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Cyndi Lauper In Concert (Royal Albert Hall)

(seen at the performance on 26th June 2024)

From a golden era of electronic music, just a few days after her 71st birthday, Cyndi Lauper celebrated by selling out the Royal Albert Hall in record time for a one-off event.

In a pre-show interview Lauper admitted that her record company wanted to pit her against Madonna, another rising star in her era. Very different performers, the contrast is very obvious for those who caught the Material Girl’s last "Celebration" tour and also attended this one.

Madonna's O2 premiere was ablaze with special effects, battalions of dancers, lighting to make Blackpool illuminations look like a bedside lamp, and a USS Enterprise hyper-drive from the star herself.

The simpler Lauper Royal Albert Hall stage contained a drum kit and percussion sections, guitarist, bass player, and two backup singers as well as the birthday lady herself. The lights went up on the audience or down on the singer at her request, and the feedback earpieces fell out of her ears as often as her hair extensions flew from her spinning body.

You know an artiste is giving absolutely everything when, while bits are flying off in all directions, she is asking the audience constantly if they are enjoying the show and if they "can all see her clearly?" as she moves into the corners of the stage.

The roars of appreciation confirmed that this was more a “backroom pub gig for appreciative friends” than a glossy arena show – though that is coming in February 2025, as announced the day before.

Few performers come on to a standing ovation, and opening with “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough,” for “Goonie” read “Cyndi” of course. Determined to ‘get the party started,’ “She Bop” is always a crowd pleaser – proving in her words that, ‘in case you just thought I was a w***er!’ (nobody does).

Noting that had she been doing a different job she too would have been up in the circle, time for a Swedish collaboration, “Into The Nightlife” closely followed by “Rocking Chair” as the first hair began to fall from her fast-rotating form.

Admitting her nerves, simply because this show sold out so quickly, and determined to give us the best show possible, “I Drove All Night” is a classic, a 'wardrobe moment' taken off-stage making her return even more determined to give us a number written after sitting astride one of the stone lions in Trafalgar Square and realising just how high it is. 

“Change of Heart” is another crowd pleaser, the crowd pleased even more by being wished ‘Happy Pride.’

Another big gun with “Time After Time” (click title to view) sung to perfection, and a deviation from the setlist between hers and her backing group’s brought up “When You Were Mine” before a little acapella “Fearless” (the lady still has the voice), introductions to her long-serving band members, and “Money Changes Everything” – which it hasn’t for this appreciative and humble woman.

Back on her first UK TV appearance she drummed on a ladder to the beat – a crazy action for a crazy number, the big one we all waited for, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (click title to view). Box ticked, nobody can do it like the original.

A chance for more acapella with “Savage Daughter” moving into the moving “Not My Father’s Son” from her musical “Kinky Boots” and leading on to her torch song “True Colors.”

The whole sequence can be viewed on's YouTube channel by clicking here. "Not My Father's Son" starts around 1 minute 30 into the video, "True Colors" around 3 minutes through.

Wrapping things up with a surprise, drag queens Michael Marouli, Jonbers Blonde, Tete Bang, Tomara Thomas, Chiyo and Joan Oh joined pop queen Cyndi for a final reprise of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” And they did, as can be seen by clicking here to view the sequence.

A shorter show than expected, and not without mishaps, yet her own true colours shone through to prove that classics delivered by the original star really are worth driving all night for, time after time.

3 stars.

Support act: DJ Pam Hogg.
Sadly, rather than a tryout for up-and-coming performers, the DJ seems to be a regular option before the main event at concerts. Probably cheaper and easier than switching equipment, but no chance to hear anything new.

Hogg opened her set with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – a brave and rather odd choice as we got the real thing twice later on.

The rest was all female vocalists, featuring Annie Lennox and Bananarama towards the end. The DJ had fun and left to the sound of a record playing out. 

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