Review: Neneh Cherry at Leith Theatre

The fading grandeur of the Leith Theatre is just the right atmosphere for Neneh Cherry’s gig, which happens to coincide with a spectacular thunderstorm. Inside the cavernous Hall, bodies are steaming, layers are removed and the whole thing has the strange feeling of a music festival. People; damp and a little dazed are more open than usual, chatting at the bar and laughing.

The gig begins with a DJ set by the legendary Joseph Malik which a small gaggle are gamely dancing to. It was perhaps a strange choice to lead with the DJ, but in this strange hinterland of mid-Festival exhaustion and freak weather, people are going for it. 

Ever the eccentric (she melted her Brit Award for International Solo Artist and turned it into jewellery) tonight Neneh performs in a mesh top, cargo pants and an extravagant necklace. She isn’t letting the terrible weather or her missing luggage stand in her way.

Her voice is as clear and thrilling as it was 30 years ago, and her dance moves just as audacious. ‘Woman’ evoked a flurry of excitement in the packed out crowd whilst her encore of Buffalo Stance, had everyone screaming, walking out of the theatre singing ‘it’s sweetness that I’m thinking of’.

Accompanied on stage by a harp, bass guitar and drums, the music is eclectic and eaten up by the enraptured crowd. By the end, the walls are sweating, and everyone is dancing in their seat. Hurricane Neneh has come to town and it is the sweetest of storms. 

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