Amy Winehouse Birmingham show ends in chaos

TROUBLED singer Amy Winehouse returned to the stage in Birmingham for the opening night of her UK tour but left many fans fuming with a sometimes shambolic performance.

Amy Winehouse on stage at the NIA.

AS a music fan, this was one of the saddest nights of my life. In front of my eyes I saw a supremely talented artist reduced to tears, stumbling around the stage and, unforgivably, swearing at the audience.

This first date of a month-long tour didn't start well, with Amy taking to the stage, glass in hand, half an hour later than scheduled.

The audience, already wondering whether she would turn up at all, were restless.

Wearing a mini skirt and low cut top, the 24-year-old began racing through her set, culled mainly from the mega-selling Back To Black album.

Backed by a seven-piece band and two male vocalists, who danced as much as sang, Amy's smoky voice and laid back jazz was winning over the doubters.

But as she called for more drinks to be brought to her it became obvious that her mind was elsewhere.

She seemed confused between numbers, she dropped the microphone and during Wake Up Alone, dedicated to her husband, she began crying. There were more tears during the next song, Unholy War.

As she returned her guitar to its rest she stumbled and had to be steadied by a roadie.

"I'm sorry," she told the audience but people were already leaving.

While she vacated the stage for a cigarette the band was introduced to the crowd who sensed things were not right.

Back on stage, Amy took over the band introductions but seemed quite aggressive. Then during the reggae-lite Monkey Man she attempted to dance but was reduced to a fit of laughter. Cheers of support were drowned by boos.

"Who's booing?" she demanded, before swearing at the perceived culprits.

By this time her speech was so slurred it was hard to recognise the lyrics of the songs.

An hour after first coming on stage Amy sang her shambolic final number, Rehab and stumbled off. Many fans quickly headed for the exits, leaving banks of empty seats, but she returned for two more tracks. Again there were tears and she threw her mic stand off stage.

The fans remaining did their best to encourage her with cheers.

But there's no way an artist can expect people to pay hard earned money for tickets, then give a sub-standard performance.

I can't give the usual Birmingham Mail star rating because this was a show by a troubled individual that should never have gone ahead.

Afterwards, Emily Fox, aged 28, from Erdington, said: "Winehouse was incoherent during a lot of the songs.

"She shouldn't be performing if she is not up to it. It's a waste of our money."

Sandra Smith, aged 35, from Yardley, said: "It is what you expect from her and although it is a little disappointing, I still enjoyed the night."

 

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