In the media: London gig review (from So So Gay)

And another five-star review for Patti’s gig in London last week, from Jazz Tangcay on So So Gay.

Gig review: Patti Russo (O2 Academy, Islington)

It’s been a long time coming, but Patti Russo finally set out on her first solo tour across the UK. It’s named the ‘How Are Ya, 5-Oh!’ tour because the singer turns 50 next month. Prior to this venture, Russo has spent the majority of her career as a backing vocalist for the likes of Cher and is perhaps best known as Meat Loaf’s female vocalist. She’s also performed alongside Queen and starred in Notre Dame De Paris on the West End. We caught the last night of her tour at London’s O2 Academy in Islington.

The venue was intimate, the stage equally so, with Russo and her band and a few hundred people in the audience. She came on stage shortly before 9pm, and her opening number was a cover of Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, which couldn’t have been more fitting.

Tonight was the night she stepped out into the limelight to show off her vocal talents as a solo artist, and there was going to be no stopping her.
From the get go, Russo was on fire. Her next number was ‘I’d Lie For You and That’s the Truth’, a song she’s always sung as a duet with Meat Loaf, but tonight she sang both parts, something we’re sure the song’s writer, Diane Warren, would be proud of.

Her next number excited the crowd further – ‘A Bible and a Beer’, a song she first performed in 2008. She even brought out a bible for the number.
Russo had the crowd eating out of her hand, interacting both with the band and the audience, filled with fans who had travelled from as far afield as Germany, America, Italy and…Chiswick.

One particularly memorable moment was when Russo sang ‘Dead Ringer For Love’. Fittingly, she has worked with both original vocalists of the song, and again sang both parts, even doing a Cher impression for her parts of the song. Once again, she took the song home and made it succeed as a solo number.

She wrapped up the nearly two hour long show with an astounding rendition of ‘Mustang Sally’, where she was joined on stage by John Partridge. The next song was her own track, ‘One Door Opens’, a heartfelt ballad that had some of the audience in tears. To close the show, Russo performed a cover of ‘River Deep, Mountain High’. There are very few people that could pull off covering the numbers she did, but this particular cover exceeded all others, and is right up there with the Tina Turner original.

The crowd were left in awe of a performer who did not disappoint. Russo’s vocals were more than powerful, from the opening note all the way to the end. The venue was perfect for her, her fans, admirers and the few famous faces that were also in the room. The simplicity of the staging was just as perfect, after all it showcased Russo’s perfect vocals and meant they were the centre of attention.

She is a humble performer who deserves more recognition. Her ability to perform for nearly two hours without cracking more than proves her talent. Russo is a strong vocalist with a massive ‘wow’ factor, and who was clearly in her element. Her sense of humour was displayed as she told jokes throughout the night, explained the background to the songs, and reflected on her career working alongside the biggest names in music.

She’s going to be ‘the big Five O’ next month, and after seeing her work the stage last night, Russo’s dream of performing on a London stage, on her own, happened. Better late than never, she showed that one should never give up on your dreams.

Russo has just released her first EP and after seeing her live, taking centre stage, she should be destined for bigger things. So, what’s next for Russo? Who knows… but watch out world, don’t stop her now…

New single 'When it Comes to Love' out now! Get it on iTunes