Category Archives: Reviews of places/acts/books/film etc

Review. KD Lang Ingenue Redux tour, July 2019. Birmingham Symphony Hall.

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I have always adored KD Lang and I have seen her twice before in the UK. The first time was many years ago at Nottingham`s Royal Theatre where I met up with my sister Sue and we had a wonderful night. Ingenue, possibly KD`s best known album, had been released just a couple of years before this. The second time was within Birmingham`s NIA complex in the small theatre there. It only seats around 200 people so it was a very intimate experience.

Last night it was at Symphony Hall in Birmingham where the acoustics are so good, it is always a pleasure to visit.

We were offered a splendid supporting act in the shape of the Grigoryan Brothers, Australian musicians who play beautiful classical guitar. Their final piece Jango, by Brazilian composer Elias Álvares Lobo was truly stunning, KD announced at the end of the show that the brothers have just won Best Independent Classical Album at this year’s AIR Awards in Australia.

When the curtains opened after the interval and KD was up on stage, there was a rapturous and noisy welcome for her even before she began. I teared up because my sister passed away in 2007 and she would have loved to have been there with me, hey ho.

KD, shoeless, dressed in her signature grey suit and white shirt kicked off with “Save me,” it was fantastic. Her voice is as pure and as powerful as it was 25 years ago. She sang the entire Ingenue album, my favourite song by far is “Wash Me Clean,” such a haunting melody I get lost in that song. “Miss Chatelaine” was of course hugely welcomed, lots of people up and clapping by now, adoring women clustered around the front of the stage. KD floating around and posing and laughing at herself. She has such a good connection with her audience and makes everyone feel special.

KD has recently returned to live in her native homeland of Canada having left LA. She made it clear she is not a Trump admirer and cracked a joke about the UK now being not far behind America, politically speaking. She cracked lots of jokes, she was great. She introduced her band members and each one took centre stage for a glorious moment, playing on their own, she has been making music with one of them, her bass player for thirty years.

For her finale, KD chose three songs by some of her favourite composers. The first she introduced as a song written by “a scary woman because she is a genius, whose name is tattooed onto my soul,” and then sang Joni Mitchell`s “Help Me,” which was lovely especially as Joni Mitchell`s name is tattooed onto my soul also. She then sang Crosby Stills Nash and Young, “Helpless,” also beautiful and putting entirely her own stamp onto it. She finished with Leonard Cohen`s “Hallelujah”. Not a massive favourite of mine but she sang it perfectly and so movingly.

KD also gave a shout out to Bittersweet Catering who are a Birmingham based team of caterers and she said their food was outstanding and urged us all to use them for any catering requirements and I thought that was also really nice of her.

All this for £45. The best forty-five quid`s worth I have enjoyed in many a long time.

Take a look at this. The work of Anne Nicholls.

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My dear friend Annie, has a forthcoming exhibition at the Artrix, here is some information about her work……….

Invisible: A New Look at M.E.

This exhibition of art and poetry by Anne Nicholls runs from 4th April to 20th May at the Artrix, Bromsgrove, Worcs., B60 1GN. It illustrates some aspects of Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as experienced by Anne and many of her fellow sufferers. This frequently misunderstood condition is painful and debilitating. Many sufferers are permanently bedridden and often have to spend their lives in a darkened room. Some can’t even tolerate noise to the point where they can’t take part in conversations. Around a quarter of a million sufferers in the UK have had their lives hijacked by ME. Others, like Anne, are only 40% disabled.

Accessing appropriate medical care is challenging. Luckily last year campaigners managed to persuade parliament to take it seriously. The NHS will hopefully stop telling sufferers it’s all in the mind and if they just got off their arses and bucked their ideas up they’d be fine.

Anne also has the support of the ME Association, The Salus Fatigue Foundation, Professor Paul Moss and Dr Rick Dunn of the University of Birmingham. Dr Sarah Myhill, who wrote the wonderful book “Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalitis” (2nd Edition) also offers her endorsement. Dr Myhill’s phrase Mitochondria not Hypochondria sums it up. As momentum gathers, the exhibition is receiving increasing encouragement.

For the employers, colleagues, families, friends and carers of those who are sick of scepticism on top of illness this is a great opportunity to understand what it’s like. And for sufferers, it’s a way of explaining how they feel.

Anne 1

After all, a picture paints a thousand words………   below is an example of Anne`s work.

Anne 2