It's been more than 25 years since Suzanne Vega briefly monopolised cool with the folky, savvy pop of Marlene on the Wall, Left of Center and Luka.
Each was a vignette, chronicling some observed drama or minutiae, all delivered with Vega's distinctively intimate vocal and with a New Yorker's savoir faire. Her songs, and the albums that spawned them, were particularly successful in the UK with eight of her first nine singles charting here. Meanwhile, just two of the releases from her first two albums made the US countdown, although that did include a No 3 for Luka.
Written about a small boy she'd observed in her apartment block and extrapolated into a tale of child abuse, Luka was typical of Vega's at times challenging take on songwriting. Her biggest hit in the UK was to be a remix of the 1987 single Tom's Diner, taking from the singer's third record Solitude Standing. Originally an 'a cappella' track that helped earn Vega a sobriquet as the 'Queen of the MP3' after it was used in early experiments in compressing audio data, DNA added some beats and Tom's Diner made No 2 in 1990.
In 2010, Suzanne Vega began releasing the Close-Up trilogy of albums, featuring re-workings of much of her back catalogue under the three headings Love Songs, People & Places and States of Being, the latter released last summer. Always re-inventing, innovating and re-thinking, Suzanne Vega remains one of pop's finest songwriters and performers and she's taking to the road in late May.
The dates begin with two shows at the Minack Theatre in Penzance on 25th and 26th May, followed by gigs in London (at Islington's Union Chapel), Brighton, Gateshead and York, before the final date announced so far in Basingstoke on Thursday 26th June 2012.
We have tickets for all these dates available now, priced from £20 for Penzance (second night only, first sold out), rising to £29.50 for the Union Chapel gig.