She’s the lauded British chanteuse who helped give Eton John his first UK number-one single.
And now Kiki Dee is about to hit Newcastle as part of her first-ever headline tour and she told Newcastle Live she couldn’t wait to get back Down Under.
It’s very exciting,” she said. “I actually did perform down there back in 1970 [as a backup vocalist for Irish band The Bachelors] so it will be great to get back to see how much everything has changed.”
For the tour, Kiki has teamed up with long-time collaborator Carmelo Luggeri – a producer and guitarist who has worked with the likes of Bill Wyman, Julian Lennon, and Chris Rea – and she promised punters a laid-back affair that would run the gamut of her long and storied career.
“It’s going to be a very intimate show with just myself and Carmelo.,” she said. “We will be playing a lot of Kiki and Carmelo songs as well as a selection of my hits – but done in a much more intimate way.”
While she is a formidable talent in her own right, with such hits as I’ve Got The Music In Me and Amoureuse and the fact that she was the first white female artists signed to Tamla Motown, her 1976 duet with a young Reggie Dwight – Don’t Go Breaking my Heart that she will always be best known for.
“That was such an incredible time,” Kiki said.
“Myself and Elton both grew up loving Motown duets but originally the song wasn’t going to be a duet – I was just going to record some vocals,
“I knew then it was a great song but, when we recorded it I didn’t think it was going to be a hit – I’m glad I was wrong.”
Kiki, who added that getting to perform the track with Elton at Wembley stadium for Live Aid was a definite ‘pinch me’ moment, said that seeing herself portrayed on the big screen in the recent Rocketman biopic was another.
“I must admit I was quite chuffed to see myself portrayed by Rachel Muldoon,” she said. “I was quite flattered to be included.”
So what has Kiki, who has collaborated with Elton on numerous occasions since that auspicious duet, learned about her craft from the flamboyant frontman.
“Elton is just such a dynamic performer – you could never get bored watching him,” she said.
“I did a couple of North American tours with Elton in the 1970s and the thing that struck me the most was his effortless showmanship and the amazing musicians he had playing with him.”
Catch Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri at Lizotte’s on Sunday 4 August.