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Sophie Ellis-Bextor, gig review: 'She leaves her disco pop past behind'

Bush Hall, London

Fresh from hanging up her dancing shoes on Strictly Come Dancing, Sophie Ellis-Bexter leaves behind her disco-pop past as she launches new album 'Wanderlust' tonight. Filled with Balkenesque strings and a Bulgarian choir it is a mysterious offering that is more Rasputina than Kylie.

Opening with swooping violins on “Birth of an Empire” Ellis-Bextor is gentle and unassuming- she may have previously been regarded as the imperious ice-maiden of British pop but these new songs showcase an unseen vulnerability and poignancy in tonight's performance.

Elaborate guitar lines and a waltzing piano on “Love Is a Camera” is a rich mysterious weave in song about a witch capturing souls while tremulous ballads like “Young Blood” “Until the Stars Collide” and “When the Storm Has Blown Over” have an earthiness and fragility similar to Sibylle Baier or Ane Brun.

Following a mega-mix encore of her past hits including “Groovjet”, “Heartbreak” and “Murder on the Dancefloor”, we're reminded just how much of a depature this is as Ellis-Bextor runs to the back of the room to sing the accapella 'Interlude'.

With co-writer, producer and seasoned musician Ed Hardcourt at her side playing keyboard, Ellis-Bextor creates a captivating show in all it's sumptuous romantic instrumentation.