GIG REVIEW – RONNIE SPECTOR
The close of 2015 saw a short UK tour from the legendary Ronnie Spector under the billing of “Ronnie Spector sings the Fabulous Ronettes”. Still touring at the age of 72, Ronnie brought over her full American band to play a short series of dates and LGA gig reviewer, Paul Wood, was there to catch her show in Birmingham.
Ronnie was in fine form and, although the Town Hall was not sold out (the gig had been moved from Symphony Hall), she gave the crowd of assembled devotees a set which was a mix of hits, cult classics such as “Paradise” and “I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine”, plus her interpretation of other songs, both old (“Time Is On My Side”) and new (“Back To Black”).
Here’s a Youtube link to the original single version of “Paradise” (written by Harry Nilsson and with the full Phil Spector Wall of Sound production behind it)
Although the show had an unexpected delay before starting, Ronnie quickly had the crowd hanging on her ever word – she started the show with “Be My Baby” and her trademark voice was still strong.
Here’s a link to footage of Ronnie singing “Be My Baby” at the Jools Holland New Year show in 2014/5.
Between songs Ronnie sat down and treated the audience to various short stories from her career with the Ronettes, accompanied by archive footage and photos on the big screen behind the band. The Ronettes first came over to the UK in the early 60s where they toured with the Rolling Stones and met The Beatles. The Ronettes were given top billing over the Stones on their 1964 UK tour, and were later to meet up again (and support) the Beatles in the States after Beatlemania had broken out..
Here’s a link to footage of Ronnie singing “Walking In The Rain” at the Jools Holland New Year show in 2014/5.
Ronnie’s first ever career retrospective came out last year (Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector) and the disc includes “Baby I Love You”, “Be My Baby”, “I Can Hear Music”, “Try Some, Buy Some”, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood”, “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” and more. It’s well worth buying, and Ronnie tells the audience that she’s hoping to have a new album called “English Heart” out next year too!
Encores captured the Christmas theme with “Frosty The Snowman” and the set closed with her version of “I Can Hear Music” (which was the last single released by the Ronettes on the Philles label in 1966).
For news of upcoming releases and tour dates check out her website and Facebook pages at:
Baby I Love You
Keep On Dancing
What I’d Say
Time Is On My Side
Is This What I Get For Loving You
Do I Love You
Chapel Of Love
Walking In The Rain
Best Part of Breaking Up
I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
Back To Black
Be My Baby
Frosty The Snowman
I Can Hear Music
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Here’s a link to footage of Ronnie in her late 1970s comeback singing “Be My Baby” with Sha Na Na on their TV show: