Review: Judie Tzuke at Lowdham Village Hall

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‘Enjoy The Ride,’ implored Judie Tzuke performing the song written and recorded with Morcheeba early in her first set at Lowdham Village Hall for Warthog Promotions.

It was rather ironic as Tzuke, along with Bailey her daughter and backing vocalist, and guitarist Jolyon Dixon had experienced anything but an ‘enjoyable ride’ on their journey up to Nottingham from London. The team had spent several hours stuck in a jam behind an accident on the M1 which delayed them to such an extent that the concert was slightly late starting.

Delays notwithstanding Tzuke and Co provided the perfect soundtrack for a beautiful summer evening. Dixon’s contribution at Lowdham Village Hall was particularly impressive as he had only a week to learn the repertoire after Tzuke’s regular guitarist had double booked himself.

Ride was Tzuke’s ‘trippy number’. However, on the conclusion of So Emotional, Tzuke confirmed that her songs come from a place of emotion and prove cathartic and uplifting for her. ‘They might sound a bit depressing when I sing them but I actually find the writing process very uplifting!’

Tzuke’s voice remains a marvellous instrument maintaining its plaintive, haunting tone – a perfect vehicle to carry the often angst driven messages. Bailey Tzuke’s backing  perfectly complemented her Mum, as they moved through a varied set-list Which spanned songs from early in her career through to several from her newest  CD, Peace has broken out. The title track being an evocative piece sung over a waltz rhythm.

Bailey was given a couple of opportunities to take lead. Self-penned Bullet Proof equalling her Mum’s poignancy, was later followed by Dolly Parton’s, Jolene. The pair made a wonderful job of John Martyn’s May You Never, ‘a family favourite!’

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Things were not all downbeat. Gold, Tzuke’s ‘vibey one’, was a homage to David Bowie. She was inspired to write it the day after Bowie’s death and celebrated his bravery as an artist in his quest to push boundaries usually with utmost success. A further celebration was to Davey Graham with Graham’s classic tune, Angie referenced in repeatedly in The Ballad Of Davey Graham.

Apparently, during her collaboration with Morcheeba the band tasked her with writing about a piece of furniture. Hence, Blue Chair, a comforting sanctuary for Tzuke to curl up in.

As always, ‘My hit,’ Stay With Me Till Dawn, was wonderfully received. Encore, Safe, brought a message of resolution and acceptance, an apt way to round off an evening of contemplative music.


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