Zoe Gilby: Travellin' Blues, Way Down in the Hole, In the Warm Room, Waters of March. Letting Zoe open the show is is in effect saying "Follow that!" In particular her opening blues was a mega performance that got the evening off to loud applause.
Claire Kelly: Rhode Island is Famous For You, Mr Ugly, Let's Slip Away, At Long Last Love. Claire picked up the gauntlet unhesitatingly. She's taken Giant Steps since I first heard her at the Jazz Café - not least in stage presence. Gowned, as was Zoe, Claire looked good and sounded good - her version of Rhode Island was brilliant and it isn't an easy song to sing. I recall hearing Blossom Dearie do it on YouTube. Same relaxed feel to it.
Lindsay Hannon: Nature Boy, Blue Motel, Why Try to Change me Now?, But Beautiful. Vocal coach Lindsay disproves the old theory that those who can do and those who can't teach! Joni Mitchell's Blue Motel came across as a poignant lament whilst Why Try to Change me Now? was laid back yet with an infectious lilt to it. Fashion-wise Lindsay opted for minimilism.
Ruth Lambert: If You Don't Go, Love Me Like a Man, Wild is the Wind, Good Bait. Ruth began low key - almost as casual as the jeans she wore - building up to an awesome finale on Good Bait. Tremendous performance. Ruth, incidentally, can be heard again tonight (Monday May 23) at The Cherry Tree Restaurant, Jesmond.
It goes without saying that the rhythm section of Stu Collingwood (pno); Andy Champion (bs); Richard Brown (dms) gave the singers superb backing as well as soloing well in their own right. Suggestion for next time - and there surely must be a next time - a four girl finale say Four Brothers a la Man Tran re-titled Four Sisters?
PS: Marianne Faithfull is going to have it all to do at The Sage tonight!