Scouse girl grows in confidence

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Rebecca Ferguson - Blackpool Opera House

THE singing voice of a Detroit Diva and a speaking one of a Liver Bird was the right combination to attract an army of scousers to a Saturday night show in Blackpool Opera House.

That this X Factor runner up has gained such a large and loyal following in a comparatively short time is testament to Rebecca Ferguson’s determination to do things her own way and not follow the show’s usual dictated route of pop covers.

With a vocal style somewhere between Eartha Kitt and Macy Gray and a stage persona of the girl next door who can’t quite believe that it’s actually her who people have come to see, she is a rare find indeed.

Hopefully there’s half a chance she really is as nice and natural as she seems – thanking everyone for the X Factor votes, explaining that fame and fortune are fine but it’s love and family which really count.

The same sentiment is found in the material from her debut album, which she famously co-wrote and now delivers like a very personal and musical diary.

Backed by a tight band of five musicians and two singers she paces the stage with a growing confidence (she’s not much of a dancer and is lucky to actually keep her balance in such dangerous looking shoes) to combine smoky jazz/soul, uptempo funk, a stab at rock (the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter) and gospel (A Change Is Gonna Come).

But her original material stands up just as well – especially Nothing’s Real But Love and this week’s second single Too Good To Lose.

Robin Duke