Posts Tagged ‘story telling’

Lulu Whitley Bay Playhouse 10 May 2023

lulu tixMuch respect to Lulu. She has achieved so much throughout her career which now spans 6 decades since she 1ST hit the charts with “Shout” as a young, wee Scottish lass who came down from Glasgow and hit the lights and 60s magic of the big city, London and met other people from the North such as the Beatles. But more of this later. The show was a mixture of Lulu recounting her memories and excerpts from the songs which made her famous along the way.

lulu 3The Playhouse website promoted the show thus: “Lulu has made music and memories with the greatest of all time. Elton John wrote songs with her, Bowie produced and recorded with her, McCartney duetted with her and one of the Bee Gees married her. It’s a story that has to be told and provides a once-in-a-lifetime insight into some of the world’s musical legends. Join Lulu as she shares, for the first time, many untold stories, her memories and experiences with the greats – and enjoy with her the music that has been her constant companion. This is Lulu – For The Record.”

Lulu 2She started, well, at the start, with an excerpt from “Shout”, the 1960s, and images of her with the Beatles and other stars from the era. And that was how the show progressed. The format was Lulu talking about her life and her music, interspersing her story with images and excerpts from the songs. She was accompanied by a keyboard player. So, for the 1960s she talked about her TV show and the famous night where Jimi Hendrix appeared. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was perched in front of the TV with my parents while Hendrix played “Hey Joe”, his current hit single. However, he had just heard that the mighty Cream had split and he soon had other ideas. “Enough of this”, he said, “I would like to play something as a tribute to Cream” and broke into “Sunshine of Your Love” which he went on to play well after he was due to finish. Apparently, the BBC technical staff and management went crazy, the guy was playing much longer than planned and eventually they had to roll on the closing credits while he kept playing.

SIR WITH LOVELulu told us that he was, as a result, banned from BBC TV and radio for some time afterwards. Then she spoke of the opportunity that was her appearance in the iconic film To Sir with Love, and which broke down racial barriers featuring the wonderful Sidney Poitier, and then singing part of the title song which was a number one hit for her in America. One of my favourite songs, which brought tears to my eyes. She then went on to talk about her short marriage to Maurice Gibb, and how as a result she sat in on a Bee Gees’ recording session which led into her singing an excerpt from “To Love Somebody”.


1969 saw Lulu representing the UK in the Eurovision Song contest, singing an excerpt from “Boom Bang a Bang”. She went on to win the contest. Then she talked about her collaboration with David Bowie, treating us to a short segment from “The Man Sold the World”. Next, we moved to the James Bond film theme “The Man with the Golden Gun”. This lady really was busy in the 1970s!

lulu panto 1Swiftly into the 1980s, playing in pantomime, Peter Pan with the great Ron Moody and performing in the West End.

After a short interval Lulu took us through her later collaborations, several of which I was unaware including working with Elton John and writing a song for Tina Turner! Then her famous collaboration with Take That and more recent activity moving us forward to the present day and this latest project which will lead to the publication of her autobiography in the near future. So, there we have it. A whirlwind tour through the life and times of a much underrated artist who has achieved much throughout her career.

lulu 1The show wasn’t quite what we (I, my carer Jackie and guest carer Jan) expected. We were hoping for more full versions of the songs and less talk. However, what we got was equally enjoyable and I certainly learnt a lot about the lady and her many accomplishments.

No photography was allowed so the pictures I have used have come courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and from my own collection.

Setlist (all songs are excerpts): Set 1: Shout; Hound Dog; To Sir With Love; Boom Bang-A-Bang; Run to Me; To Love Somebody; The Man Who Sold the World; The Man With the Golden Gun; I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)

Set 2: Independence; I Don’t Wanna Fight; Where the Poor Boys Dance; Teardrops; Shout; Relight My Fire.