The Manchester Ritz in my mind can't decide whether it is a full on music venue or a theatre. It does have the unfortunate accolade of being the home of one time DJ and current controversy, Jimmy Saville, but it is quite a warming place really, and well set out and laid back. I was there to witness one of the major discoveries of the year, Ren Harvieu.

Bang on 9.20 p.m. as scheduled, the lady herself graced the stage in a flaming orange and black long dress and black hat, breaking into ‘Tonight’ and then singing ‘Through the Night’ without the bat of an eyelid. Very few singers on the rounds at the moment possess the talent that Harvieu does. This was live, and I had to keep checking myself that I was not at home listening to a CD loaded in the hi-fi in my front room. It was that good.

Another major highlight, if just being there wasn't enough, was ‘Love is a Melody’. Ren introduced it by saying that she "recorded it when she was 21, which was annoying because I'm a much better singer now." Laughing shyly she described ‘Twist the Knife’ as a Dolly Parton type track and then introduced the band. Just before ‘Forever in Blue’, she pointed out into the crowd and giggled, "I know you, you're from Salford!"

Before she broke into a wonderful rendition of Orbison's ‘Crying’ she told us she was a much happier and stronger person now. Aren't we all the better for it? Ren belted out ‘Open Up Your Arms’ as the last track, and encored with the Beatles standard ‘Something’ to round off a brilliant, inspiring performance from the lady from Salford. Class.

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Commenting On: Ritz, Manchester, 9/10/2012 - Ren Harvieu

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