University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel.
Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Fresh from the mean streets of Albert Square, seventies heartthrob David Essex returned to the stage this October with his Rock Tour, proving he can still charm the dentures off his female clientele.
Screaming pensioners aside, at 65, the star manages to achieve something which other ageing rockers simply can't quite deliver in their later years: he can still belt out a tune. Whereas some may rely on the theatrics of 20,000 seat theatres, this Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire needs little more than a three-man band and an intimate setting as he nonchalantly struts about the stage, charming the ladies with his timeless Essex-boy grin.
True to its title, the ninety-minute show takes listeners through a repertoire of David's most memorable hits such as Oh What A Circus and Silver Dream Machine, tactically teamed with a modest backdrop screen showing clips from his acting years. If you're (male) and going along to appreciate Mr Essex for his musical prowess alone, then you may find the clips of his younger days a little distracting, and arguably, at points the show is a little too reliant on winning over the ladies by reminiscing about David as a saucy young playboy. Clips from That'll Be The Day and the like aside, however, the cocky cockney still has all the vigour and charm of his youth, which comes across in sincere and powerful vocals.
In a twenty-song setlist, Mr Essex takes his audience through a range of emotions, debatably reaching its climax in the form of Imperial Wizard, which is more memorable for its controversial images and political messages rather than the vocals. Fans of his more light-hearted material, however, are sure to enjoy the carefree spirit of Gonna Make You A Star, in which he actively encourages the audience to participate while he casually meanders through the verses.
Between hits from his most memorable film moments such as Stardust, David also proves to be quite the character, inciting many a giggle among the audience with his anecdotes about the perils of ironing shirts. He's visibly unfazed by the hordes of menopausal females and horny hecklers screaming at him from the audience, cheekily brushing off comments such as 'come over and I'll show you how to iron a shirt!' and laps up the attention as though it were 1974 all over again. Ever the professional, he even succeeds in distracting the audience from a faulty drum kit with the help of an impromptu joke, reminding us of his unquestionable stage presence and acting talent, as well as his ardour for singing.
In just over two hours my company and I had been treated to two shows. The first of which, supporting act Tim Newman, was both vocally impressive and comical, and even roused a few laughs by shouting 'Daaavid.....Blunkett' in order to warm us up for the big show. The main act, on the other hand, succeeded in proving to his critics that he's still got it – forty years since he was gallivanting about film sets with Keith Moon and Ringo Starr, David may only be performing in modest venues, but it's clear that he is contented in pleasing his ever-adoring fans, and what's more, it's refreshing to see an older performer enjoying himself rather than indulging in delusions of grandeur. If you're a seasoned David Essex fan then I would definitely recommend The Rock Tour for an entertaining evening out – and even if you're not, it's worth it alone just for the hilarity of the old ladies.
You can find tickets for David's upcoming shows here.