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Last Updated: Friday, 18 July, 2003, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Shania's sugar at Hyde Park
by Neil Smith
BBC News Online

Shania Twain
Twain now lives with her family in Switzerland
Shania Twain, who holds the record for the most successful female solo album of all time, played her only UK gig this year in London on Saturday.

Few artists have been as commercially successful or as critically reviled as Shania Twain, Canada's biggest export since Due South and Moosehead beer.

Click here to review the concert yourself

Purists despise her airwave-friendly mix of country and pop, while cynics claim her saucy videos, not her music, are the reason why she is a megastar.

But when you have sold more than 50 million albums who on earth cares what people think? Especially when your loyal fanbase ensures your only UK gig in 2003 - in London's Hyde Park no less - is a virtual sell-out.

Glamorous

She strode on wearing a trilby and tie to kick off her two-hour gig with the girl power anthem Man! I Feel Like A Woman.

Shania Twain
Her catchy, country pop tunes have made her a huge success

The feisty feminism continued with That Don't Impress Me Much, I'm Gonna Getcha Good and Don't Be Stupid.

By this time though the mannish attire had been swapped for a revealing top and some hip-hugging, sequin-covered trousers.

Slushy

The concert oscillated between poppy, guitar-fuelled rock-outs and Celine Dion-style ballads, invariably performed on a stool at the front of the stage. The latter showcased Twain's fine voice but had a sickly sentimental feel.

Take Not Just A Pretty Face, a tribute to womanhood accompanied by projections of Anne Frank and Mother Theresa, or Juanita, bafflingly dedicated to "all you women out there who just need a little push". (To do what exactly?)

The irony of an international recording star bemoaning the evils of materialism in Ka-Ching! also takes some swallowing.

Professional

Luckily she was on safer ground with traditional country fare like the jaunty Any Man Of Mine and the self-explanatory Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?

Her finest moment was undoubtedly the encore, when - clad in a Union Jack T-Shirt - she crooned her biggest hit You're Still The One.

Slick pyrotechnics and an energetic nine-piece band ensured a evening's entertainment, but that will not be enough to silence Shania's many critics.

Did you see the gig?

What did you think? Send us your views on the form below.

Waited a long time to see Shania, thought the show was fantastic...even the reluctant boyfriend had to admit her live performance was very close to the original recordings. There's a rarity in itself..it was live! Not a bunch of wannabes miming to a backing track..unlike most of the previous weeks offering in Hyde Park. Ah...everyones a critic.
Lynda B, UK

Yes, was lucky enough to go to the show in Hyde Park - and very glad that I did too!The opening acts were entertaining, although the Mavericks were a bit of a disappointment with a) the swearing and b) they didn't actually sing their biggest hit Dance the Night Away, they just played it, which I thought was stupid. But to be honest I think everyone just wanted Shania to come on ASAP!

When she did, she lit up the park -she was even better than I'd anticipated, unlike most artists when singing live, Shania actually sounded like her records, such a strong, distinctive voice. Was horrified when she teased the show had finished, but glad when she reappeared in that fantastic Union Jack top and finished the night with You're still the One and Rock this Country.

A thoroughly entertaining night (despite the long wait in the heat but got to the front anyway!) from a genuinely lovely, talented superstar.Thanks Shania!
Chris, Swansea, South Wales, UK

Fantastic show!! I think a few critics out there just envy her success?? Shania has a way of making people feel good through her music, isn't that what it's all about? A nearly sell out Hyde Park says it all to me. Keep up the good work Shania. And to hell what the critics say. The fans say it all!!!!!!
David Boiston, United Kingdom

I was there and had a wonderful time. A great holiday atmosphere with the lovely weather and happy people. Shania and her band put on a lively and professional show that had me dancing and singing all night. How can people complain about the content? It was billed as being "Up" and it was that and more. Just excellent.
Brian Harden, Tetbury, UK

I'm sick and tired of people knocking Shania. She was awesome on Saturday night. She did 2 hours non-stop and kept the crowd shouting for more. It's easy for people to knock someone who is doing well. You have to remember she only had a baby recently which is why she took two years off and to come back and and still be at the top is no mean feat. I say, ignore the people sad enough to knock you Shania, all your fans love you and will continue to support you in everything you do.
Andy, England

Shania was great! Was in Golden Circle with my mum and we both had the best evening for a long time....worth every penny to see an artist that genuinely enjoys her job!
Cassie, London, England

The concert was fantastic! Shania kept the audience in suspense for the whole night. She was amazing, a brilliant show! I enjoyed every moment of it!
Steven Ruysch, England

Shania was electric as we knew she would be. We enjoyed the concert very much. But what a shame The Mavericks had to spoil it a bit when the lead singer swore. We were enjoying them also until then. The Abba mimmicks were very good.
Sidney & Madeleine Cottrell, UK

A beautiful evening and a cracking show. Only problem I found was that is was very similar to the tour of 98/99: same opening and closing songs, same dance steps etc.. Just wish I'd got there earlier so I could have got to the front and shook the lovely lady's hand!
Laura, UK

I thought that the concert was amazing! The crowd knew every word to her songs. She's a great perfomer, and I will certainly be going to see her again!
Laura, Enlgand

Shania Twain was great performing all her hits. It's great to see a fine artist singing proper songs without using offensive language and/or violence. For that Shania has my sincere gratitude.

Well done Shania - you are truly remarkable.
Simon, UK

Yeah, I was there! Disappointed, slightly, but Shania was in very good form and was obviously fresh and glad to be back on stage. Awesome band, as ever. Her songs don't appeal to everybody but to a hell of a lot of people - they're simple melodically and say simple stuff in an engaging way. One can be too cynical sometimes. And as for a megastar proclaiming against materialism - how poor does one have to be to do so?
Randy, UK

Great!!! We made all the way from Switzerland to see her (and also London). Her warm and loving way in singing and making contact with her fans is the best we've ever seen - and we've seen a lot!

Can't understand why there were so few good critics in newspapers. The only explanation for us is that they envy her success. But we love her and are convinced of her talent and her gift to make other people happy with her music!
Martin Balteschwiler & Regula Barendsen, Switzerland

What a fantastic night! It was even better than we ever thought. What else can I say?
Hayley, Cheshire

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SEE ALSO:
Fame Academy recruits pop stars
16 Sep 02  |  Entertainment
Shania goes back to school
07 Aug 00  |  Entertainment
Shania named Country favourite
04 May 00  |  Entertainment
Shania's top of the pops
19 Jan 00  |  Entertainment


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