Amid all the fanfare about Robbie Williams making his comeback live performance at the Electric Proms this month (and no, appearing on X Factor doesn’t count), the return of a real music legend is being scandalously overlooked. I speak, of course, of Dame Shirley Bassey, veteran of three Bond soundtracks, shifter of some 135 million records worldwide (that’s more than twice Robbie’s career sales), and a recording artist for no less than 52 years.
What makes her appearance on October 23 particularly exciting is that she’ll be singing selections from her first studio album in 20 years, The Performance, which is released on November 9. I’ve not heard it yet but it promises to be pretty special given that all 11 tracks have been penned especially for Dame Shirley by a who’s who of contemporary songwriters including Gary Barlow, KT Tunstall, Tom Baxter, Richard Hawley, the Manics, The Pet Shop Boys and Rufus Wainwright.
If Vera Lynn can top the charts at the age of 92, then surely a relative spring chicken like Dame Shirl, who, it must be said, could easily pass for two decades younger than her 72 years (check out the photo below), has got to be in with a shout of a number one.