Capitol Theater, Düsseldorf, Germany
Photos and review by Daniela Vorndran
With songs from her new album ‘Deeper’ plus many of her acclaimed hits, LISA STANSFIELD returned to German stages after four years, with her second-last show in Düsseldorf. The exceptional singer became a global soul ambassador in 1989 thanks to the world hit ‘All around the World’. For her tour in 2018, the Grammy winner promised not only concentrated stage power, but also an exquisite program: In addition to the bestsellers ‘All Around The World’, ‘This Is The Right Time’, ‘The Real Thing’, ‘8-3 -1’, ‘Let’s Just Call It Love’ or ‘If I Had not Got You’, you got also songs from her first new album since 2014.
On ‘Deeper’ (earMUSIC / edel, released in spring 2018), her eighth studio CD, the artist, honoured with various Brit Awards, cultivates the virtues that have made the young talent contest participant a star of international format: Pop, Jazz, Dance, Motown, and Northern Soul merge, with the voluminous, multi-faceted voice of petite Mrs. Stansfield, to funky grooving disco tracks, well-tempered soul-pop ballads, and laid-back easy-listening songs. Lisa still has an unbelievable stage presence and powerful voice, being celebrated in a sold-out hall in Düsseldorf, where people jumped from their seats already during the very first song!
03. Never, Never Gonna Give You Up (Barry White cover)
05. Hole In My Heart
06. The Real Thing
08. So Natural (Acoustic)
09. All Woman
10. Real Love
12. Never Ever
13. People Hold On
15. All Around The World
16. What Did I Do To You?
17. Ghetto Heaven (The Family Stand cover)
18. Live Together / Young Hearts Run Free
One year before the thirtieth anniversary Lisa Stansfield is on tour with old hits and the new songs of the album "Deeper". In the Frankfurt Alte Oper she conquers the audience at the W-Festival.
It's a real treat when an artist like Lisa Stansfield is still able to perform at such a high level on stage even after almost 30 years.
The singer, often referred to as the "British Queen of White Soul," takes to the stage in Frankfurt's Alte Oper and has the audience under control right from the start. The new songs fit perfectly into the ranks of the old hits.
With her usual powerful voice, she presents her mixture of pop and soul that has been known for decades. Already with "Everything" and "Deeper" the audience goes along enthusiastically; at "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" it flips then right: The interior is, claps and dances. Lisa Stansfield sweeps across the stage like a whirlwind with her fluttering golden pants and sings with great feeling.
At "Hercules", she lets her jacket glide over her shoulder before it is finally disposed of with momentum. Lisa Stansfield moves onstage with coolness and nonchalance, fueling the audience while the guitars add powerful accents in the background. This bundled energy is just as noticeable at the Powerballade "Hole In My Heart". The audience listens intently as Lisa Stansfield builds dramaturgical curves of tension with her vocals and her voice keeps climbing impressive heights.
First hit wave
As the first notes of "The Real Thing" sound, the audience jumps in the hall and dances on the funky groovy sound, always fueled by this energetic vocal power. The mood is thrilling and is further fueled by the long keyboard solo in "Change".
Carried by this exuberance, the setting for "So Natural" for a song changes to the acoustic part. On a foundation of cajón and acoustic guitar, the trumpeter sets to a solo, while Lisa Stansfield's voice skilfully blends into the harmonies.
In the middle of the concert, the quality of the new songs, which fit perfectly into the old hits. As the old song "Real Love" sounds and thus puts on pace and groove again, the audience is already back and dancing with. Lisa herself dances smoothly on the groove of the new song "Butterflies", whose sound is always interspersed with the accents of the trumpet and also boasts a powerful saxophone solo.
The also new "Never Ever" starts with a fiery percussion solo, which receives extra applause and with the further support of whistles creates a mood as at the Carnival in Rio. The mood reaches the highlight of the evening, the energetic hit "People Hold On" finally their absolute maximum. At the end there are standing ovations, loud cries and whistles.
The world we all live on is the defining theme of the last songs. Lisa starts with her biggest hit "All Around The World", which the audience enthusiastically sings and celebrates. In between, she plays "Ghetto Heaven", a cover of The Family Stand from 1990. This new version, which is initiated and finished by a lonely clarinet and supported by smooth-cool rhythms in between, is a veritable explosion of emotions.
The encore "Live Together / Young Hearts Run Free" is meant to remind everyone that we all have to live together somehow - and this message is coming. Carried on by a final solo of the saxophone, Lisa Stansfield leaves the stage after a bombastic show under standing ovation. How great the show is, is shown by the fact that this firework of first-class songs is not even missing "This Is The Right Time", after all a top 20 hit of the German single charts and a real radio hit.
Everything / Deeper / Never, Never Gonna Give You Up / Hercules / Hole In My Heart / The Real Thing / Change / So Natural / All Woman / Real Love / Butterflies / Never Ever / People Hold On / Billionaire / All Around The World / What Did I Do To You? / Ghetto Heaven // Live Together / Young Hearts Run Free
Report from 10.05.2018 in Frankfurt am Main, Alte Oper - Great Hall
By Erik Winkes for regioactive.de
Lisa Stansfield’s direct style and velvety voice are once again thrilling the public. Before listening to Deeper, her latest album, let’s hear from the great English lady of R&B.
