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Live Review: Dave Stewart’s ‘Eurythmics Songbook’ – 17th November 2023 – London Palladium, London, UK

6 min read

Its rare that we start reviews off with a simple “Wow”…. but that’s where we find ourselves today so let’s get that out of the way nice and early!It’s very safe to credit the powerhouse that is Eurythmics as one of the true pioneers and conquerors of 80’s new-wave pop. Annie Lennox and band mate Dave Stewart helped carve their genre into one of the most iconic and timeless genres in music thanks to hits like Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), When Tomorrow Comes, Love Is a Stranger and Here Comes the Rain Again. Despite not touring together since the Peace tour of ’99 to support their last studio album of the same name (and in my opinion, one of the greatest albums ever recorded), the bands music is still in such high rotation and a tour by the duo is constantly called for.  While there doesn’t seem to be any movement in terms of performing together for a tour anytime soon, this doesn’t stop Stewart from taking to the road with some of the most mind-blowingly talented vocalists that we have ever heard in our lives to celebrate the music that defined not just one generation, but multiple generations, A handful of gigs into this latest tour, last night the self-proclaimed Ringmaster – as spelled out in shiny embossment on his guitar strap in case there was ever any doubt – brought his star-studded Eurythmics Songbook spectacle to the London Palladium.  It was a night of celebration for the recent Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame inductee (which saw the famous duo perform for the last time together) as he paid 40th anniversary tribute to the bands iconic Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) album, but despite the name the set list was structured as a greatest hits performance with the iconic songwriter and performer being sure to include hits from most albums in the Eurythmics catalogue; from 1981’s In The Garden with the opening Never Gonna Cry Again through to 1999’s I Saved The World Today from final studio album, Peace all finding a comfortable nesting spot during the course of the night – with the exception of 1984’s 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) which wasn’t lucky enough to steal any stage time during the set this time around.  With a backdrop of red lighting and an overhead screen that stretched from one side of the stage to the other, the all-female band that Stewart now tours with took their places. All dressed in some form of sparkle, whether a feature piece or full suit, vocalists Vanessa Amorosi, famous for her late nineties hit Absolutely Everybody, rising star RAHH and Stewart’s very own daughter, Kaya drove straight into the set with a slow burning mash-up of Never Gonna Cry Again / The Walk. As images of the tube pulling out of a station appeared on the overhead screens for a performance of The City Never Sleeps, Stewart appeared from the side of the stage in a crisp silver suit and trademark hat to a welcoming applause from fans before taking us straight into mainstream Eurythmics hits.It was a family affair with Kaya delivering powerful performances of Love Is A Stranger, It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back) and a beautiful acoustic rendition of 1999’s Peace centrepiece, I Saved the World Today which Stewart cited as one of Stewart’s favourite Eurythmics songs and one that “was written in 45 minutes” with Lennox and “very apt in this moment in time”. It was however the cropped haired songbirds delivery of one of the bands most famous and vocally intricate hits, There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart) that had the crowd standing on their feet and punching the air as they gave one of many standing ovations to their trio of singers throughout the night. The song also came with a touching story of the bands recent induction into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame which included his wife and mother in law who were in attendance for last night show, before ushering Kaya into the number where every ad lib was delivered and every note hit with pitch perfect and delicate precision.

Tallest member of the vocal trio, RAHH made a solid name for herself with the sets most emotionally driven numbers. Swaying through Miracle of Love with pure, gut-wrenching conviction, falling to the floor during her performance of the acoustically driven You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart and ripping through a meaty and gritty Missionary Man; prowling the stage with a confident dominance as she took the song to unbelievably souring new heights. On that number we were witness to a vocal megastar as she filled the venue with her powerfully rich vocals.

It was, however Australian singer Vanessa Amorosi that stole the show with taking on cream of the Eurythmics crop with feminine fierceness – delivering astounding versions of early set inclusions I Need A Man and Who’s That Girl – both complimented by large and brightly lit images on the overhead screen. The finest moment in the night came with the singers back to back performances of Thorn In My Side and personal Eurythmics favourite, When Tomorrow Comes. As the band all came together, pulling instruments to the front of the stage in a half circle formation, we were drawn into an almost unplugged section of the night as Amorosi led the charge through the perfectly executed and upbeat hits while the band provided a mastery of instrumentation to support her. While known for her early career pop successes, the stars dive into rock and soul (thanks to her work and friendship with Stewart and signing to his label) and spending a lot of time in the US, translated perfectly onstage last night and the singers massive voice was something truly blessing to be in such close presence of. With yesterdays release of her brand new album, Memphis Love, there was extra reason to celebrate for the singer last night and the passion and joy in her performance shone through more than any other. As the night drew to a close, Stewart welcomed on stage British soul superstar Beverly Knight. Looking impeccable in a figure hugging black leather jumpsuit, Knight led a performance of Sisters are Doin’ It For Themselves, which seemed more than appropriate given the band was made up of solely female members, with the exclusion of Stewart who was as doting over each member as he was with his daughter; often giving a kiss on Kaya’s cheek or flashing a proud fatherly nod across the stage.As the deep, grinding synths washed over the crowd, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) ended a truly spectacular night – Stewart insisting that Knight remained on stage to help drive the set home and the crowd were up on their feet and dancing along to the bands most iconic number.Now, we get to attend many incredible shows every month and get to see some truly iconic and talented performers show off their musical gifts but last night’s Palladium performance was something truly special and unique. Every component of the show – the band’s incredible instrumentation as a unit and as individuals, the iconic front man of one of music’s most successful and celebrated duos, a repertoire of solid gold hits and 3 of the most incredibly gifted vocalists that we have ever heard made for one of the most incredible shows we have ever seen.

Just, Wow!Setlist: 
Never Gonna Cry Again / The Walk 
This City Never Sleeps 
Love Is a Stranger _ crowd claps
I Love You Like a Ball and Chain
I Need a Man
You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart
Lily Is Here
It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back)
I Saved the World Today
Who’s That Girl?
There Must Be an Angel (Playing With My Heart)
The Miracle of Love 
Thorn in My Side
When Tomorrow Comes
Here Comes the Rain Again
When the Day Goes Down 
Missionary Man 
Would I Lie to You?
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)