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The Times (London U.K.)
January 18, 2003

Added January 20, 2003

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Lucy sent me a review of Tori's January 16, 2003 concert in London, U.K. from the January 18, 2003 edition of The Times newspaper in London. What is bizarre about the review is all the song titles that the reviewer lists that were never played that evenng in London. For example, the review mentions that Tori played God, Cloud On My Tongue and Winter. She did not play those that evening at all! (She did not play them during the second show in London either on January 17th!) Perhaps The Times needs to make sure the reviewers actually know the songs before they send them to the show!

By Lisa Verrico

Tori Amos. Hammersmith Apollo *** (3 stars)

The touts outside Hammersmith Apollo were doing a terrible trade. It wasn't that the first of Tori Amos's two London shows wasn't popular. It's just that, these days, Amos's fans are a loyal bunch who book well in advance. The vast majority were women in their twenties and thirties and many had even taken to wearing their hair like Amos -almost waist-length and very messy -and sporting the sort of flowing, hippy clothes that she adores.

Amos outdid them all, of course. After starting the show hidden behind a curtain with the lovely, unaccompanied Wampum Prayer, from her new album, Scarlet's Walk, she wiggled on stage in a silk dress covered with what looked like a transparent turquoise negligee with a feather collar -a garment more suited to Margot from The Good Life.

Amos had teamed the outfit with high-heeled sandals -heaven knows how she played the piano -which didn't help when she tried to kneel down at the front of the stage and greet the audience.

After a huge cheer, Amos took her place at the piano, while her two-man band, Jon Evans on bass and Matt Chamberlain on drums, began playing the recent single A Sorta Fairytale, easily the best song on Scarlet's Walk, yet only a minor hit. Still, the fans didn't care that Amos is no longer a multiplatinum-selling star. They politely applauded countless songs that the average pop fan would have had a hard time telling apart, and ooh-ed and ah-ed when she told a story about Tash, her two-year-old daughter.

The two-hour set was half songs from Scarlet's Walk and half tracks from her five previous albums. Cornflake Girl, God and Take to the Sky won the loudest response, but the best moments were Amos singing solo. Her low-key versions of Cloud on my Tongue, Crucify and Winter were superb.

Now almost 40, Amos doesn't writhe about on her piano stool quite as she used to - but she is still one of the sexiest singers in pop. It's just a shame that the show often felt more like recital than a great gig.

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