There’s always a sort of halo around legends—probably created by our own projections. The global hit “All Around the World” crystallized an era, with its mix of dance, soul, pop and groove. Lisa Stansfield has sold more than 15 million albums and acted in a number of films. When she strides across the lobby of the Hôtel Pont Royal, in Paris, it’s hard to look away. Today, she’s shown up in leather, head to toe: a Rick Owens jacket, Armani Black Label aviator hat, J Brand pants and Tracey Neuls ankle boots. And then this vibrant, sharp woman immediately starts to talk, her voice rich and gravelly.
So where does your voice come from? How much of it is Manchester?
Oh, that growly part? That’s Manchester, a sort of animal roar, from all the passion and excess. But you know, I’ve been singing professionally since the age of 14. My mum used to say, “go to your room and sing.” She was a big fan of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye. So I incorporated all these voices, as well as the thousands of sounds, the intonations that you hear without knowing where they come from. It’s magical, like chemistry. So many voices have merged, unconsciously, with mine: Prince, Chaka Khan, Barry White. They were all my teachers.
There is so much love in your voice, like an endless incantation. Has life been kind to you?
Yes, life’s been good to me. I was dealt a very good hand. I met my future husband and producer, Ian Devaney, when I was 14 years old. We got married eight years later and have been together ever since. But I don’t take anything for granted. You have to work hard every day to stay lucky.
Your duet with Barry White is incredible, very unsettling and intimate, and full of sensuality. Do you remember how you met?
I remember it well! Everyone, my people and his people, were super cautious. We felt like monkeys in a cage: “Don’t give them anything to drink, don’t give them any wine, don’t do this, don’t do that.” They were treating us like children. So with Barry, we had a couple of glasses of wine that we hid behind our chairs. That relaxed the atmosphere. We made friends that day; that’s probably why this duet is so fusional. His voice makes you feel so good, so nice. It vibrates through your whole body. It’s like a sensual feeling that immediately relaxes you.
It probably feels strange to look back at those years when you became famous. What’s your takeaway from that time?
You know, when you’re an artist, you’re in a sort of bubble. Life seems unreal: the stage, television, studios, tours. You aren’t really in control, you just keep moving. Looking back, I realize that I didn’t run any part of my life; everything was determined by the various circumstances.
What do you think about this period now? Has the world improved since then?
I’d probably say that today it’s amazing to be able to meet people, communicate, travel, learn a new language at home, all through a computer. It’s tremendous progress. But I also see how social media can destroy people’s lives. You get a hundred supportive, nice messages, then you find one that’s horribly cruel, sent anonymously. That can easily ruin your entire day.
What throws you off?
Everything throws me off, all the time. You couldn’t do this job without being a little bit crazy.
What kind of food turns you into a barbarian?
Ah, well, an entire roast chicken, that does it for me. It’s a change from the tripe with vinegar from my childhood—now that was disgusting.
Do you change perfumes with the seasons?
I love the scent of roses, especially the fragrance by Jo Malone, and also bergamot—it makes happy.
Is there one of your songs that you love, but that no one else really noticed?
Pfff . . . I’m incapable of predicting which ones are going to be hits and which ones won’t get picked up. Never ask me which song’s going to be a commercial success. Anyway, if we could tell, we’d have been millionaires years ago. A song has its own life, its own lucky star. It’s all up to chance.
EN TOURNÉE AU MOIS DE MAI
1.05 Gasteig Philharmonie, Munich.
2.05 MuseumsQuartier, Halle E+G, Vienne.
4.05 Haus Auensee, Leipzig.
5.05 Mehr! Theater, Hambourg.
6.05 Friedrichstadt-Palast, Berlin.
8.05 Theaterhaus, Stuttgart.
10.05 Alte Oper, Francfort.
11.05 Capitol Theater, Düsseldorf.
13.05 Theater am Aegi, Hannover.
Interview by François Simon for Air France magazine
Photograph Frankie & Nikki
Now its so much deeper....
Review by Valerio Mendolia (17 years old fan from Germany)
Last month Lisa released her eighth studio album which presents a special side and a fresh new sound of her.
'Everything' is a great opening track of the album and makes you want to dance to it´s electro-pop tunes. The second track 'Twisted' has a more romantic touch and is inspired by the Northern Soul sound of the 70s. Followed by 'Desire' which has a big sound to boot, is about love on the first sight. The first three tracks are a good start of the journey through the new album.
In the fourth track 'Billionaire' Lisa´s powerful voice really sticks out and made it to an amazing sound. It is about being careful for what you wish for.
'Coming Up For Air' turns into a slower tempo and makes you to sit down for a moment to relax and enjoy this track. The following track 'Love Of My Life' has a rhythmic beat which includes plenty of Soul.
'Never Ever' remains a little bit of the classic sound of Disco. It really makes you to move your feet up and just being happy. 'Hercules' contains a lot of motivation to stand up to its ground and to move on. The following track is a beautiful and emotional ballad. In the sound of 'Hole In My Heart' you can hear that it comes from the heart.
The last part of the album starts with the album naming tack 'Deeper' which is about Lisas relationship to her husband. The sound of it combines Soul and some Jazz tunes.
'Butterflies' follows with a big sound and plenty of Funk. It gets you into happy mood and when you hear it you cant stand still. The album close with the cover version of 'Ghetto Heaven' (originally performed by Family Stand in 1990) and makes you feel great with its superior quality.
My personal outstanding favourite tracks are 'Everything', 'Never Ever', 'Butterflies' and 'Ghetto Heaven'.
Summing up; the new album is diverse in sound. It is a great mix of Pop, Soul and Funk which forms the basis and combines those with the classic and well-known sound of Lisa Stansfield. Especially for her fans the album might be something special. It is like the kid of her first two studio albums and remains of that sound from back then.
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