Pop: Macy Gray

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The Independent Culture
After playing her first UK live appearance in September, Macy Gray makes a swift return for this short tour which marks the end of a remarkable year, with her debut album, On How Life Is, seemingly resident at the upper end of the charts. With an outstanding voice that sounds like she's overdosed on nicotine and helium, Gray is an original talent and her stage shows are lively affairs devoid of the slick presentation of her soul contemporaries. Hence, choreography plays little part in her live act as she moves around stage, and though her inter-song banter is overly rehearsed, it's easy to forgive her for that once she belts out "I Try", one of this decade's stunning singles. T&C, Leeds (0113-280 0100) tomorrow; Academy, Manchester (0161-832 1111) Mon; Barrowlands, Glasgow (0141-339 8383) Tue

Tim Perry