Packing out Academy 2 is an unusual type of crowd; unusual but not at all surprising. Tonight, it would seem the older generation has come out in force, dwarfing the younger minority, as a night of ‘50’s style rockabilly lies ahead. Recreating the Elvis/Grease era was a bold musical choice to make, especially when you consider it’s taken Dublin-born Imelda May 20-odd years to make any sort of living out of it, but finally the time and effort is paying off.
Backed by her troupe of merry men, May sparkles tonight, belting out song after song, rarely pausing for breath. With a voice most female artists these days would die for, her powerful and silky tones are put to good use in the upbeat ‘Love Tattoo’ as well as the more bluesy ‘Kentish Town Waltz’, showing incredible vocal flexibility.
However, as regular gig-goers know, it’s the personality of a frontman or woman that matters as much as how well they can sing, and it’s in the rare pauses between songs that her personable and down to earth nature shines through. Picking out certain members of the crowd and remembering them from previous shows is one example. Dedicating ‘Eternity’ to a couple who’d just got engaged is another.
Simply put, Imelda May is an incredible front woman. With talent in abundance, an endearing personality and stunning good looks to match, May really does have it all.
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