Kiki Dee & Carmelo Luggeri Review – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Kiki Dee & Carmelo Luggeri
Image Source: Gigseekr

Show: Kiki Dee & Carmelo Luggeri

Location: Floral Pavilion Blue Lounge, New Brighton

Date: Friday, 25th February 2022

Time: 20.00

Running Time: 140 Minutes

Age Rating: 14+

Introduction

A small but appreciative audience gathered in the Floral Pavilion’s Blue Lounge for an intimate performance from Kiki Dee and musical partner Carmelo Luggeri who have been writing and performing together for over twenty years.

Indeed, they appeared together on the legendary Old Grey Whistle Test as recently as 2018, gaining critical acclaim for their performance.

The Evening

As well as the better known Kiki Dee songs, there were also several, exceptional covers. The first number ‘What you wish for’ gave us an idea of what the evening had in store for us.  Consequently, this was followed by a lovely acoustic, stripped back version of the classic Elton and Kiki 1976 hit ‘Don’t go Breaking my heart’.  There followed ‘Small Mercies’, a beautiful song, and a stunning cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Running up that Hill’. 

Further covers included Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ and a brilliant version of ‘Let it Be’ by the Everly Brothers.  I was a little disappointed with the cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘Very Good Year’ but I think that was because it was a little speeded up for my personal taste and I adore the song.

Originally from Bradford, Kiki went to London as a teenager and sang backing vocals for Dusty Springfield followed by achieving her own successful hits. Later Kiki would perform in West End musicals.

Mesmerising

On stage this evening, even close up, Kiki looks fabulous.  Trademark red hair and enviable figure and her voice as clear as a bell.  Her understated, gentle keyboard playing complimented by Carmelo’s virtuoso acoustic guitar was almost mesmerising.  Carmelo demonstrated the use of a live looping pedal and a type of slide style of playing was reminiscent of Indian sitar playing.

Further original songs followed including ‘Until we Meet Again’, a touching song about Kiki’s mother and the title of their new album ‘The Long Ride Home’, slightly country with a great beat.

‘I’ve got the Music in Me’ had a good few of the audience on their feet and there was great energy within the room.

The penultimate song was Kiki’s hit, ‘Loving and Free’ and the audience sang along and the encore included the Beatles’ Blackbird which was beautifully performed with an almost spiritual feel.

It was a very enjoyable evening with an authentic performance from a very classy lady and an extremely talented guitarist.  I took the opportunity to buy their CD ‘The Long Ride Home’ and have listened to it all day, ten outstanding songs.

Atmospheric and Uplifting 8/10

Kiki and Carmelo are appearing in Halifax over this weekend and have a hectic schedule right through Spring 2022.  Catch them for a thoughtful and enjoyable evening.