Music – Sat 29 Sept, 8pm: Kiki Dee & Carmelo Luggeri

For almost two decades, Kiki and Carmelo have been touring their spellbinding acoustic live show across the UK and Europe. Performing in this stripped back fashion allows each of their exceptional talents to shine through and create a wonderful and warm sense of intimacy for the audience. 2018 marks Kiki’s 55th year in the music industry and has cemented her status as one of the UK’s finest and most revered vocalists.

The duo’s latest critically acclaimed album “A Place Where I Can Go” features 11 tracks including the haunting duet “Horses” with Scottish singer Eddi Reader. Join Kiki and Carmelo for an acoustic journey of stories and song which include unique covers of songs by artists such as Kate Bush and Frank Sinatra and of course Kiki’s own hits “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “I Got The Music In Me” and the stunning “Amoureuse”.

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A little more history:

In 1970 Kiki became the first British artist to be signed by Tamla Motown, releasing an album on the label in the same year. She worked with legendary producer Frank Wilson on tracks including “The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday” and “For Once In My Life”, recording in the original Motown studio in Detroit, which is now a museum.

After signing to Elton John’s Rocket Records label in the early 1970s, Kiki scored her first UK Top 20 hit in 1973 with her version of the Véronique Sanson song “Amoureuse”.  An English lyric by Gary Osborne lead to a lifelong friendship with the lyricist, who also penned the lyrics for “The War Of The Worlds” musical. In the same year, Kiki could be heard singing backing vocals on Elton John’s global smash album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. During this period Kiki recorded two albums produced by Elton and started song writing for the first time.

1974 saw Kiki riding high on both the UK and US charts with “I’ve Got the Music in Me”, which was written by Bias Boshell, Kiki’s keyboardist.

Continuing her friendship with Elton, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” topped the UK chart for six weeks in mid 1976. It also enjoyed a 4-week run at No.1 on the US charts as well as reaching No.1 in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Italy. The song was intended as an affectionate pastiche of the Tamla Motown style, notably the various duets recorded by Marvin Gaye and singers such as Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston.

In 1981 “Star” from the album Perfect Timing gave Kiki another Top 20 hit, and later became the theme music to the BBC TV programme Opportunity Knocks between 1987 and 1990.

In 1993 Kiki once again found herself in the charts with Elton John when their version of the Cole Porter song “True Love” reached No.2 on the UK chart.

In the early 1990’s Kiki had joined forces with songwriter, producer and guitarist Carmelo Luggeri, who had worked with Bill Wyman, Julian Lennon, Andy Williams, Paul Rodgers, Kenney Jones, Ray Cooper, Chris Rea and Ralph McTell. Carmelo produced some bonus tracks for “The Very Best of Kiki Dee” album, and, having hit it off musically, they took on a new musical direction together, playing acoustic concerts, starting with an appearance at The Royal Albert Hall for World AIDS Day in 1994.

Over the last 18 years, Kiki and Carmelo have successfully toured the UK and Europe with their unique acoustic-based show. Their first release in 1995 was the live album “Almost Naked”, which was recorded whilst on tour with violinist Vanessa-Mae. “It was a shock at first to perform just the two of us”, said Kiki. “I remember bursting into tears after our first tour date but it soon felt good to have the freedom of working with just a voice and guitar and writing songs while on the road”.

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