Friday, 12 August 2022

Purdy returns home after supporting Jools

JAZZ singer Rebecca Poole is performing a homecoming gig at the Kenton Theatre in Henley on

JAZZ singer Rebecca Poole is performing a homecoming gig at the Kenton Theatre in Henley on Sunday fresh from supporting Jools Holland on his UK tour.

The Henley-born artist, who performs under the moniker Purdy, opened for the pianist on four dates, in Leicester, Northampton, Newcastle, and at the Royal Albert Hall in London within the last fortnight.

Rebecca performed 30 minutes of choice cuts from her debut album Diamond in the Dust, in addition to two recognisable covers, such as Bad Things from the True Blood soundtrack.

She said: “It has been incredible, a real honour to perform and support someone of Jools’s calibre.

“When I came off stage on my first night he called to me and said ‘Purdy, that was great!’

“To be able to go on a stage such as this and perform my songs is just something else — it is just incredible.”

Rebecca says she has been overwhelmed by the reaction of audiences, which has numbered in the thousands, to her music — despite them not knowing who she is. “The crowds have been incredible,” she said. “I don’t think that many people know who I am but every now and then there is a sprinkling of people who do and I get a few message online saying that they have been following my career.

“All the songs I sing mean something to me, they are all about my own life experiences and it is emotional to sing them. Audiences seem to enjoy Next Time, it is quite sassy, and has a James Bond and Quentin Tarantino feel to it.

“The song I do at the end, Dream in Colour, also goes down well, It is a goodbye love song and I ask the audience to join in with the chorus.

“I sing ‘I used to know a man who dreamed in black and white’ and the audience replies: ‘let’s dream in colour tonight’ — it’s quite a bonding experience.”

Rebecca, who grew up in Nettlebed, attended Gillotts School and The Henley College, says the experience is one that she wouldn’t forget and described the Royal Albert Hall after party as “the biggest night of my life”.

Her hometown gig, Christmas with Purdy, will include songs from her album, that was co-written with Jamiroquai’s Matt Johnson and Rizzle Kicks collaborator Emily Phillips, as well as some festive numbers.

She will be supported by jazz and swing vocalist Shane Hampsheir who she describes as being her own Frank Sinatra and says will be “a lot of fun”.

Rebecca says she will be performing two 45-minute sets with her five-piece band and says she could be calling in a few friends to accompany her. She added: “It’s always wonderful to come home and I am looking forward to seeing some old faces and some new ones.”

Tickets for Christmas with Purdy on Sunday is £18 for adults and £15 for senior citizens and students and are available from the Kenton box office on (01491) 575698.

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