Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd.
11 June, 2002
TIME STOPS FOR THE DOWNTOWN GIRL
By John Wishaw.
Petula Clark Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Anyone who dismisses Petula Clark as little more that a purveyor of frothy,
inconsequential candyfloss like Downtown and Don't Sleep In The Subway, is
clearly very wide of the mark.
On the evidence of her heroic performance at Symphony Hall, the veteran
song diva is an experienced artiste of exceptional range and emotional
She was backed by a highly-disciplined nine-piece band, with three
keyboards, two horns and an over-amplified drummer, while the pyrotechnics
consisted of a persistent smoke machine that threatened to rival the
smouldering roof of Buckingham Palace.
It was to be a night of poetry, pop and Piaf.
The ageless entertainer emerged, dressed in a shimmering silver
cloak over an elegant evening frock, which she later changed for a black
dress edged with scarlet satin that served to accentuate her trim figure.
Petula put on her Mrs Johnson coat for Tell Me It's Not True from Blood
Brothers and Norma Desmond's dressing-gown for The Perfect Year from Sunset
Though she sang with perfect English enunciation, she lapsed into French
for Sailor and This Is My Song, and adopted an Irish brogue for Look To The
Rainbow from Finian's Rainbow.
Petula played the grand piano on Tony Hatch's A Sign Of The Times before
letting her hair down for I Know A Place and kicking up her gold platformed
heels during a sixties medley.