Postcard from... Milan
'Ciao, Milano. Come va?' said in a full-on Rochdale accent is not something you forget in a hurry.
But Lisa Stansfield hasn’t lost her ability to amuse and charm a crowd, as well as impress it with her musical talent.
She managed more foreign words in one gig in Milan than Madonna has in hundreds of concerts around the world. She even handed out slices of pizza to people at the front.
The 90s star is on the comeback trail. Compared with the decidedly less-talented, video-led, tit, bum and tattoo brigade that she’s competing with these days, Stansfield the soul singer and songwriter was a model of class in a long green evening dress on Friday night.
And the voice is back. At her last major outing – Ronnie Scott’s 10 years ago – she sounded croaky. She’s since quit smoking, however, and her famous voice is in splendid form.
There was applause at the end of each track at the small Magazzini Generali venue. But my friend Carlos from Madrid articulated the problem.
“Why do these Milanesi have legni di culo (wooden arses)?” No-one was dancing – underlining the suspicion that Italians might know how to cook, but are less adept at letting their hair down.
“Change” and “Someday I’m coming Back”, with its lovely harmonies, were highlights, though, and things got more boisterous with the inevitable “All Around the World” encore.
But Stansfield took it all in her stride. This was an out-of-town try-out, after all.
Importantly for someone attempting a comeback after a decade, the new material sounded strong. Bentornata!
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...