Imelda May performing her Made To Love Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Tuesday 5th April 2022

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Imelda May possibly may not be a household name, but for those who have seen her perform live, they will know all about her star quality which was evident in abundance on Tuesday night at the Royal Concert Hall.

Hitting the charts in 2003 with her debut album, No Turning Back, she will be remembered for her rockabilly outfits and her peroxide quiff. Now donning a sleek new look and a more conscious sense of artistry she has moved away from the showgirl towards the song smith and that is reflected in her latest album, 11 Past The Hour.

It is clear that her reinvention towards ballads and blues rock songs is really working as she opened with the gorgeous title track, but with a line up of five very talented musicians what hasn’t changed is her voice which is as distinctive and gutsy as ever.

Showcasing nine songs from the album, there was a lot to take in. Solace was a smouldering ballad whilst Made To Love was a bustling anthem. Breathe and Don’t Let Me Stand On My Own which was a folk tinged ballad drawing on her Irish roots, simply captivated the audience who hung on her every word.

But it was the songs from her 2017 album Life Love Flesh Blood which stole the show. Sixth Sense was downright lusty whilst Should’ve Been You was painfully sad. She upped the tempo with Human but brought back the melancholy mood with Black Tears. And like being on a roller coaster ride she took the crowd up again with Big Handsome Man and Johnny Got A Boom Boom which had the crowd on their feet before she finished her main set with the phenomenal up beat banger Mayhem.

Finishing the encore with Diamonds, she had showed that her ability to change from a soft, relaxed sound to her throaty rocker growls is reason enough to give her music the utmost respect it deserves.