Charlotte Church is to singing what watching Brazil is to football fans – you can’t help but be impressed by her talent.
The star picked Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms to launch a five-city tour of the UK. And as soon as she started to project her voice, members of the crowd were quick to remark on just how good her voice is.
The appreciative crowd seemed to include some die-hard followers who have tracked her progression from a classical child singer through to her more eclectic current sound.
She began the gig in near darkness, the only light coming from the piping around the hood of her jumper as she bounced to the upbeat rhythm of the opening numbers.
She moved through tunes from her first three EPs, and some previously unheard material from her fourth record of a planned five.
The tracks included elements as diverse as synth keyboard, jazz piano, and guitar influences drawn from 1990s rockers Pavement. The crowd were treated to three tunes from Church’s third EP – Remains, Like a Fool and Water Tower – before she started to move through her own back catalogue.
She went back to her start, if not her classical musical roots, with a performance of Say It’s True from her first EP. And she gave some insight perhaps into some childhood dislikes with a tune titled Death and Mathematics.
Perhaps the most apt song choice of the night was the decision to sing a cover version of Ultra Nate’s Free.
Its famous refrain ‘You’re Free To Do What You Want To Do’ rang out from Church, who delivered the line with gusto and feeling. And it seemed a perfect metaphor for the singer who has turned her back on the mainstream and plotted her own very different course for her future career.
One audience member fainted during the gap before the encore, but was helped to the back of the venue for a drink of water by friends and organisers.
Church finished a three-track encore before coming out from behind the stage to talk to fans, pose for pictures and sign merchandise after the performance.