2005 UK Tour Journal

Monday, 7 March, 2005
Cliff's Pavillion
Southend-on-Sea, England UK

2005 UK Tour

Monday, 7th March 2005 Cliff's Pavillion
Southend-on-Sea, England UK

Song List
  • Wedding Song
  • Don't Sleep in the Subway
  • I'm Not Afraid
  • Eternally (piano intro)Smile/This is My Song
  • I Know a Place
  • Look to the Rainbow
  • How Are Things in Glocca Morra
  • Memphis*
  • Colour My World
  • Sailor/Marin
  • Sign of the Times/Round Every Corner/Call Me/Don't Give Up/The Other Man's Grass
  • Tell Me It's Not True

  • Jazz medley: If I Had You/Just You, Just Me
  • Moon River
  • La Nuit N'en Finit Plus
  • You and I
  • Starting All Over Again
  • A Sign of the Times
  • Theatre poem
  • Losing My Mind
  • I Never do Anything Twice
  • With One Look
  • Driven by Emotion*
  • Sixties Love medley
  • Downtown
  • Here for You
  • I Couldn't Live without Your Love

Wednesday, 9 March, 2005
Forum Theatre
Malvern, England UK

2005 UK Tour

Wednesday 9th March 2005 Forum Theatre
Malvern, England UK

Singing career of legend Petula spans six decades

WITH a stage and screen career spanning six decades Petula Clark's status as a showbusiness legend is hard to dispute.

The singer, who got her first break as a child star on a Forces radio show during the Second World War, is bringing her latest show to Malvern.

Despite recording more than a thousand songs and clocking up 70 million record sales, the talented Ms Clark still has new material to showcase.

She said: "I still get nervous - not being nervous is a bit boring. In this show I'll be doing most of the hit songs and I'd be crazy not too because they happen to be very good songs.

There will also be new material, including brand new songs never played anywhere before.

I try to do as many new things as I can and it's important to me to do that.

"I never really think about being `a legend' and it only comes up when someone says it - I like to live for today. I just do what I enjoy and if you look through my career I'm always doing different things, from musical theatre to studio recording. There is no master plan and no one telling me what I should do next - if something comes along, so be it."

Despite Petula's refusal to plan too far ahead, she has already got most of her work commitments for the coming year mapped out.

After finishing her six-date British tour, the singer will spend the majority of the year in America performing a series of shows with fellow star Andy Williams in Missouri.

Petula, who is also planning performances in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, added: "This is all about having fun and the shows I'll be doing are just about going on stage and letting things happen. It's great now they are bringing back one-man shows because for a long time it was all about big productions like Cirque du Soleil.

"The world has changed and that includes showbusiness, which is a fairly small part of what's going on.

Now it's far more public - even bad publicity is good these days. It's interesting to see how long those sort of careers last. It seems that when one disappears off the scene, another one will be there the next day. Everyone is always irreplaceable.

"Things happen now that would have been the end of your career in the Fifties or Sixties. It's like anything goes now and that's the way the world has gone - it's not the way I work, but there you go."

An Evening with Petula Clark is due to be held at Malvern Theatre on Tuesday, March 9.

For more information or to book tickets contact the box office on 01684 892277.

Thursday, 10 March, 2005 - 7.30pm
The Lowry
Salford Quays, England UK

2005 UK Tour

The Lowry, Salford Quays
Thursday, 10 March, 2005
Showtime 7.30pm

Photos by Phil Meehan

     PETULA Clark started her career singing for UK troops during the Second World War when she was only eight years old. Now, nearly 60 years on, with sales of over 70 million records, a Grammy for 'Downtown' and 30 films behind her, she is preparing for a string of live dates - including a night at The Lowry.
     You got your first break when you were very young. How did that come about?
During the Blitz in London, the BBC had a show for children to send messages to their fathers, uncles or brothers who were serving abroad. I went along to give my support to my uncle. The show was at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus, which was an ideal venue as it was underground. During the rehearsal, there was a huge air raid and we had to stop the show. A lot of the kids were really nervous, and the producer asked if somebody would like to come up and say a piece of poetry or sing a song, just to calm things down. No one else seemed to want to, so I stood up. I've actually been told that a lot of what we were reciting was actually code!
     You were known as 'the British Shirley Temple' and sang at the victory celebrations in Trafalgar Square. Did you understand the significance of it all?
Probably not. I've discussed this with Julie Andrews. During the war, she and I were travelling around in troop trains, sleeping in luggage racks, getting off in the dark, and for us it was like a rather exciting adventure. I don't think we realised how potentially dangerous it all was.
     It's quite a transformation from Force's sweetheart to a Grammy-winning artist.
It was a very long journey from that to singing 'Downtown'. I started making records, fell in love with a French man [PR guru, Claude Wolff], went to France and became their favourite singer, which was an accident - I just went over there to be with my bloke. I met Tony Hatch ('Downtown' writer) and he played me the tune on his piano, and I said, "Write lyrics as good as the tune and I'll do it." And he did, so I did.
     You've recently won awards for your roles in Blood Brothers and Sunset Boulevard and you continue to tour. What do you think is the key to such a long and varied career?
I have no idea. Really, there's never been a master plan - there's no svengali behind me saying, "Now you've got to do this". It's all been a bit higgledy-piggledy. I''m like everyone else - just stumbling my way through life.

