Mari Wilson & The New Wilsations: Live in Concert (Autumn 2019)
UK TODAY – MUSIC
Having once been described by the NY Times as being: “a pop singer of real ability who sounds like a more nasal Lulu with touches of Dusty Springfield,” London’s iconic pop/jazz songstress, the ‘Neasden Queen of Soul,’ is closing in on the end of touring her last album with for shows this autumn.
An eighties star with the big, beehive hair and a large accompaniment of musicians, Mari Wilson & The Wilsations were known for their live shows with a 12-piece band, now it’s down to either with the piano, or as a trio with music lovers lucky enough this time around to witness Mari’s ‘New Wilsations’ being of an eight-piece ensemble.
Having stepped away from pop and into the jazz scene in 1986 Mari soon saw herself becoming something of ‘a hybrid in jazz and soul’ having completed her music apprenticeship during the six previous years on the pop scene.
Far from being easy Mari stuck at it and: “Built up my own little niche in the industry,” she began.
“My 1992 album, ‘The Rhythm Romance,” that was jazzy, and my 2005 follow-up, ‘Dolled Up,’ inspired my one-woman musical, Love Thing, that had a great spell in London’s Leicester Square Theatre.”
Having released nine albums since arriving on the pop scene back in the eighties it has been the turn of millennium onwards that has seen Mari at her most prolific and, now in her mid-sixties, continues to write to this day.
Perhaps best known for one of her earliest releases, ‘Just What I Always Wanted’ came from her 1982 debut album, ‘Showpeople,’ Mari has released two albums in the past decade, her last, ‘Pop Deluxe,’ (with Alistair Gavin) coming in 2016.
“I’ve been touring that album for three-and-a-half years now,” added Mari.
“I was singing some Dusty (Springfield) songs and, as they’re mainly ballads, I found myself wanting to perform my own interpretation of them.
“It was from this that led me to doing shows featuring some of my other, favourite, female artists like Dusty, and Sandy Shaw, and Cilla Black.
“There was no point in recording tracks the same way as they had done and, because of that, with my own style, it’s done rather well and it has been one of my best releases.”
Along with other songs from her extensive back catalogue those ‘New Wilsations’ will be enjoying what promises to be very much a live, energetic, sing-a-long kind of night.
Mari saying: “I love this album and, with a great, eight-piece band, it does create something of a spectacle when we’re on stage.
“It’s a great show, I’ll be telling some really good stories and, if you’ve not been and seen me before, I’m often told that people are surprised by my vocals – so just come along, and have yourselves a good old sing-a-long.”
And that quote in the NY Times, well it harks back to Wilson’s early dates and a sting of shows performed at The Ritz back in ’83, a time she says: “was fantastic; it’s a great venue with a packed audience.
“There was a real buzz about me then with it being the start of my career and was akin to the first time I played London where I was told by the venue that it was the biggest line of customers they’d had since Blondie performed there.”
Mari Wilson & The New Wilsations will appear at a small number of venues in late October, early November 2019 in Ipswich, Eastleigh, Guildford and Rhyl; ticket information as follows –
TICKETS FOR MARI WILSON & THE NEW WILSATIONS
OCTOBER 27 New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
OCTOBER 31 The Concorde Club, Eastleigh
NOVEMBER 1 The Electric Theatre, Guildford
NOVEMBER 9 Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel, Rhyl (hotel bookings only)