Although she’s in her 70s, wonderful Wanda’s still got the pipes that made her one of the biggest female rock’n’roll stars of the 1950s and beyond.
Her career was helped along by a certain Elvis Presley, whose “ring she wore” (she was his girlfriend) for about year back in the day. And that’s just one of the entertaining stories about her life Wanda recounts as enjoyable stage banter throughout the show. Another is how popular her hit Fujiyama Mama was in Japan – the song contains the lyrics “I can cause destruction just like the atom bomb”, which you’d imagine might have been rather confronting in 1957.
Imelda May was the support act and she also joined Wanda on stage to belt out a few tunes together, including one of my faves: Hard Headed Woman. Other standouts were Let’s Have A Party and Funnel Of Love. And, proving she’s not stuck in the past, Wanda did a cover of Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good from her new album, which was produced by the White Stripes‘ Jack White.
The Luminaire is a real music-lovers venue. It’s intimate, with great sound, and it’s just a shame Wanda’s so tiny, we could barely see her on the low stage. We could hear her perfectly though, because even after 50 years in the biz, Wanda can still wail!