Disco, world hit ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ and disarming Sophie Ellis-Bextor ensure an uncomplicated party | review ★★★☆☆

Peter van der Heide saw the suddenly enormously popular Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the small hall of the Oosterpoort. It was an uncomplicated party in English style.

Of course we had not forgotten Sophie Ellis-Bextor. But that’s thanks to the controversial film Saltburn would become completely hot again, that was unforeseen. Her biggest hit can be heard in the recently published thriller Murder On The Dancefloor (from 2002) at a crucial time and that provides a significant boost to her popularity.

Glitter dresses

So it can happen that the 44-year-old English singer is in the small hall of the Oosterpoort in Groningen, while she could easily have sold out the large hall. Moving was no longer possible, because Kraantje Pappie had settled there for a few days.

An excellent opportunity to see such a pop star in an intimate venue with a show that we don’t see and hear very often in the North. Anyone who knows Ellis-Bextor a little could have known that it would turn into an uncomplicated party in English style. Glitter dresses in the audience, that works.

Kitchen Disco

From the opener Crying At The Discotheque from the Swedish Alcazar, it is clear that the slender Ellis-Bextor is looking forward to her tour, which she is kicking off in Groningen. The Kitchen Disco it is called, after the very entertaining Instagram videos she made during the pandemic with her five children and her husband, Richard Jones, who plays bass in her band.

She maintains a pleasant and easy chat during the hour and a half performance. And with that she manages to disarm. Nice and engaging person, couldn’t be otherwise. Not that she has to rely solely on that, because Ellis-Bextor proves to be an excellent and versatile singer.

Gun factor

She changes clothes once and appears in a kind of gold-colored swimsuit and dances freely and smoothly on stage. Somehow it is a bit of a problem that the set list relies on the recognition of hits by others. Dancing Queen from Abba early in the set? Like A Prayer from Madonna? Yes, it is possible, but it will smell a lot like the Eurovision Song Contest or a top wedding.

Ellis-Bextor certainly has the gun factor, but there is no real musical and artistic face of his own. In that respect, for example, the Irish Róisin Murphy is her boss. It is strange that, despite a fairly extensive oeuvre, she is not able to bring more coherence to the set. But what if it were saved until the end Murder On The Dancefloor but sounds.

That the venom is in the encore becomes clear when she sings unamplified on the balcony: ” This is the highlight of your miserable life ”, it sounds A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed .


Event concert Sophie Ellis-Bextor with Holiday Sidewinder beforehand Heard 1/3, Oosterpoort, Groningen Audience 750 (sold out)