In Concert: Imelda May, St David's Hall, Cardiff

Imelda May
"Tonight Cardiff, we are going to have a good night - and we're going to sing!" announced Rockabilly Queen Imelda May part way through her show which took place at St David's Hall on Monday, November 17.

It might have been the beginning of the week, but Imelda wasn't going to have any bystanders in the audience as the rock n roll rhythms delivered by her band raised the roof of St David's Hall.

The show kicked off with a 40 minute set provided by hep cat rockers The Caezars in which they performed an all-original set strewn with funky guitar riffs and double bass beats.

The band performed with a style and flair befitting that of 50s rockers Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent. Caezars tracks Six Feet in the Ground, Dirty Robber and You Can Love Me helped set the perfect pace for the evening prior to Imelda May's arrival on stage.

Beginning with the title track from her latest album Tribal, Imelda and her band weren't short on original material. While Wild Woman was dedicated to all the female members of the audience (some of which had traveled all the way from Imelda's native Dublin) similarly she dedicated Big Bad Handsome Man to all her male fans.

As well as adrenaline-rush rockabilly, there were also quieter moments including a fabulous blues drenched rendering of Howlin' Wolf's Spoonful and a sensual performance of Torture (I Wanna get you alone).

Imelda actively encouraged audience participation throughout the show too. So much so that many had moved down to the front of the house to dance into the last half hour of the show, giving the band a further jolt of electricity as double bass, drums and guitar tore through favourites Zombie Girl and Johnny's Got a Boom Boom.

An unplugged encore which included Imelda giving acoustic performances of Cher's Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down and Blondie's Dreaming' brought a memorable concert to an incredible close.

Monday night's will never get any better than that!

  • A version of this review by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on November 21, 2014.
  • Visit Imelda May's Official Website

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