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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ronnie Spector

Latest in my trip down memory lane. Just clearing out some stuff and finding bits here and there that I think I should post.

In the cavern like intimacy of the Glasgow Arches I was privileged to see the last ever UK performance by the legendary Ronnie Spector.
To say she was phenomenal would be to downplay just how good this gig was.
After a long intro from the band she arrived on stage, lifted the microphone to her lips and from that moment on held the audience in the palm of her hand.
As she closed her first song a lone male voice shouted out for Be my baby. In response Ronnie chuckled throatily and said "It's coming later on", then after a pause of a few seconds she looked out into the crowd and said "but I could be your baby".
At that moment I think every man in the crowd felt a little tug in their chest, and with those six little words she had us.
Ronnie herself was in fine voice and looked stunning. She's still slim, still has the big hair and still has those very, very beautiful eyes. On some tracks her voice soared and she transported us back to the sixties and seventies. On others she sounded a tad rawer and far more intimate for it.
So young is a good example of this. No longer is it the voice of a young girl longing to grow up, but rather it's the voice of an older woman singing from a reflective perspective, and that gave it far more resonance. A true classic in every sense of the word.
It would be unfair to single that song out as a highlight though, as every song was a highlight enhanced by Ronnie adding to the intimacy of the evening by interacting with the crowd between each one. Sometimes it would be a simple response to shouts from the crowd, while prior to others it would be a little intro.
There was no dips in the set at all. Her cover of the Amy Winehouse track Back to Black showed us that although Amy has a fine voice she aint no Ronnie Spector. While her and guitarist Daniel Rey's take on the Johnny Thunders song You can't put your arms around a memory was the sort that raises the hair on your neck.
All the hits were played and more. Each song was met with and ended on rapturous applause, and deservedly so.
I really do feel privileged that I was there. In decades of witnessing bands and artists play all over the UK this is the one that I will forever be revisiting in my head. It was that good.
That it was the last of her dates here and she will not be touring the UK again holds it's own bittersweet taste, but at least I am one of the literally hundreds that can say that I was there on the last night.
Thankfully I was there. There is only one Ronnie Spector, and there will never be another.


  1. At the time this was billed as her last ever UK tour, but since there has been some shows.
    So If Ronnie touches down near you then I would say it's a must see show.

  2. I finally made it here!
    There's really no escape!