Review: Beverley Craven at the Harlow Playhouse

Harlow Playhouse / Sun 23rd Apr 2017 at 05:46am

Beverley C

Beverley Craven
Harlow Playhouse: April 22nd, 2017

THIS was a classic case of not really knowing what to expect. This reviewer was only aware of the massive 1991 hit “Promise Me” and a couple of other minor songs such as “Holding On”.
To be honest, we thought this was going to be a little bland. How wrong we were.

Beverley Craven seems to have concerned the market or at least perfected the style of self deprecating singer-songwriter. Along with multi-instrumentalist, Frank Mead, this was a two hour journey into a woman’s soul with quite a line in wit and sarcasm.

Beverley prefaced “Holding On” with “If you want to sing along….Don’t” And it was with that sardonic wit that she introduced most of her songs. Yes, there was a constant theme of love and disappointment but it was never torched with self pity more slightly flambed with dark humour.

In some ways this felt like a mixture between Julia Fordham and Victoria Wood. What underpinned the concert was the sheer quality of the music. These were lovely songs that deserved a bigger audience. We cannot praise the songs from her most recent album “Change of Heart”. No Shame is an absolute belter, as are Just Be The Man and All Night.

To her credit, Beverley was also not afraid to deal with personal issues such as cancer.

Beverley’s confessional style really suited the intimate surroundings and so her stories of old flames, unrequited love, personal tragedy felt truly shared. But it was those flickering funny asides such as sitting down with her heartbroken sister after she spilt up with her partner but thinking “This will make a good song”.

Praise also goes to Frank Mead whose woodwind wonders perfectly accompanied Beverley’s music.

The only disappointing aspect of the night was four members of the audience who sat drinking, chatting, filming and looking at their phones throughout. They especially irked Ms Craven during her rendition of “Promise Me”.

We would highly recommend you see Beverly Craven. In some ways, we are not sure if we will see her likes again, so treasure this talented female singer songwriter.

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