Sophie Ellis-Bextor - The Song Diaries | Page 43 | The Popjustice Forum

Sophie Ellis-Bextor - The Song Diaries

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by *Leon*, Oct 25, 2017.

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  1. Agreed! I still remember posting something on the lines of “If Kylie did Bittersweet, it’d go top 10, but it only underperformed because it didn’t have a BIG artist’s name tagged to it.

    @China_Heart i hope you enjoy the show. Do post your review (and pictures and videos if possible) here
    Jacques and muddleddreams like this.
  2. Make a Scene is nice! I loved it at the time. That said, it is dramatically improved with a few simple changes: replace "Bittersweet", "Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer)", and "Not Giving Up on Love" with their extended mixes, and delete "Can't Fight This Feeling" and "Homewrecker." Really brings it up to the level of an album instead of just being a potpourri of hits-that-never-were.
    Island and AndrewX like this.
  3. “Dial My Number” is one of my favorite tracks...
    LPT, jakeyfw, SeedySmith and 2 others like this.
  4. Yes! "Dial My Number" is also one of my favorite tracks on "Make A Scene". Love the lyrics about her stalker and it was perfect as the opener when she was touring the album.

    @China_Heart Have fun stomping on the medley!
  5. Thank you!
    I did have fun in the end. But no medley, or at least not the one that Sophie got us used to...

    But let's start from the beginning, and no photos or videos, sorry @kaushik !

    The show was very short, only one hour and 20 minutes, the Festival Hall was very full, not sold out, but a lot of people. Pleasantly surprised.

    Sophie looked amazing, as always, with glittery disco numbers that suited her very nicely and hid her belly, apart from the last one, a jumpsuit, which was very tight!

    The show was clearly divided into 2 halves, the first dedicated to showcase the orchestral hits, and the second to a true disco galore, much faster and more fun, where she performed all the big hits.

    It doesn't take a scientist to understand which part I liked best, and with me, the whole audience. Everybody jumped up from their seats as soon as she started singing Bittersweet, signalling the start of the disco section. And it was magnificent from then on.

    Before then, well, dear Looooord what a tragic snoozefest! I mean, sorry Sophie, but the orchestral arrangements of your songs really DO NOT WORK. I thought it was because at the presentation gig she only had a quartet accompanying her, but this time she had a full-on huge orchestra, with conductor and all. And still they fell flat. The arrangements are lovely, but, Sophie, come on, you are not Ennio Morricone, and the classical music treatment only shows the thinness of some of your material. They are meant to be pop songs basking in the glory of big sinths and bass sounds, a kind of electro heaven. If you take out all the bops, there's nothing much left.

    In the first half the songs that really stood out were Love Is A Camera (now, that was amazing!!! Shivers down my spine), Not Giving Up On Love (we knew it would be, but it's sooooo good) and Young Blood (Lovely harmonies and the songs lends itself well to the style, but God why making it even slower?!). Then one of my favourite songs of all times: Today The Sun's On Us. I was soooooo curious to hear this, since I truly love it. And I thought it was really good, but somehow I hoped it would be even more cinematic, also it didn't need any change in tempo or delivery, in my opinion. Still, very good.
    The rest were forgettable and tedious and sometimes I got really cross, like when she completely destroyed the chorus of Catch You, an amazing pop tune, reduced to dragging uneventful ballad.
    Or when she completely killed the amazing carefree bubblegum pop tastiness of Music Gets The Best Of Me.
    Overall, I now think I will probably hate the new album and I will only play a bunch of the songs.

    List of songs performed in the first half (not sure of the order):
    Groovejet, Wild Forever, Catch You, Me And My Imagination, Not Giving Up On Love, Young Blood, Love Is A Camera, Today The Sun's On Us, Music Gets The Best Of Me. (Am I forgetting anything?)

    In the second half, she sang:
    Bittersweet, Take Me Home a medley of Groovejet (in disco form), Love Is You and two other 70s disco hits one of which was Young Hearts Run Free.
    Then her piece de resitence: Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer. It went down a storm. It was amazing! Everybody was screaming and dancing.
    And finally she ended it with the usual Murder, which also was received with huge enthusiasm.
    The second part was the usual Sophie show and Richard and the other players were also there playing with the orchestra. If she redid the hits in that way, simply adding the orchestra, as in old 70s disco, but basically leaving them as they are, with the right tempo, then I think the project would have been more successful.

    Oh, and for @kaushik , at the end, she disappeared, and appeared again amongst the audience, on the balcony, singing without the mic. Guess what? A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed.

    Quite an anti-climax after Murder, to be perfectly honest. But lovely nonetheless. And then she was gone.
    biffy77, Crisp X, LPT and 3 others like this.
  6. @China_Heart just beat me to it with the setlist! I th8nk I’ve got the order right below!
    Sophie was incredible tonight! The place was packed (not full but at least 2000 people there she said)!
    She sounded brilliant and full of energy. The tracks sounded stunning with the orchestra and they played excellently. I recommend that people get to the tour in June.
    The merch was two t-shirts, poster, tote bag and a limited edition print, like a watercolour painting. All looks lovely.

