Even though The Shires were playing simultaneously only a few yards away at the Indigo, there was only one place to be at the O2 and it was Club WM. It seemed that a large swathe of UK country bands, were in attendance, as well as many luminaries on the scene and countless fans to see the second performance of Melanie. The why’s and wherefores of how this came to be are none of our concern but as Melanie herself succinctly put it “If you knew me before I’m now Melanie, and if you didn’t then I’m Melanie”. Having said that, it is difficult view the performance other than through the prism of recent events.
If you are going play your first solo shows it is always good to have a solid band behind you and so it was reassuring to see that Melanie was in relatively safe hands with Justin Johnson on percussion and Tom Wright on guitar. The crowd were still coming in (or at least trying to) as Melanie launched unannounced into “Ready To Run”. Looking a little wan at the start, the colour soon returned to her cheeks and she looked a lot more at ease once the song had begun. It was to be mixture of old and new material, the second song being a visit to a previous incarnation with “Never Greener”.
The temperature inside Club WM was already rocketing upwards and it must be said the atmosphere was electric, and the temperature gauge went up a further few degrees with the next song, a version of the CMA Song of The Year “Humble and Kind”, certain lines like “Don’t
steal, don’t cheat & don’t lie“, were delivered with a fair degree of venom. As the final chords faded there was an enormous roar from the whole room. From one award winning song to another, as former BCMA Song of the year “Something About A Woman” was played, with the audience noticeably loudly singing along.
There was time for new songs, “Damned”, co written with among others Amy Westney, with once again certain lines emphasised to full effect. The first new material from Melanie to be released, looks set to be the rather excellent “Save It (for someone who gives a damn)”. By now, Club WM was exceptionally hot, and a after a short band introduction, things were closed out with an Eagles cover, “Desperado”. By the end, Melanie looked both, emotionally exhausted and exhilarated, but was happy to meet and greet anyone who wanted to say "Hi". She can certainly feel exceptionally proud of a job well done.