“There’s a glimpse into my future in panto,” laughed Sophie Ellis-Bextor as she tossed chocolate Easter eggs into the crowd.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Oran Mor, Glasgow
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Before witnessing this show it might have been possible to expect that’s what her career might hold before long. After all, this was a performer whose last album, 2011’s Make a Scene, had bombed outright, and whose most recent project was a well-received stint on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, the kind of profile-raiser coveted by celebrities who are losing touch with their original careers.
Then you witness her current live show and become aware she looks like that rarest of phenomena – the reality television star who is actually managing to revitalise their first career (in this case, as a pop star of rare grace and style) through the increased exposure. Wearing an elegant red dress, she was surrounded by an entourage – including a pair of backing singers/violinists – which suggested this show is bound for bigger stages. The first of two shows at Oran Mor, it was packed with a crowd clearly buoyed by a Saturday spent in the sun.
The bulk of the set was filled with material from her new album Wanderlust, a harder to penetrate record than earlier offerings whose Russian musical flourishes sounded grand in the live setting, from rocker 13 Little Dolls to the waltz Love is a Camera. The audience stayed with her though, and for the encore the tone changed with her outfit, fusing the sleek modern disco-pop of her own Take Me Home and Groovejet with Modjo’s Lady (Hear Me Tonight) and Moloko’s Sing It Back, period pieces which many may have mistakenly credited to her own canon. Triumphant returns have rarely been as graceful.
Seen on 19.04.14