Reviewer: Zara Ellis
Miss Ruby Turner has finally made her comeback to the Lowry after a five year break, away from the bright lights of the quays. The soulful sister has certainly marked her return with her intimate show with a collection of her best hits and new songs that touch on the gospel genre.
Ruby Turner is most well known for being a diva of soul and RnB; she is synonymous with having a large personality and an even larger singing voice. As Ruby stated in her concert she has been singing since she was 16 and 17 years of age and her experience in the music industry definitely makes a difference to her career, as she appears so at home on stage. She has sung with Jools Holland and his band on numerous occasions and is a regular on his shows. Her most well-known hits include ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, ‘Stay With Me Baby’ and ‘If Your Ready Come Go With Me’.
The set for the night was quite visually understated, opening with only a four piece band, far from the 18 piece set that she is used to performing alongside Jools and his band. However despite the lack of stage production value, Present with Ruby on stage were her drummer, keyboard player and lead and base guitarists who did an excellent accompaniment to Ruby’s performance. The casual, relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for the evening was set with the opening song ‘Restless Moods’, which revealed how very talented her band is. This was a stunning set full of an eclectic mix of emotionally charged songs to quench musical tastes of soul, gospel and simply people who just wanted to have a boogie in their seat.
The stand out track of the night for me was ‘All Aboard This Train’, the fast tempo, foot tapping and isle dancing ( if permitted ) gospel song of the evening. This track is so infectious and hooks you almost instantly into its first five seconds; it is everything a song should contain: strong meaningful lyrics, passion and a powerful voice. Ruby always gives her heart and soul to every song she performs, and takes the audience on a journey of emotions and feelings present in each melody and lyric. Ruby’s other songs of the night included ‘Travelling On’, ‘You Start A Fire In My Heart, ‘Stay With Me Baby’ and the passionate ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, which pays homage to the late great Etta James, who is one of Ruby’s idols and musical inspirations.
Throughout the evening Ruby’s wonderful personality shines through to the audience with her very warming and humorous traits. Despite her professionalism when singing, Ruby instantly puts her audience at ease with her charming wit and endearing stage presence, which doesn’t lapse at any time in her set.
Ruby’s performance was excellent and she is in very fine form, despite her being one of the industry’s more mature artists, she still has a brilliantly strong and distinctive voice, which without a doubt could and still does rival any top 10 chart singer.
If you want an enjoyable night out, with good music, good company from Ruby and being able to have a good old boogie in your seat then go and see this soul sister, she’s definitely worth your time…… Excellent night out, couldn’t fault her performance!