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Gig review: Petula Clark, Glasgow

Petula Clark. Picture: Getty

Petula Clark. Picture: Getty

  • by MALCOLM JACK
 

SHE’S shifted almost a million records for each of her years as a professional singer – a statistic all the more remarkable when you consider Petula Clark made her debut as a child radio star during the Second World War, at the start of a career that would see her become one of the best-selling British female artists ever, not to mention a prolific Hollywood actress.

Petula Clark - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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Like many stars of the pre-rock’n’roll generation, she’s drifted in and outof fashion since her heyday. But back with a new album, Lost In You, at the ripe old age of 80, Clark still looked and carried herself like a class act, even if her voice didn’t disguise its vintage quite so easily.

A polite first half drifted by with just the gentle Don’t Sleep In The Subway from among Clark’s bona fide hits, alongside new material including covers of John Lennon’s Imagine and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy (neither especially convincing). More entertaining were the anecdotes – we heard about an amusing clash of Hollywood cultures between Fred Astaire and Francis Ford Coppola on the set of Finian’s Rainbow, and how Jimmy Page popped up as an up-and-coming session guitarist on the recording of You’re The One.

After the interval I Know A Place kicked-off a livelier spell featuring a playful ode to the Swinging 60s. A very mildly risqué story about how Clark once rejected advances from Elvis prefaced a heartfelt cover of the King’s Love Me Tender, before Cut Copy Me’s gentle electronic pulse proved she’s more au fait with the times than you’d expect, and Downtown nearly brought the house down.

 

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