It’s 1996, Smash Hits plopped on your doormat fortnightly, Top of the Pops was the perfect Thursday night prelude to Eastenders, social media consisted of passing notes to your mates in Geography, and Louise (just Louise) was riding reasonably high in the charts having just relieved herself of girl group success a little higher up in the charts with Eternal.
This week in London’s wet and windy Kings Cross, Louise arrived back on the live music scene after an absence of fifteen years to perform (all) her hits to an audience of bearded, bespectacled men in their thirties with a penchant for girl group solo survivors. It’s well reported of late Louise has had some marital problems – lesser journalists might lazily refer to the “Strictly curse” – but here she arrived on stage in style, all tan and teeth in a black power suit/dress to jubilantly deliver opening song Arms Around The World, and to be adored all over again.
What followed was a confident trot out of her modest back catalogue supported by three wonderfully sparky backing vocalists, at times doing some serious heavy lifting with the singing duties, and more than adequate fill ins for the three other members of Eternal during two of their tracks, Stay and Just A Step From Heaven – and two of the standouts from the night. For band support Louise enlisted what looked like The Ordinary Boys, decked out in uniformed Fred Perry polo shirts and looking just about ambivalent to be there.
For old school Louise fans the evening was a real treat and two of her biggest hits – Naked and Two Faced – went down an absolute storm with the packed Scala crowd. Louise was clearly loving being back belting out her old tunes, but with a new record deal freshly inked can she recapture her almost amazing solo career in 2018?