Whitney in Scotland...

Scotland on Sunday: Gig review: Whitney Houston
Published Date: 02 May 2010
By Fiona Shepherd

IT IS the Diva's prerogative to be tardy. A mere three weeks later than billed, troubled soul superstar Whitney Houston made her Scottish comeback last night in front of 6,000 fans at the SECC in Glasgow, after being forced to reschedule some of her UK tour dates because of a respiratory infection.

Negative comments on her vocal and emotional fitness have dogged her return to touring following a decade in which the focus has slipped away from her career and has been trained instead on her personal woes.

The singer is still regarded by many as the quintessential modern soul diva, but had hit the headlines because of her erratic behaviour and her stormy marriage to ex-husband Bobby Brown.

Despite her infamous assertion that "crack is wack", she has admitted to drug use in the past.

Although Houston's current album I Look To You has garnered positive reviews, the Nothing But Love World Tour got off to a rocky start earlier this year in Australia.

There were reports that she had appeared disorientated and was in poor vocal shape, with one fan commenting: "She couldn't entertain a dead rat."

Entertaining a dead animal would be a miraculous achievement by any performer's standards.

In Glasgow, her devoted fans were simply looking for a reasonable return on their 75 ticket.

Most of them were on their feet before Houston had sung a note, applauding her every utterance and there were quite a few as she waxed vaguely and at length about her family, her songs, her inspiration.

As for the singing voice, it was damaged and husky, but not the car-crash many had feared.

She opened the show with some new material: a stripped-back rendition of the ballad I Look To You exposed her technical vulnerability, but she was egged on throughout by the crowd.

She took a mid-set break, handing over vocal duties to her elder brother, Gary Houston, and backing singers. Whitney sings when Whitney wants to, and she kept her band waiting at one point while she reapplied her make-up.

Returning to stage in a floor-length fur coat, she belted out an apologetically melodramatic rendition of A Song For You "in memory of Michael Jackson", then sustained the role of demented diva all the way through I Will Always Love You after which some audience members made their exit.

It was an undeniably entertaining performance, not always for the most comfortable of reasons

 

NEWSFILE: 2 MAY 2010
 

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