At 68, Dolly is the darling of all age groups, it seems. Five ladies of a very fine vintage pottered in new-looking blue jeans and Stetsons in front of us, while a group of cowgals in their 20s linked arms and let out a few yee-haws. It’s a Dolly-mixture audience, no doubt about it.
I last reviewed the five-foot fountain of frothy fabulousness in June 2008. Then, it lashed rain through a leaky roof. Ever-the pro, our Dolly half-joking said: “Hell, I always wanted to die on stage in front a crowd,” as she fluffed her hair and side-stepped a puddle.
This time, there was no dying on stage, metaphorically or otherwise as she played practically every instrument in the band. I was half expecting her to start drumming her bosoms, just to show off.
On stage, she’s a beguiling presence, peppering her perfect set with tales from growing up poor in Tennessee, strutting around in a bejewelled white gown. She literally dazzled us. It’s hard to explain how tiny her waist is in the flesh, and how huge her ... hair is.
Speaking of the gruaige, one of our Dolly bird’s best lines has to be when she was asked how long it takes to get her hair done — “I don’t know, I’m never there”.
But there is nothing fake about her two best assets — her charm and her voice. She did have a bit of a cough confiding “me with a sore chest is like a giraffe with a sore neck”.
Precious Memories was performed acapella with such sensitivity and harmony and a sweetness that was just a joy to witness. She is a pro, she is polished, but her voice has a purity that is the essence of what a live performance should be, bringing us all together under her spell.
We rocked, we rolled, and I’m pretty sure we had a bit of a rollick at one stage. We sang along to the oldies and we worshipped our goldie. Highlight — The sax solo.
She is one Saxy lady.