Article Title:Review: Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox
Author or Credit:Jay Bennie
Published on:5th June 2014 - 08:38 am
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Story ID:15191
Text:Michael Griffiths Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox Michael Griffiths Auckland International Cabaret Season In an age of manufactured groups, pop divas and mono-talented wannabes competing for fame Michael Griffiths is something much more rewarding and heart-warming - an all-round entertainer. Sitting at a piano in the Concert Chamber of the Auckland Town Hall last night Griffiths guided us lightly through the complicated life and intensely personal songs of soulful Scottish songstress Annie Lennox. This wasn't an impersonation. Griffiths, a witty, intelligent and slightly camp presence, simply introduced himself as Lennox and over the course of an hour and a half talked us through her life, loves and personal dramas in the first person. Context was all and songs were interspersed to fit. Missionary Man highlighted Lennox's early pre-Eurythmics years, her intense musical education and burgeoning hunger for the joys and dangers of romantic love, a love which "distorts and deranges." Through her various personal and professional relationships with Dave Stewart and others, her determination to make a musical career on her own terms (Walking on Broken Glass), Jealousy (Who's That Girl), Griffiths maintained an affable, wry and slightly sly presence. His voice has a soaring and wide range, easily encompassing the luxuriousness of Lennox's own delivery, but the songs and snippets of songs were undeniably sung a la Griffiths - albeit with the same blend of power and vulnerability which has always made Lennox so compelling. The original arrangements were quite magnificent and his self-accompaniment on the piano a tour de force. Slipping effortlessly between full songs and echoes of lyrics and melodies, between commentaries and asides, Griffiths was disarming and delightful as he familiarised us with the many reasons Lennox was his musical idol as he was growing up. Michael Griffiths in Sweet Dreams - Songs by Annie Lennox was an absolute treat, making his follow-up show tonight In Vogue: Songs by Madonna ("...she's a bit potty-mouthed!") a total must-see. - Jay Bennie Jay Bennie - 5th June 2014    
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