Eurovision is something of a ‘marmite’ spectacle, isn’t it?
So, I’ll openly admit I was attending Eurovision Unplugged at Crewe Lyceum Theatre on Sunday with some trepidation – although I’ve been very readily won over by its star, SuRie, after following her on social media and enjoying the commentary on life she provides there.
First of all, let’s get the name thing out of the way: SuRie is a combination of the performer’s first names; Susanna, Marie.
She was born in Harlow (Essex) and raised in Bishop’s Stortford (Hertfordshire) and, as she told the audience in Crewe over the weekend, she actually had a few Eurovision Song Contests under her belt prior to representing the UK this year.
Opening the intimate concert SuRie recounted her full Eurovision journey for us, thanking fans for their support (along with a joke about who might crash ono else stage accompanied by her firm instruction to anyone considering it: DON’T!)
SuRie has performed at Eurovision as a backing vocalist for Belgian contestant Loic Nottet and as a dancer in 2015, and was also musical director for another Belgian act, Blanche, in the 2017 contest.
Her appearance at Crewe Lyceum offered an uplifting show, with the intimate venue providing a chance for the performer to relax and open up to her adoring audience.
Mostly, of course, the audience contained ultra-fans (with one family even travelling down from Scotland to see her perform).
This was most noticeable when the performer revealed she recognised many faces from social media, and most of the audience hung around afterwards for selfies and signatures with SuRie.
The show itself celebrated many of the classic Eurovision songs we all know and love: Save All Your Kisses For Me, Puppet on a String, Waterloo…
It also featured more poignant inclusions: for instance, both SuRie’s song ‘Storm’ from this year and another song of hers – also coincidentally called ‘Storm’ – which she wrote when she was just 14.
It was a chance for the artist to tell her own Eurovision narrative as well as that of other artists and influential acts over the years.
The concert really did reflect the singer’s passion for Eurovision, and her deep understanding of the journey the contest has been on throughout the years, as well as the impact it’s had on artists involved.
SuRie is such a humble and gracious person, and showed this in closing the gig with Netta’s winning entry ‘Toy’ from the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.
SuRie fully deserved every second of the standing ovation she received, and I came away reflecting on what a warm and truly genuine performer she is – her motivation and love of performance is so evident.
She’s also really funny! (And only sometimes without meaning to be…!)
I advise anyone with a chance of seeing her perform to grab it with both arms, you’ll totally love experiencing her talent and the warmth she brings to her work.