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Cyndi Lauper Gig Review

Heather Price loves Lauper, both on and off stage

Written by . Published on June 21st 2011.

Cyndi Lauper Gig Review

WHEN you think of Cyndi Lauper, you think ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’, ‘True Colours’ and ‘Time After Time’. But Cyndi is currently undergoing a worldwide tour to showcase her sultry blues album, Memphis Blues.

I watched in utter amusement as the security guards chased a rampant Cyndi around the stalls of the hall, ready to catch her should she fall off the tops of seats.

Can she sing the blues? As it turns out, she can. She can sing pretty much anything. But a word of advice: experience her blues live, because the album isn’t loud enough to cover the fantastic experience.

013 %282%29When my fiancée and I walked in to find our seats, it turned out we had underestimated the audience a little. Naturally, we knew there would be a large LGBT following, but the crowd before us was like a tidal wave of gay swept in from all the world’s largest LGBT villages.

We played the game of spot the hetros – the overwhelmed straight couples wedged between queens and kings. Wonderland had arisen in Bridgewater Hall, the majority had become the minority, and it was amusingly brilliant. It was a pleasure to see Cyndi’s lesbian following - those who have no doubt experienced Cyndi’s synths on the odd lesbian cruise. Classy.

We found our seats, four rows from the stage and plonked ourselves down next to two men who squealed with delight when I asked if I could take their picture for Confidential. Cyndi came on stage a good 20 minutes late like a true diva, but the crowd were more than welcoming when she emerged. I’m still quite deaf to be honest.

Cyndi chose a fitting venue for her blues boom; Manchester’s academic and melodic Bridgewater Hall and last night saw the place come alive like never before – both artist and crowd forgetting that this wasn’t the party popping MEN Arena. I watched in utter amusement as the security guards chased a rampant Cyndi around the stalls ready to catch her, should she fall off the tops of seats. She didn’t of course and the result was an unusual yet wonderful performance of blues music.

008Keeping in touch with the retro funk she’s always known, Cyndi folded her charismatic flamboyance into her blues originals and covers, turning the venue into a trashy and cheerful underground NYC blues club. It felt secret, intimate and caring.

When she burst into the hit ‘She Bop’, she immediately clocked me and my partner’s T-shirts. Cyndi fronts the ‘We Give a Damn Campaign’ - a charity which strives to gain equality for LGBT people. It branches neatly off her True Colours Fund. Our T-shirts yelled the question, ‘Do You Give a Damn?’ To which Cyndi cried ‘yes’ and ran down towards us from the stage.

The two seats in front of us, which remained empty, served as a miniature stage for Cyndi to serenade us and the crowd behind. Afterwards, she gave me and my partner a lovely hug and it was then I realised there was someone in the world shorter than myself. A couple of songs later, she ran back to us and did the same thing all over again – it was bliss.

005Cyndi used the gig as a site of activism and cosmopolitan persuasion. Before finishing her set with ‘True Colours’, she spoke out against racism, gay bashing and homophobia, stating that we are “citizens of the world, so we must all pull together”.

I honestly couldn’t have been more proud of someone at that moment: a true activist running several charitable organisations and performing a worldwide sell-out tour at 58 (59 on 22 June). Her energy was magnificent and endless. Nothing choreographed, just sheer feeling. This led the audience to do the very same, dancing like complete hooligans to blues numbers such as ‘Early in the Mornin’, ‘Down Don’t Bother Me’, ‘How Blue Can You Get?’ and ‘Don’t Cry No More’.

004Yet of course, the crowd went even more wild for international Lauper hits such as, ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’, ‘All Through the Night’, ‘Time After Time’ and Marvin Gaye cover ‘What’s Going On’.

Memphis Blues includes top blues guests such as B.B. King, Charlie Musselwhite, Ann Peebles and Allen Toussaint. It has been at the top of the blues charts for a while now, indicating Cyndi’s success as a varied musician. After selling more than 30 million albums in 25 years, here’s hoping Cyndi comes back for at least one more tour in her lifetime before leaving us with her legacy forever – because this diva is one not to miss.

You can join the We Give a Damn campaign at http://www.wegiveadamn.org

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AnonymousJune 22nd 2011.

Was there, and Cyndi was brilliant as usual! This review sums it up perfectly - fine piece of music journalism.

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