SONGS OF FREEDOM

The star encourages the audience to scream their own name at the Manchester Apollo - quite liberating, apparently...

ERYKAH BADU made her first appearance on a UK stage for more than three years last night, with a two-hour set at MANCHESTER APOLLO.

Badu, backed with a seven-piece band, took the stage dressed from head to toe in white, with a long feather skirt and trademark turban.

The majority of the set was taken from her recently-released second album, ‘Mama’s Gun’ with selected tracks from her debut ‘Baduizm’, as well as ‘Tyrone’ from 1997’s ‘Live!’ recording.

Early on in the performance, Baduaddressed the audience, saying: “I’ve been having a dream, it’s a recurring dream that one day all the people in the world will feel so free they’ll be who they really are without giving a damn whatever anybody else thinks. If you’re all feeling as free as I am then put your hands in the air and scream your own name.”

When the audience obeyed, the Dallas-born singer shouted: “I’m just trying to teach the world about freedom!”

Before ‘Cleva’ from ‘Mama’s Gun’, Badu threw off her turban to reveal a shaven head, to rapturous applause. The song contains the line: “My hair ain’t never hung down to my shoulders/and it might not grow/ya never know.”

The full setlist was:

‘Intro’

‘Otherside’

‘Time’s A Wastin”

‘Penitentiary Philosophy’

‘Didn’t Cha Know’

‘My Life’

‘. & On’

‘Cleva’

‘Hey Sugah’

‘Kiss Me On My Neck’

‘AD 2000’

‘Liberation’

‘Orange Man’

‘Ghetto Heaven’

‘Sometimes’

‘Tyrone’

‘Green Eyes’

‘Bag Lady’

The show was the first in a brief UK visit. Tonight (July 17) and tomorrow Badu plays London Brixton Academy. ‘Mama’s Gun’ is out now through Motown.