Alison Moyet sets out her store right at the beginning of her latest live show, announcing that this is 'The Other Tour' rather than 'another' tour. She's referring, as the diehard fans need no reminding, to her latest album – a startling work of electronic soundscapes that artist's half the 56-year-old's age would kill to have created.
Rendered live in the relatively intimate surroundings of the London Palladium, with Moyet accompanied by two musicians and a lightshow that amps up the moodiness, the new songs sound even more vivid and, when it comes to something as personal as The English U (penned as a tribute to her late mother), even more poignant when we get the anecdotes to go with them.
But Alf - who came to fame as the down-to-earth Essex girl of Yazoo fame, flirted quite brilliantly with mainstream pop on her first two albums, then went all experimental to the detriment of chart success but to the advantage of her own artistic advancement – knows that her bread is very much buttered on those early hits so she peppers the set with plenty of crowd-pleasers.
Nobody's Diary, which she wrote when she was just 16, comes early in the show, All Cried Out gets an ingenious electro makeover and Love Resurrection (with highly suggestive lyrics that seemed to go unnoticed back in 1984) sounds more powerful and less throwaway now that the singer's voice has deepened with age.
Moyet must be the only '80s popstar who looks better now than she did back in her chart heyday and she's got some really cool moves, which she brings out for the triple whammy of Situation, Whispering Her Name and Don't Go at the end of the night – by which point the crowd, having been served an interesting starter and satisfying main course, are high on a rich retro dessert.
She talks during the show about feeling 'other', as in the album's title and the feeling of never really fitting in, but it's been the inspiration for her solo material and it's what continues to make her such a singular, striving singer and songwriter.
Weak In The Presence Of Beauty isn't, sadly, an old song that she cares to revisit this time round, but she left the crowd weak in the presence of such a beautiful voice and spirit.