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MELANIE C - Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
26 April 2003

Into the first few gigs of a 12-date tour, Melanie C couldn't really fail in her adopted "home" territory. And with two "nans" in the audience, this was more than just a partisan crowd.

Showcasing her current album 'Reason' but with a 'best of' trawl through her debut solo album 'Northern Star', the repertoire is characterised by strong hooks, a superb voice and a heavy rock undercurrent. I am sure this is an aspect she will develop in the future. We always thought that in the Spice Girls here was a rocker trying to get out, and even the earlier more pop-orientated material came over with heavyweight power.

As Mel said, "Without my band I am nothing". A slight exaggeration, but it would be good if she could keep together what is basically a touring band. They are excellent musicians and there is the possible novelty of a leggy, Goth-attired lady bass player and female keyboard player who both provide subtle harmonies.

With the new material coming across well, including the fabulous 'Melt', the new single 'On The Horizon' and the superb title track for the first encore, both her adulating home-turf fans, and her nans, would have gone home with a spring in their step.

Text © 2003 James Rutherford

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