Thursday, 12 November 2009

Heather Small Live Plus Special Guest Congress Theatre Eastbourne

Heather Small
Plus Special Guest
(Lucy Rhodes)
Congress Theatre Eastbourne
12th November 2009

Lucy Rhodes

Well at some point this year the run of support acts that were well received had to come to an end and, in Eastbourne , sadly Lucy's performance did not get a good reception.

Lucy is a very successful classical / jazz singer and very good she is at it too. So why a poor audience reaction from a mere 30 minute performance?

A couple of reasons probably.

Firstly this type of singing act seemed so far removed from the type of music a Heather Small fan was likely to want to see as a "warm up".

Secondly poor Lucy was singing to a backing track, needing to nod to side of stage everytime a new song was to be sung. Live instrumentation may have helped this act appear so much more professional.

Lucy looked visibly uncomfortable and nervous before she even started singing and in the dialogue in between songs she developed what seemed to be a nervous laugh, many audience members then just laughed at her which seemed to worsen the effect.

When Lucy announced her final number there was an audible "good" from many in the audience which is not a great response with many giving her applause more through sympathy than appreciation.

Strange that this Lucy (Rhodes) just introduced herself as "Lucy" with no surname. Flute player Lucy Noble who appears to have supported Heather in earlier tour dates accompanied by a live band seems to have been so much more popular with audiences and received great comments on-line.

As a support act for Katherine Jenkins or perhaps Lesley Garrett, Lucy Rhodes would have been so much more appropriate. I also honestly don't think people expect to pay good money to watch somebody sing to a backing track these days either, even if this is the support act.

I suspect that there is more to this unannounced special guest than meets the eye and perhaps this act had to be arranged at short notice?

It just seemed such a waste that a talent like this had to perform in front of an audience who hadn't gone along to watch and listen to those types of songs being sung.

2 out of 5 for Lucy Rhodes

After this 30 minute act there was then a ridiculously long 30+ minute interval when sound checks were undertaken on all microphones. Something that should have been done prior to the support act. So an hour after starting the majority of the audience had now endured an act they had not enjoyed and an interval 30% longer than normal


Thank goodness M-People's Heather Small can still belt out the songs as powerfully and confidently as she ever did when M-People were topping the charts.

There isn't a lot I can say about this incredible performance from Heather and her acoustically incredible band members.

Heather SmallHeather covers M-Peoples greatest hits, she covers her own solo album hits. But she also ventures into her own cover versions of other artists' hits which are also utterly amazing.

There's a literally unforgettable performance of "Unforgettable". "Pearl's A Singer" , Elkie Brooks hit, is not everybody's cup of tea but Heather does an amazing rendition of this. I like the song anyway but even my wife who hates this track immensely preferred this over Brook's version.

Most unusual and outstanding though is Heather's take on ABBA's "Fernando". Only Heather could get away with slowing this slow Abba track down even more and adding a Reggae-type-twist to it.

Vocally Heather Small is outstanding, to meet she is delightful, and she certainly left an excellent impression on the audience after such a slow start to the evening.

My only critisism is that I really think there should have been 2 or 3 more tracks as Heather's on stage time is only about 80 minutes. Maybe it's down to the support act and very long interval but her time on stage seems a little on the short side and it would have been nice for the band to stretch this outstanding performance to a full 90 minutes.

A little lady with a big voice, great backing singers and a superb band. A highly recommended artist who we would gladly see again.
4 and a half out of 5 for Heather Small Print This Entry


  1. Elkie Brooks has to be the finest female singer the U.K. has ever produced. Her live shows are amazing.In a recent interview Heather Small said "Elkie Brooks was a huge influence on her"Elkie Brooks is the most charted(album artist) female singer in the U.K.So I guess a cup of tea to a lot of people . Frustrated journalist or what !!!!

  2. As an American in the U.K. I have been to many concerts. Elkie Brooks, is a great performer and singer. Would be much appreciated in the U.S.Elkie appears in the Guinness Book of Records. as the best selling female artist in the U.K. in the last 30years. Obviously has a huge fan base.
    Her delivery of . Rock. Blues, Jazz. Could not be bettered by another U.K. female singer.

  3. Love Heather Small, a great singer. Elkie Brooks is more of a rock and blues singer. For me the most unique female voice in the U.K.Great Elkie.


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