David Essex Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Towards the end of his performance, David Essex surveyed the swaying crowd before him and sang "Girl, you'll be a woman soon". This was an act of kindness. His audience consisted mainly of mature women and there was barely a girl among them, in the strict sense of the word. Nevertheless, the moisture count must have risen sharply when he added, "And soon, you'll need a man". David Essex only had to cast a twinkly smile upon his fans and they swooned and gasped. When he sang as well, it was almost more than they could take.

Oh yes, he'd got them under his spell all right. He didn't really have to do anything else to please them, so he just leaned on the microphone stand and got on with it. His voice remains in pretty good shape - you can always hear the words, and he's clever at picking songs, too - and he knows he can do no wrong if he gives them "The Crying Game", "Here Comes the Night" and "You Really Got Me". OK, so these were covers of other people's hits, but nobody seemed to care. After all, David Essex had plenty of songs of his own. "Rock On" and "Stardust" came over as well-thought-out compositions, the new updated versions sounding much better than they ever used to on Radio 1. "Hold Me Close" and "Silver Dream Machine (Part 1)" reminded people that he knew a good tune or two. By the time David Essex got round to performing "Gonna Make You a Star", he didn't really need to sing anymore. He merely held the mike out above his followers' heads and they sang most of it for him. "Oh, is he more, not too much more than a pretty face?" came the question, and even the wallflowers up at the back of the gallery managed to join in with the response "I don't think so!" Next thing, he was rocking again with the Evita song "Oh What a Circus". This was probably the best part of the entire set, but there was yet more. He wanted to make the most of his four-piece backing band, so he knocked out "I'll Be Missing You" as well as the classic "Everlasting Love". There was also time to make the women go all squidgy by singing "Sea of love" unaccompanied. With dry ice drifting around him, he suggested that they could join in with the breast stroke, but decided on second thoughts that the crawl was better. Nice one. More dry ice, and now it was "A Winter's Tale". David Essex sounded suitably melancholic as he sang "on a world-wide scale we were just another winter's tale", but to tell the truth, for him it's still glorious summer.

Magnus Mills

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum