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January 14, 2003

Updated January 29, 2003

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Thanks to Jas and Nick for sending me a review of Tori's January 13, 2003 concert in Manchester, U.K. that was posted to on January 14, 2003. Read it below or online at

manchester indie
Tori Amos @ Manchester Apollo

Iain Hepburn

DRESSED like Titania, Queen of the Faeries, and with a voice that alternated between Kate Bush shrillness and a silky sirenís call, Tori Amos nearly blew the roof off the Apollo with a two hour trip to a musical Venus and back.

The diminutive redhead entertained a packed Apollo with a diverse set that not only showcased much of her newest work, but also dredged deep into the back catalogue to produce songs from the earliest days of her solo career.

That said, such was the enthusiasm among the varied crowd of fans attracted by the singer songwriter that she could have set the Yellow Pages to music and still received rapturous response.

On tour ostensibly to promote her most recent album, Amos launched into her set with her most recent single, A Sorta Fairytale, a song in her more traditional style, which benefited from the added presence of a drummer and bassist to give it some depth.

Indeed, the tone was set for the evening by the opening number, with many of her older, girl-and-her-piano style songs being brought out at the expense of songs from her more recent albums.

Scarletís Walk tracks such as Amber Waves and Wednesday sat neatly alongside more familiar songs from her early career, including Crucify and Tear In Your Hand, and served as a gentle counterpoint to the more powerful, thumping sounds of Black Dove.

And when the opening bars of what has essentially become Amosí anthem, the deranged but delightful Cornflake Girl, were played, a delirious crowd all but erupted.

It takes a certain amount of skill to be able to hold a sell-out crowd rapt when itís just one person and a piano in a spotlight, but such is the diversity and range of her songs, and the emotion captured within them, that Tori Amos was able to do it. With a voice like sweet sangria and a stage presence that belies her stature, this was music to stir the soul.

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