Opening tonight ….Vika Bull, one of Australia’s most respected, powerful soul singers, is set to tell the story of one of the most influential soul singers of all time: Etta James. Written by critically acclaimed UK author John Livings, At Last: The Etta James Story premiered at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre on 19 February 2013 (just over a year after Etta James’ death in January 2012), and will open at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Wednesday June 5, for five days only until Sunday June 9. (images available)
Vika Bull is a commanding singer with an impressive career, having sung alongside some of the Australia’s most iconic voices including the one this week named Australia’s greatest voice in John Farnham, as well as Paul Kelly, Tim Finn and The Black Sorrows, and supported world famous musicians Bob Dylan, Sting, Joe Cocker and Billy Joel.
“Etta James has had a huge influence on my musical journey. Someone played her record to me when I had just started performing, and from then on I was hooked. She had a voice so powerful it could knock you over, and I just love her sassy cheekiness on stage!” says Ms Bull.
The narrative concert will see Vika put her heart into telling the story of Etta’s turbulent life and give over her soul to voice Etta’s most beloved songs including ‘Tell Mama,’ ‘Something’s Got A Hold On Me’, ‘Pushover’, the heart rending ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, her iconic signature song ‘At Last’ and many more.
Etta James’ prolific career was shadowed by recurring problems with drug addiction; her time spent playing to thousands of fans juxtaposed with periods inside several prisons and rehab clinics. “Like many famous musicians Etta had a tough life, but she kept on coming back – singing and performing until she became ill in 2010. Now, a year after her death we are telling her story, and all I can say is I hope I can do her justice,” says Ms Bull.
Producers Moira Bennett and Simon Myers are thrilled to have Vika Bull tell the story of Etta James. “Vika is a phenomenal singer – her voice has a similar raw strength and depth of emotion to Etta’s, and that combined with her depth of experience in the music industry make her the perfect fit,” says Ms Bennett.
Vika has maintained a successful music career since the 1980s, when she and her sister Linda helped The Black Sorrows to achieve multi-platinum status. Since then they have released their own albums (the first produced by Paul Kelly) and performed on some of the biggest stages in the world. Backed by the sizzling Essential R&B Band, Vika Bull will sing Etta James songs with raw emotion, punctuated by an intimate telling of Etta’s tumultuous life.
In the 1990s Etta became recognized as one of the first to bridge the gap between rhythm & blues, rock & roll and pop. She has since inspired the careers of a new generation of artists such as Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and Adele.
WHAT: At Last: The Etta James Story
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
When: Wednesday June 5 to Sunday June 9, 2013
Performances: Wednesday June 5 7.30pm
Thursday June 6 7.30pm
Friday June 7 7.30pm
Saturday June 8 1.30pm
Saturday June 8 7.30pm
Sunday June 9 7.30pm
Bookings: Brisbane Powerhouse Box Office on 07 3358 8600 Ticketmaster.com.au 136 100
Tickets: Concession $59.00 / Adults $69.00