Showing posts with label Adele. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adele. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Eating toast and listening to Sade

A pair of size 11 trainers came thundering down the stairs at top speed. “What is THAT?” said my teenage son, gesticulating at my iPod speakers.

THAT,” I replied happily, “is one of my old Sade albums. I haven’t played it in years.” “I’m not surprised,” he said. “It sounds like the sort of thing they’d play at an 1980s night club.”

I could have taken offence at my son's scathing tone but actually, he had a point. It’s exactly the sort of thing I listened to in the 1980s. That’s why I like it.

Twenty-five years ago Sade was the girl we all wanted to be. I once interviewed her for Woman’s Own at her flat in a disused London fire station and she was stylish and stunning, with the most gorgeous, sultry voice. 

Just listening to her sing Your Love is King transports me straight back to my tiny studio flat off Clapham Common. I’d stagger home from a hard day door-stepping Fergie for the Evening Standard (she lived round the corner in Lavender Gardens so it was always me who got sent to knock on her door and ask when she was getting married). I’d pour myself a glass of Chardonnay, make a piece of toast (I didn’t possess a cooker) and if it wasn’t Sade playing on my ropey old cassette recorder it’d be Human League or Paul Weller. One of Peter Gabriel's guitarists lived in the flat below so I had to play my music extra loud to drown his out. 

I’d completely forgotten about Sade until I spotted a story this week saying that she’s trumped the amazing Adele in Billboard’s 2012 list of high-earning musicians. Now 53, Sade apparently earned a staggering £10.5m last year after her first North American tour for a decade and the release of an album called The Ultimate Collection. She was the sixth top earner (Taylor Swift came top and Adele tenth) – proof that even if you haven’t had a number one record for a while you can still be a superstar.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Adele and Lulu and the Lampshades at top volume

Two soundtracks dominated our Cumbrian Christmas.

The first was a stunning compilation of tracks my son thought I’d like (including several by Lulu and the Lampshades – how could you not love a band with a name like that?)

The second was a DVD of Adele live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall. My father gave it to me and it played in a loop for four days on the trot. Luckily we were in the wilds of the Lake District so there weren’t any neighbours to complain, just a few hundred sheep along the valley.
As always, Adele’s performance was sensational. This year’s biggest selling artist, she’s currently recovering from throat surgery and like all her fans I’m crossing my fingers that she gets better as soon as possible.

In between numbers like Set Fire to the Rain (my favourite) and the haunting Someone Like You she sipped warm honey and chatted to the audience about love, heartache and her “ex.”

But the most moving part came when she waved to her best friend Laura in the audience and explained that My Same, a song from her debut album, was dedicated to her pal. As Laura wiped tears from her eyes, Adele recalled how they’d made up after a falling-out. “I called Laura pretty much in tears,” she said, “telling her that I wanted her to be back in my life and that I needed her.”

The 100-minute concert (recorded back in September) was a triumph from start to finish - from Adele’s soulful voice and heartrending lyrics to her inimitable cackle and good-natured banter with her band. I loved it so much I'm going to play it again right now.

PS. Can someone tell me why the jokes in Christmas crackers are so dire? This year’s batch were worse than ever. The only one to raise a faint smile in our house was “what is an underground train full of professors called?” Answer. “A tube of Smarties.” Boom boom!
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