    Groovejet (Orchestral)
    Wild Forever
    Catch You
    Me and My Imagination
    Young Blood (my personal highlight. The strings were stunning
    Love Is A Camera
    Not Giving Up On Love (this worked so well as an orchestral mix)
    Today the Sun’s On Us
    Music Gets The Best Of Me
    *Disco Section*
    Bittersweet (mainly an interlude, but she sang the chorus, middle 8 and chorus)
    Take Me Home
    Love Is You
    Young Hearts, Run Free
    Don’t Leave Me This Way (Communards cover)
    Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer
    Murder On The Dancefloor
    A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed (on a balcony with no microphone and just strings)

    Take Me Home/Love Is You/Young Hearts, Run Free/Don’t Leave Me This Way/Groovejet was a medley of some sorts. The songs were performed for at least 2/3 mins each
    biffy77, LPT, kaushik and 1 other person like this.
  7. The show was gorgeous from start to finish! It was well sequenced with ballads at the beginning and the big studio 54 sounds in the second half. Her chat was good and the audience were into all of it judging from the applause and the standing ovation.
    I really can’t understand the mentality of people who spend quite so many words in a public forum bitching about someone they’re supposed to be a fan of?
    Vyrisus, andrew.hbb, jakeyfw and 3 others like this.
  8. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    I really enjoyed the show. The orchestral arrangements sounded lovely but I appreciated the split between the quieter first half and the dancier second half.

    And A Pessimist... sounded gorgeous.
    Crisp X, LPT, New Flame and 5 others like this.
  9. Jam


    Was also at the show. Loved it. But then I always loves me an orchestra. Might post a bit more later.
    londonrain, muddleddreams and kaushik like this.
  10. That Freemasons remix of Bittersweet was amazing. I still can't believe those remix synths weren't included on the original. They are massive.
    Santi319 likes this.
  11. I've been a fan of Sophie since the beginning of her career, so it's been really a long time. And as everybody knows here, I've always supported her and always will. I wasn't bitching, just giving my personal opinion.
    I loved the show, she was great, as she always is. It's the orchestral arrangements of her hits that I didn't enjoy, and not all of them, only some. As I said, the disco section was really great!
    You can't always like everything an artist does, even if you love them, and it's fair to be critical, in my opinion. And I'm usually one of those who actually love everything that Sophie does, I adored both Wanderlust and Familia.
    I simply think the songs that lend themselves better to get the orchestral treatment are the ones that are already ballads and the Ed Harcourt ones. The dance songs and pop masterpieces become really dull with an orchestral soundscape. Not the verses, it's specifically the choruses that suddenly lack any life or energy. Wild Forever is a clear example. Amazing song, it simply doesn't work as an orchestral number.
    Just my opinion.

    And just to be clear, I don't only like the dance/disco songs Sophie recorded, I might actually prefer the ballads. But again, I think she should have recorded songs like Can't Have It All, Hello Hello, Is It Any Wonder, I'm Not Good At Not Getting What I Want, By Chance, What Have We Started, Synchronised, Magic, Starlight etc. Not the hits.
    I seriously think she missed a trick there, it would have been immensely more interesting and the songs would have suited the new sound so much better.
    biffy77, LPT, New Flame and 1 other person like this.
  12. Island

    Island Staff Member

    Under Your Touch is kind of her ultimate basic bop tho.
    New Flame and OspreyQueen like this.
  13. *hears uuuuuuuuh sound from the workroom of RPDR*
  14. Having watched some recordings on Instagram, I'm even more excited for this album. So many songs sound really good. Me And My Imagination sounds lovely, I was worried about this one. Today The Sun's On Us sounds grand - I'm expecting it to sound fuller and bigger on the record. Youngblood sounds magnificent - its an improvement over the understated album version. Not Giving Up On Love is also an improvement over the album version. Also, she might be repeating the same trick plenty of times now, but I love that she does one song at the end of the show without a microphone. It just shows how much her vocals have improved over the last 21 years.

    And @China_Heart wasn't kidding about the entire hall coming alive for the disco section. She's such an incredible performer and the fact that she isn't letting her pregnancy slow her down is just...I have so much respect for this woman! Its good to know that the hall was packed. I really hope this does well for her. If it does shift a good number of copies, maybe she'll consider doing orchestral versions of the deep cuts of her albums at some point of time.
    Jam, muddleddreams and londonrain like this.
  15. I've attended 3 Sophie concerts during her carrier and I have to say that, as much as I enjoy her disco songs, it was beautiful to have the chance to hear the old songs in this new dress! She was lovely and radiant and I had the feeling she was in her place even during the pure orchestra section!
    Don't know if anyone mentioned this but she told a small and funny story about the arrangements for Me and my imagination (rabbits jumping) and Love is a camera (she imagined the final part with characters kill one after the other like in an Agatha Christie book)! I love her so much!

    P.S.: even if I lost my s*** with Heartbreak make me a dancer I would have liked to hear the full proper orchestral version, can't wait for the album now!
    Oh and I bought a beautiful limited edition poster drawn by the artist who did the album cover!
    biffy77, strictmachine79, LPT and 4 others like this.
  16. Little things like this make me wish she’d filmed the concert.
  17. I'm interested in attending this tour, but is it seated only?
  18. No Come With Us in the disco section? :’( why oh why
  19. It’s not on the album. One could argue that the covers are not on the album as well, but she generally includes a cover on her tour sets, which subsequently get recorded and released. Hopefully the two new covers get released at some point. (@ BBC and their random compilations...)
    londonrain likes this.
  20. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    Last night was seated only but everyone stood up for the whole disco section.

    I don't think there are any more dates until her proper tour in June, though.
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