Dionne dazzles at the De La Warr

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A classy photo of a classy lady

For over two hours on Saturday September 9, Dionne Warwick entertained a captivated audience with her incredible backlog of hit songs from more than 50 years in show business. After a witty version of “Thank Heaven For Little Girls”, which thanked all those boys and girls who had ever bought one of her records, she started with her first hit, 1962’s “Don’t Make Me Over” and continued to serenade fans with a host of her best-selling singles. Many of her classics were written for her by Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David and her renditions of “Walk On by”, “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” and “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” sounded as good as when they first charted in the 60s.

Earlier the audience had been charmed by the singer and guitarist Jon Allen (www.jonallenmusic.com) whose melodic folk rock songs were the perfect warm up for Warwick. His soulful voice matched his personality and although unknown to many beforehand he proved to be an instant hit before the main act arrived on stage.

Having spent many years in Brazil, her “second home”, Warwick performed a collection of Latin songs to which she shimmied across the stage looking nothing like a 77-year-old. Warwick’s distinctive and surprisingly powerful voice was perfectly suited to “The Look Of Love”, “Raindrops Keep Falling On my Head”, “Alfie”, “(They Long To Be) Close To You” and “Heartbreaker”.

At various times during the evening Warwick displayed her wry humour and warmth in comic interaction with the audience who responded with laughter, and a few tears. There was a delightful version of “I Say A Little Prayer” where she was accompanied by her son David, who is also her drummer. Towards the end of her set there were three duets with her granddaughter Cheyenne before Warwick closed the show with “That’s What Friends Are For” to rapturous applause. This was a sparkling evening that most of those lucky enough to catch will remember for a very long time.

 

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