Watford Colosseum 27th February 2015
Elkie Brooks has been singing professionally for 55 years which is amazing in itself, what is totally surprising though is that her unique voice still sounds fantastic, it has not changed since her 70's heyday! From her first Band Dada to fronting the raunchy and vibrant Vinegar Joe (also featuring the charismatic Robert Palmer) Elkie has gone from being the original Rock Chick, to embracing the Blues and evolving into classy the Jazz orientated singer she is today. Just scratch the surface and that rocky edge is still there too!
Elkie played the Colosseum back in the day when it was known as Watford Town Hall, so it was a real pleasure to see Elkie and her band back again. The Watford Town Hall may have reinvented itself but it still has the amazing acoustics that made it famous with the recording orchestras of yesteryear. The sound tonight was enhanced by the talents of Elkie's husband and sound engineer Trevor Jordan. Elkie's voice was crystal clear, the volume just about right and you could hear every note perfectly. A rarity these days with so many gigs being far too loud and distorted to enjoy.
When Elkie comes onto the stage not only is her voice incredible but her stage presence is infused with energy and vitality, she really does enjoy performing and it shows. The crowd absolutely love her. An absolute pro right down to her toes and looks stunning, you'd never have thought she had just turned 70.
Elkie kicks off with the bluesy Could Have Been An Angel followed by Gasoline Alley, made famous by Rod Stewart, then into the Bluesy Do right Woman. The hits were there too – Fool If You Think It's Over, Sunshine After The Rain, We Don't Cry Out Loud – which was absolutely stunning - No More The Fool, Lilac Wine and of course Pearls A Singer. I especially loved her version of Nights In White Satin, fabulous!
Elkie changes for the second set into an sassy outfit and has a figure to die for. This inspirational woman can hold a note for longer than anyone I have ever seen and make it look effortless. The crowd can't get enough of her and she finishes her show with Prince's Purple Rain and Bob Seger's We Got Tonight to a well deserved standing ovation.
Later we chat to her sound engineer and notice the set list finishes with 'PUB'. I'll drink to that! What a wonderful night to celebrate!
Photo by Christophe Cohen