Petula Clark plays The Lowry tonight (March 10). L21.50.
      STAR quality is what has endeared Petula Clark to the public since she was just 12 years old.
     Now, 60 years later, she still has it by the bucketful.
     And last night at The Lowry her loving fans turned out in force to pay tribute to an international treasure.
     Backed by an eight-piece band, she opened to polite applause, but by the time she hit her third number, Don't Sleep In The Subway, the shyness had disappeared and one admirer shouted: "We love you Petula," to rapturous appreciation.
     The hits - and she has had a few over the decades - kept flowing, with My Love, This Is My Song and Look To The Rainbow, from the 1968 film Finian's Rainbow.
     She was happy to exchange banter with the audience and invited everyone to sing along.
     She had the house on its feet when she blasted the most famous of her hits Downtown and, predictably, earned a standing ovation.
     She returned for an encore to thank the wonderful people of Manchester and was baffled slightly when it was pointed out from the auditorium she was actually in Salford.
     But like the true professional she is, it did not faze her and she blazed into a foot tapping hand clapping rendition of I Couldn't Live Without Your Love to finish the night and leave everyone singing it all the way home.

Friday, 11th March 2005 - 7:30p.m.
St. George's Concert Hall
Bradford, England UK

2005 UK Tour

St. George's Concert Hall, Bradford
Friday, 11th March 2005
Showtime 7.30pm

by Steve Teale

      In all her years of performing, Petula Clark cannot have had many more welcoming audiences than the one which greeted her at St George's Hall last night.
     A near-capacity crowd cheered her every song and at the end she was weighed down with more than a dozen bouquets. Interflora must have had a good day.
     It was richly deserved. Petula, now 72, holds the record for the longest span in the charts for a woman (1954 for The Little Shoemaker to 2005 for a lesser known French song in, of all places, Belgium). In all, she's sold 70 million records and recorded in five languages, most notably English and French.
      She has a French husband and, strangely, is regarded by the French as being almost French. Many of the songs she sang last night were in French.
     She also had plenty of anecdotes to string these songs together, from meeting Charlie Chaplin in Switzerland to dancing with Fred Astaire in one of his biggest films. The woman who was billed as Britain's Shirley Temple had the audience eating out of her hand.
     Petula took the audience on a tour of her career. She sang some of her well-known songs such as Couldn't Live Without Your Love and hits from two musicals which she has starred in, Blood Brothers and Sunset Boulevard.
     She made them wait for her most well known song, Downtown, but it was warmly received.
     She sang some songs which she had written herself and even recited a piece of poetry about life in the theatre which went down well.
      But that was nothing to the applause which came for an unscripted song which she sang as an encore. It was Needles and Pins, sung in French, at the request of a man in the front row. And despite the fact that none of her eight musicians had any warning, they supported her well.
      From beginning to end, her voice sounded as strong and as clear as it ever was in her hey-day.

Tuesday, 15 March, 2005
Congress Theatre
Eastbourne, England UK

2005 UK Tour

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
Tuesday 15th March 2005
Showtime 7.30pm

      I am truly, madly and deeply head over heals in love.
     The object of my affection is former child star turned international superstar Petula Clark, who has been entertaining us for more than 50 years. She has recorded more than 1,000 songs and is still going strong in a career which has also included 30 films.
     She can still belt out a show-stopper, swing a jazz tune and croon a ballad. This woman, who was brought up around Chichester, has certainly come a long way. I guess I first fell in love with her when Downtown and Don't Sleep In The Subway, Darling hit the charts in the early Sixties.
     I have had a thing about strawberry blondes and redheads every since.
     And hearing these songs on Tuesday night peeled the intervening years away and took me back to my testosteronefuelled teenage years.
     It was as if Petula Clark had never been away as she was the original Ms Dynamite and she looks and sounds just as good now.
     She can still swing a great song, most of which were hits before hip-hop, garage and techno where ever dreamed of.
     Now she sings a mix of old and new and she is still writing lyrics with a cutting edge, such as an emotional tribute to 9/11 victims called Starting Again.
     Backed by an eight-piece band led by her regular musical director Kenny Clayton, she mixed ballads with pop and rock'n'roll songs as well as anecdotes from her life and some pretty good piano playing of her own from the shows.
     Along with some of her French hits and songs from her international cabaret career, Ms Clark proved how she has paid her dues and bought herself a warm and enchanting place in the heart of Brits everywhere, showeding she has stolen my heart clean away.
     And if you won't take my word, three encores and two standing ovations must surely prove the point.

Thursday 17th March 2005 - 7:30pm
North Wales Theatre
Llandudno, Wales