Thursday, November 15, 2007

First night: Amy's on the road again

Last night was the first night of Amy Winehouse's UK tour at the NIA in Birmingham. So, how did it go?

Stephen Dalton, in The Times, reported the show was alright, but misfired:

For all these churning emotions, this was not a classic show. Clearly the troubled chanteuse has other things on her mind, but the size of the venue also appeared to overwhelm her at times. The fetchingly sloppy, intimate delivery that works a treat in smaller clubs does not translate well to arenas, and some of her bouncy retro-soul hits fell a little flat.

However, The Sun's unnamed reviewer suggests the audience felt it was more than "a little flat":
AMY WINEHOUSE went into meltdown on stage last night hours after visiting her husband in jail.

The star appeared drunk and turned her gig into a crazed tribute to hubby BLAKE FIELDER-CIVIL, which had fans booing and walking out.

Hundreds left Birmingham’s NIA on the first night of her 17-date UK tour.

Now, we know when the Sun reports 'hundreds' walking out, it usually means a few, but the boos appear to have been genuine, as Amy, erm, threatened the people who expressed their disapproval:
And as fans tired of the mumbling star and began booing, Amy turned on her audience.

She said: “Let me tell you something. First of all, if you’re booing you’re a mug for buying a ticket.

“Second to all the people booing — just wait till my husband gets out.”

That's the best thing you can possibly say about a bloke who's soon to go on trial accused of beating the crap out of someone, we'd imagine.

And what of the stage outfit? Stephen Dalton in The Times was impressed:
She was dressed in a skimpy, shiny top and tight black skirt and her magnificent beehive squatted on top of her tiny head like a huge dead octopus.

The Sun, however, suggested someone should have told her she wasn't going out dressed like that:
Dressed in a tight black miniskirt and with her see-through top showing off her black bra, at one point her boobs almost popped out after she lost her balance.

Apparently, she trumped off stage before the gig was even properly finished as well - perhaps she went to join the small throng demanding their money back:
Fan James Dyas was one of those who walked out demanding his money back.

He said: “She came on stage half an hour late. She managed four songs but was slurring her words and swaying all over the place.

“She fell into the guitar stand and dropped the microphone — it was atrocious."

You could argue, though, that if you've bought a ticket to a Winehouse gig in the last six months or so, you do so on the understanding that you're not really to expect her to turn up, never mind stand up.

On the BBC News site, monkfish-faced jazz criminal Jamie Cullum pops up to offer his 'support' for Amy's professionalism:
"I don't think she'd want to miss a tour because she likes playing too much," he said.

Which is an optimistic viewpoint, but even that pales into the official response from the Winehouse camp to the wobbly show, which attempts to spin the thing:
A spokesman for Amy said last night: “It’s been a really emotional time for Amy but she was determined to do the gig.

“She broke down on stage a couple of times with real tears. That real emotion is why people love her, but it’s just really heightened at the moment."

Yes, people love being threatened with being beaten up by a thug by the person they've paid money to see. That'd be "heightened emotion", then.