I have wanted to see and hear this fabulous woman live for a very long time. Etched into my childhood psyche, she has always been ‘around’, and there are not many of us who wouldn’t know her unique voice and sweeping dramatic songs. This fabulous woman is of course the eternal powerhouse Bonnie Tyler.
When I think of Tyler, I think of not just my youth but of endless moments since belting out (or attempting to) those magnificent tunes, watching those classic music clips and always having this internal nagging that I have to make sure I see her in concert some day. And oh my God, she is one talented, sassy and loveable lady, not to mention a total honey (Is it ok that I say that? As she is, and those eyes, woah) and at the age of nearly 66, age defying. Our great Australian support act of Rick Price was not wrong when he said ‘that is some golden tone there’..
So we are at Revesby Workers Club on this cold Saturday night and I was anxiously waiting and anticipating, and really just hoping that some of my favourite songs would be similar to what I grew up with. We all know that way of thinking ‘I’ll just die if X doesn’t sound the same’ and ‘God, if she doesn’t sing X, I’ll freak out’ .. Be honest people… we all do it! Well, not only did we all get every song how we would like, it was mesmerising to watch Tyler do her thing. A set filled with 80’s rock, blues, country, pop and sprinkled with stories and light hearted banter. I was totally drawn into Bonnie’s World. We could have been anywhere and I wouldn’t have realised. Starting with ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’ and moving through to a more recently recorded Nashville track ‘Flat On The Floor’, it was such a treat when she did her own cover of the Bee Gees ‘To Love Somebody’, the strength and power in her voice is really something else.
Once the 70’s favourite of ‘Lost In France’ began, I could hear comments of “Oh Yeah.. I looooove this song”. No doubt, some memories floating back for some older audience members, and then my earliest memory of Bonnie which was ‘It’s A Heartache’ started. It’s hard to remember exactly when I heard it first, possibly at age 5 or 6. The melody was typical 70’s but it was that unique, husky and somewhat soothing voice which made the impact. It’s one of those song moments that stays with you. You stop and take notice. I was just focusing, lapping up that spectacular voice and watching this wonderfully entertaining woman work the crowd like Geppetto, and we were all her string Pinocchios. Making her way through ‘Need Your Love So Bad‘ and the Bryan Adams penned ‘Straight From The Heart’ to ‘All I Ever Wanted’ and ‘This Is Gonna Hurt’, it was just stunning and we hadn’t even made it to the Jim Steinman gems yet!
When Tyler mentioned that this next song was ‘The number 1 karaoke song in the world” I had no idea but I knew everyone would go crazy, the front dance floor was cramming in a millisecond. Then those legendary first notes began and we heard ‘Turn Around……..’ I’m a massive Jim Steinman fan from very young, before Tyler, an older sister had Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat out of Hell’ and Steinman’s ‘Bad for Good’ and I would repeat that vinyl and sit there with the lyric sheet. Something I did when I got older and purchased Tyler’s ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Light’ on CD. That song, the classic ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ is one of these rare diamonds that has never wavered in popularity and watching the younger members of the crowd singing and dancing away was a great thing. It must be heartwarming when older acts realise how many age groups are in the crowd. I know I get happy seeing it at gigs and look forward to the day that my eldest is old enough to be a part of this magic too. Hearing this live was crazy, like an alternate universe. I was more blown away by Bonnie as the night went on.
Then as we moved through our multi-song encore, it was time for the cracking ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Light’ which is another fave of mine that Tyler just tore to pieces. I love that epic, theatrical sound and Tyler’s voice is just sensational. I just let her take me away as she ripped it up through the blues track ‘Turtle Blues’, the classic 60’s song ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ and another Tina Turner song ‘The Best’. With a great band in support, this was a vocal showcase that has diversity, richness and depth. And we still had one more track left, my other favourite, the Footloose movie song of ‘Holding Out For A Hero’. Another brilliant 80’s showpiece and I do get Kevin Bacon visual’s whenever I hear this but now I have a different appreciation for the song, and all the songs. Hearing and watching artists live is, for me, the biggest buzz there is, but when it’s another ‘virgin’ gig and I have been hanging to see someone, it doesn’t get better than being left in a state of ‘Wow, I knew they were good, but I didn’t know they would be that good’.
What a voice, what a woman! Such charisma and personality, blended with spectacular vocals and a babe to boot. The whole package, Bonnie Tyler is a spunk (yes I know it’s an 80’s word) but it’s apt, she has this spectacular gift but her charm and star quality is spellbinding – luminous is another word. And I can totally understand why she is touring to packed venues now in this year of 2017, over 40 years since her journey began. I think I might try to get out to the Enmore gig on Thursday night for some more of this. I feel like another Bonnie Tyler fix is a must!
© MARINA KNEZEVIC 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photography by Anna Bartle at rockchique.net