Last time I saw Rufus it was an altogether more family affair, with mothers, aunts, cousins and sisters all vying for centre stage. This show was most certainly focused on the man himself, although support remained from his sister Martha who began the evening with a huge voice, lyrical obscenities and a wayward leg clearly requiring a stage of its own. Rufus followed with a satisfying mix of songs from all three of his albums pleasing an audience that was already firmly converted. From the burlesque strains of 'Matinee Idol', the intimacy of 'Dinner at Eight' and most successfully the bigger band numbers of the 'Want One' album Rufus performed as if he wished his whole life was spent on stage. With two encores clearly anticipated and eagerly given it is easy to imagine a young Rufus with visions of Judy Garland
songs and an adoring audience. Both of which were in attendance tonight. There were, of course, the more serious moments with references to the upcoming elections (at time of writing - Ed) and a tribute to Jeff Buckley
including a rendition of 'Hallelujah', warmly received with the knowledge that this was as close as it could get. Other than this Rufus concentrated on his own repertoire and produced big song after big song whether alone with his piano or accompanied by his band. The attraction lay in the joy with which every number was performed and received and bar a few audience members unable to prevent themselves from being, well themselves, the evening was a pleasure.
GRE © 2004.