A GLOBAL star at the age of 19, Tanita Tikarum, pictured, blazed a particularly bright trail through the late 1980s.

Her debut album, Ancient Heart, was an astonishingly mature work for one so young, being devoid of filler and spawning two hit singles. She was even covered by Liza Minnelli, for goodness sake. She never scaled the same heights again and in recent years appeared to have disappeared completely, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her make an appearance at this year's festival.

Fronting an entirely acoustic band, comprising, piano, guitar, upright bass and woodwind, Tikaram, opened with a curiously gutless performance of Good Tradition, the sprightly drums of the original sadly missing here. However, this was the only tune which suffered in this way as the band eased through a beautifully stripped back tour through her catalogue, with that slightly world-weary voice in good shape. Unsurprisingly, tracks from Ancient Heart formed a large part of the show, with He Likes The Sun, Cathedral Song and, particularly, Valentine Heart, sounding very good indeed. A new album, Can't Go Back, appeared last year, featuring both new songs and new versions of old ones and the sold out crowd at the Mitchell knew them all. Dust On My Shoe, Science and All Things To You, blended well with the older material, but it was a gorgeously minimalist version of Twist In My Sobriety that stole the show.

Loading article content

A Django Reinhardt inspired version of I Can't Give You Anything But Love and a throwaway cover of Love Is In The Air wrapped up the show, which marked a welcome return to the stage for one of our more enigmatic singer/songwriters.

HHHH