Barbara Dickson, Festival Theatre

Barbara Dickson ***Festival TheatreFor one night only and on the fourth last show of an extensive 30-date UK tour, Barbara Dickson was back in the capital city of her home country, playing two hours of well known classics to a packed theatre and, by the look of things, enjoying every minute of it.

The same could also be said for her band; five outstandingly talented musicians who took the darker areas of the stage.

It is unusual for any musician or performer on their own tour to start off with a cover song and carry on doing the same for three more, but Barbara Dickson takes it in her stride, using the night to not only showcase her talent but also to sing songs which she loves and enjoys performing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The second song of the night – a cover of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby – was met with mixed reviews around the theatre, some saying that her added darkness brought out the lyrics more-so than the original and others commenting on how it was strangely eerie and mournful of her.

Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice It's All Right followed closely behind to lift the show-goers' spirits even only slightly and was given the majority vote of thumbs-up.

Well-known on the British folk scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s, her roots showed through when she performed two traditional folk songs, one from Ireland and the other from her beloved Scotland; both songs echoed beautifully around the large room, helped by the musicianship of her band and their deep male voices.

Being the all-rounder that she is, the singer-songwriter and musician turn actress and presenter gave it her all and jumped straight into a number from Willy Russell's long-running musical Blood Brothers, in which she played Mrs Johnstone, reminding the audience that she is a two-time Olivier Award-winning actress, bringing true meaning to the word performer.

This continued after the fifteen minute interval in which Ms Dickson made a wardrobe change, with her second hit, the song Another Suitcase In Another Hall from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 1977 hit musical Evita.

Carrying on with the covers theme, two classic songs by Bob Dylan and James Taylor were performed next, but only before fellow Scots musicians, Del Amitri, were covered incredibly well, using their most well known song The Last To Know.

This of course went down a storm with the audience, an accepting rumble and clapping of hands as soon as the intro started, a sure sign of enjoyment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, it was Dickson's solo of I Know Him So Well that received the biggest applause of the night.

It certainly wasn't the same without the accompaniment of Elaine Paige – for which the song is best known – but sure enough, it was done with professionalism and talent.

That indeed is one thing in which Mrs Barbara Dickson OBE is full of – talent.

The show itself received mixed reviews from the audience – some mentioning that it was almost "too poppy" – but one thing that cannot be argued is the sheer talent held by a lady who's voice is done no justice recorded.