Imelda May performing at The Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 13th May 2017.

Review by Kevin Cooper

There have been many changes in Imelda May’s life since she last came to the city in December 2014. She had a daughter Violet, has separated from her husband and the 50s rockabilly look and trademark quiff have gone to be replaced by a blunt fringe. So last night saw a very different May at the Royal Concert Hall as she tours to promote her latest album, Life Love Flesh Blood.

In the audience there were no doubt a number of diehard fans who were itching to get up on their feet to have a jig along to her back catalogue, but they would have been very disappointed. With eleven songs on the new album, May sang them all.

Starting the evening off with the sombre Call Me, she kept the mellowness going with the soulful gospel sounding When It’s My Time, whilst other new songs such as Human and Bad Habit showed just how good a singer she is with her powerhouse vocals.

For Sixth Sense the double bass made a welcome appearance only to be put away again for Black Tears, a Patsy Cline style heart breaking ballad. Should’ve Been You was a particular highlight as was Levitate with its gentle tango beats.

Big Bad Handsome Man and Wild Woman from her other albums were also thrown in and the fans finally got the opportunity to get up and dance to Mayhem, the title track from her 2010 album and the rousing Johnny Got A Boom Boom.

With The Girl I Used To Be, written for Violet, closing the set, May came back on for the melodic (Remember) Walking In The Sand and an up tempo Game Changer.

Last night’s showing was a far cry from when she burst onto the music scene well over a decade ago, and whilst there is nothing wrong with change, playing the new album in full did mean that there was very little opportunity for the audience to engage. What was lacking was a little boom boom, but next time when we get more accustomed to the new Imelda May it may not be missed at all.