The Borderline, in London’s Soho, has recently been redecorated, and always been a brilliant place to see bands. Of all the venues in London, it’s the one I’ve been to the most, and so when the opportunity arose to see Tiffany in concert at the venue, I leapt at the chance.
I had interviewed Tiffany the previous week, and she mentioned that live performance was where she shines. After seeing her on Monday night, I’m in no doubt about the truth of that, she puts on a huge show, filled with fun and energy, and had the crowd eating out of the palms of her hands.
Opening with what she had described to me as her favourite cover track, The Beatles’, ‘I Saw Him Standing There’, it was clear from the start that Tiffany has a great time when she’s performing. Singing loud and strong while playing the tambourine, Tiffany and her band, which includes Mark Alberici and his brother Olivier, best known as half of alt rock band The Killing Floors, let everyone know we were in for a great night.
Tiffany’s fans feel like they’re part of her family, and it’s obvious there’s a real closeness there which goes beyond the usual fan/star relationship. She occasionally got down from the stage to take photos with them, quite a number of whom have been along for the thirty years of her career. Back on stage, she asked who had been to see her perform before, and while most were regular Tiffany concert goers, a few were first timers, which has to be a good thing.
If anyone had expected Tiffany to be a pop act they would definitely have been in for a surprise on Monday night, as her style comes somewhere between Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett – alt rock with a country edge. Her voice is one which has certainly stood the test of time and her sound is light years away from what it was when she was a teen star. Tiffany’s set covered most of her latest album, ‘Pieces Of Me’, which had only been released digitally the previous Friday, so it was great to hear so many at the show who knew all the lyrics.
Performing for close to two hours, there were, in addition to the 16 song set list, several asides to the audience, including some banter about her 80s “rival” Debbie Gibson, with whom she’s recently performed in Singapore. Like the whole night, it was all good natured fun, and Tiffany explained that she’ll catch up with Debbie again in a few months when she performs in New York.
Tiffany didn’t just sing her most recent songs, but also brought out some old classics, in addition to first song, ‘I Saw Him Standing There’. She sent most of the band back stage and slowed down the pace, accompanied only by her keyboard player. Her 1987 hit, ‘Could’ve Been’, was unfamiliar to some, but for those of us who had grown up with Tiffany’s music we knew what it was immediately. Also featured was ‘Butterfly’, from ‘The Color Of Silence’. Released in 2000, Tiffany explained this had been the first album on which she’d been allowed to have real input. Other songs included ‘Here In My Heart’, from her 1990 album, ‘New Inside’, and ‘All This Time’, from ‘Hold An Old Friend’s Hand’, from 1988. For someone with a career spanning 30 years and 10 studio albums, it must have been quite difficult deciding which songs to sing, but she’s a consumate professional and every song was absolutely perfect.
The band returned to the stage, and Tiffany said she’d sing one more song from ‘Pieces Of Me’, the beautiful, and very moving, ‘Fall’. She could have ended it there, but rather than send us out on a sad note, she started singing the one she’s best known for, ‘I Think We ‘re Alone Now’. It had been nagging me, wondering if she ever gets sick of singing that song. I had my answer on Monday night. No longer a pop song, Tiffany – and everyone else in the building – sang it at the top of her lungs, and we all had an absolute ball doing it.
We had presumed that would be the final song, and I think most of the audience did as well, but Tiffany clearly didn’t want to end there, and instead launched into ‘Lost Inside’, a “bonus track” which didn’t make it onto ‘Pieces Of Me’, but, I hope, will make it onto her next album.