SuRie, Palace Theatre, Redditch
SHE may not have won Eurovision, but Britain’s brilliant and unflappable singer SuRie certainly won over the hearts of the Redditch audience at this superb stormy Sunday afternoon gig.
The concert had been billed as SuRie Unplugged, but she was accompanied try a string section (violin, viola and cello) electric bass and acoustic guitar while she played the piano.
And oh what a voice!
Such is her power, range and control that one was left asking how on earth she didn’t bring home the trophy that Saturday night in Lisbon.
We had to wait to the end of the gig to find out (and no it wasn’t the stage invader) as SuRie took us on a tour of some of the highlights of Eurovision through the ages.
We kicked off with Riverdance, the music that launched the dance phenomenon, which we were informed, was interval music at the 1994.
It was then straight into Abba’s Waterloo, starting as a ballad before funking it up to the finale.
There were the hits of Johnny Logan, all three beautiful ballads, Conchita Wurst’s ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’’ (2014) and Sweden’s ‘Euphoria’ of 2012.
Due respect was paid to British winners, including ‘Puppet on a String’ by Sandy Shaw (1976), ‘Save All Your Kisses For Me’ Brotherhood of Man (1976) and ‘Making Your Mind Up’ by Bucks Fizz (1981).
Along the way SuRie also revealed that she is in fact a Eurovision veteran, having helped with the Belgian entry in both 2015 and 2017, before being selected to represent the United Kingdom in 2018.
The hits kept on coming as we built towards ‘Storm’ the song she sang on May 12, but first she paid tribute to the winner, Netta, from Israel by performing ‘Toy’.
Finally ‘Storm’ arrived. sang beautifully like all the others before it, it soon became apparent that, despite the obvious talents of the singer, it didn’t have that essential Eurovision ingredient – a hook big enough to land a whale. Ah well, there’s always next year.
SuRie meanwhile is sure to go out to bigger and greater things.
A truly accomplished musician, lovely voice, wicked sense of humour, she really is bound for the stars.
And when she gets there a select few will be able to say, ‘I saw her in Redditch at the Palace’.