very well.
Through “Gasoline Alley” to the fabulous “ Wrap you in my Warm and Tender Love”, Elkie effortlessly demonstrated her great vocal control, and gave every opportunity for the saxophonist to shine right along with her. (What the hell is it about a guy with a saxophone? I go weak at the knees every time…undoubtedly Freudian!)
Then came “Superstar”, a song which I will always associate with the wonderful Karen Carpenter, but Elkie’s cover version was sensational, and drew a roar of appreciation from the packed auditorium.
The well loved songs came thick and fast, and “Lilac Wine” was a fitting ending to the first half … sexy, sultry, sensual tones that I would challenge any younger diva to replicate!
The second half gave us a repertoire that played perfectly to that Rock/ Blues/Jazz combination that the indefatigable Elkie reflects to perfection; from a pitch deep in her boots to an extended note that could have shattered glass, her performance was faultless and the standing ovation so very well deserved.
I lived through every song with her, and each one brought back a memory of warm summer nights with attendant delights for me … lady, huge respect for the performer that you are, and please come back to the Playhouse very soon.
Watch for the next time, and get there if you can … this is music indeed!
See what’s coming up at The Playhouse, Weston