(Presented by Markus Hamence)
The Regal Theatre
Saturday 26 November 2022
Words – Geoff Jenke
Photos – Robert McArthur
Deni Hines has lived in Bangkok for the past five years and has not returned to Australia in that time. However, “when you get a call from Markus, you come” she told us. This was also an Australian exclusive live event and people had come from interstate just to see it. Adelaide does indeed sometimes lead the way with live music.
Deni entered the theatre from the back, walking through the stalls to the stage singing You Got the Love. The evening was truly a run through of the past, as well as the now, with Bill Withers, Ain’t No Sunshine, a hit for the Rockmelons, with Deni on vocals, back in 1991 following.
Two tracks from her 1996 album, Imagination, followed, the title track Imagination, during which she asked Markus for a towel, and a beautiful cover of 10CC’s I’m Not in Love, sang seated on the stage. During the later song she included a bit of the song R.E.S.P.E.C.T., in respect to Aretha Franklin who did this on one of her live albums. Deni told everyone “To check it out”.
Always telling stories between songs, we learnt she dated James Packer for a briefest of time, and also how the song Feel is about her father who she has never met. A few “oohhhs” had her clarifying “don’t be sad, because I am not.”
The Michael Jackson song P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing), was a massive hit for her in Japan and also for the audience in The Regal Theatre as people took to the aisles to dance. They stayed there while she played Bachelor Girls Buses and Trains.
Deni never hid the fact she was 52 years old, mentioning it several times during the set. She also said “I got my good looks from my mother”. I think it was more than good looks, I think it was also talent and a great voice. After a stirring (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher Deni left the stage saying they would be back soon.
Set two started with “the most personal song I have ever written” and after a false start, she delivered a passionate Love You in This Life. Deni also reminded us it has been 10 years they have been married.
The Rockmelons It’s Not Over followed and It’s Alright had the aisle filled with dancing again. Things slowed down “for grandma’s favourite song” Exhale with a beautiful trumpet intro.
Rock Steady got the people up again, and a version of Gladys Knight & the Pips, If I was Your Woman had them jumping all over the place.
Naturally That Word (L.O.V.E.) intertwined with a little of What the World Needs Now is Love, closed the set and was probably the crowd favourite of the evening.
After thanking Adelaide people for coming out to the show and Markus, she said “I’m not going to walk off as it is a wank” before giving us one for song to round out a perfect evening of entertainment.
Deni Hines is a master of pop, soul and a little jazz. She has a powerful voice, even for a 52-year-old, as she kept telling us she was.
Well done Markus for bringing this talent to Adelaide. Adelaide got something very special and the rest of Australia missed out.