Fri, 27 Mar 2020
REVIEW by Derek Ansell
Marisha Wallace Tour 2020
at The Corn Exchange, on Wednesday, March 11
For the second show in her seven town tour of the UK, Marisha Wallace arrived on stage in a sparkling silver gown with a white fur fringe. The singer has enjoyed much success in recent times, having appeared on Broadway in New York and in the West End. She was had been due to start in a new production of Hairspray before the Covid-19 crisis.
Backed up by MD Ross Stanley on keyboards, Al Cherry, guitar, Chris Hill, bass, John Blease, drums, and two backing singers, she swung into a high energy gospel flavoured selection with plenty of decibels from both voice and instruments. Next it was time to sing her version of Tina Turner’s River Deep Mountain High, using her high-powered voice to good effect in a tribute to Ike And Tina that was mostly her own interpretation.
Marisha slowed the tempo to start off My Funny Valentine, a universal favourite standard but as she began to build up to a crescendo the band kicked in with a blast of guitar and drums as the two backing singers, Layla Ley and Desri Ramus, swayed dutifully backwards and forwards and added their voices to the build up. Coming Home was a gospel song - she is basically a gospel singer with rhythm and blues flavours and many of the attributes of musical theatre in her repertoire. Something perhaps more of her own and original, was a tendency to leap off stage in mid-song and return in a different gown, first off, a pinkish red number. Heart of Stone was sung as a soul tune and again the voice was expansive as she built up slowly to a climax. Her singing throughout was clear, bright and with clean note production.
A medley of songs associated with Aretha Franklin was well done and soon after that another mid song departure from the stage occasioned a return in a bright green gown. There followed a lighter shade of red and a brighter shade of white with frills and finally a gold lame’ dress before Marisha finished the gown-changing routine and she kept up the bright singing and energy to the end with a song performed with the Everybody Sing children’s choir from Swindon and a hearty join in with the audience encore at the end. A full house awarded her a deserved standing ovation.