Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lady in Black and the Blues; WORLD

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lady in Black and the Blues; WORLD

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON BROUGHTON

Cristina Branco

Purcell Room, SE1

WHO would have thought that fado, the melancholy "Portuguese blues", would have become one of the hot world music tickets?

Mariza packs the Festival Hall these days, but Cristina Branco is one of the other young women taking this music to new audiences. The Purcell Room was sold out some time back.

Branco is tall and elegant in a tight black dress and lace top - black is the obligatory fado colour. I want to see the revolution when a fado singer strides on stage in flaming crimson.

Branco has sculptural cheekbones, deep-set eyes and a naturally emotive face. Her voice is strong and focused, but what is the attraction for an audience that knows no Portuguese?

Good fado singers deliver a vocal line of extraordinary light and shade, often changing from one note to the next. It is one of the gifts of the Portuguese language.

She was accompanied by two Portuguese guitars, Spanish guitar and acoustic bass guitar plus an occasional piano. …

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