Sunday, 9 June - 7:30 PM
Symphony Hall

All photos by Robert Faust

    Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd.
    11 June, 2002


    By John Wishaw.
    Petula Clark Symphony Hall, Birmingham

          Anyone who dismisses Petula Clark as little more that a purveyor of frothy, inconsequential candyfloss like Downtown and Don't Sleep In The Subway, is clearly very wide of the mark.
          On the evidence of her heroic performance at Symphony Hall, the veteran song diva is an experienced artiste of exceptional range and emotional diversity.
          She was backed by a highly-disciplined nine-piece band, with three keyboards, two horns and an over-amplified drummer, while the pyrotechnics consisted of a persistent smoke machine that threatened to rival the smouldering roof of Buckingham Palace.
          It was to be a night of poetry, pop and Piaf. The ageless entertainer emerged, dressed in a shimmering silver cloak over an elegant evening frock, which she later changed for a black dress edged with scarlet satin that served to accentuate her trim figure.
          Petula put on her Mrs Johnson coat for Tell Me It's Not True from Blood Brothers and Norma Desmond's dressing-gown for The Perfect Year from Sunset Boulevard.
          Though she sang with perfect English enunciation, she lapsed into French for Sailor and This Is My Song, and adopted an Irish brogue for Look To The Rainbow from Finian's Rainbow.
          Petula played the grand piano on Tony Hatch's A Sign Of The Times before letting her hair down for I Know A Place and kicking up her gold platformed heels during a sixties medley.

Encouraging a chorus of Downtown from Mac Castro