Tarkan Live at Wembley

Live Editor Phil Reynolds
The Edge, Pg 14, Issue e08 (Wessex Scene Online)

Tarkan Live at Wembley @ Wessex Scene, The Edge, Issue e08, 13 April 2008

Though German born and now living in New York, Tarkan is known as the "Turkish Prince of Pop".

Seven years is an awfully long time to wait to see your favourite artist perform. Luckily, Tarkan's fans were not left disappointed and no one could deny it was most definitely well worth the wait. He played Wembley, can you believe it? And he nearly filled it! Though seating tickets went like fresh baklava, there was still plenty of space at the back of the standing area, where rumour has it one of Tarkan's more excitable and vivacious fans was putting on a performance of his own.

Anyway, a little bit of background information for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of listening to Tarkan's music (and I suspect that's the majority of you). It might ring some very vague and distant bells if I mention Holly Valance and her criminal version of "Kiss Kiss". Please trust me when I say that the original is infinitely better and what Tarkan was thinking when he let her trash it like that is far beyond the realms of my comprehension.

Though German born and now living in New York, Tarkan is known as the "Turkish Prince of Pop" and is one of Turkey's most successful and popular artists. He has also had varying degrees of success on mainland Europe; when he released "Simarik/Kiss Kiss" (Ölürüm Sana/1997) it reached number 1 in most of the European countries - which I think is rather cool.

After the release of his latest album Metamorfoz (2007), he decided to return to England to promote it. On Sunday 13 April 2008, I could barely contain my excitement as I queued with thousands of others eagerly anticipating the start of the concert.

Incidentally, I was stood so close to the stage, that as I had wished, I could see the sweat dripping from his nose. I couldn't have been happier when his support act, Manga, a Turkish rap metal band (yes, you're right, those words should never appear next to each other and they're not worth listening to) appeared on stage only to tell many of their long suffering fans that they would not be playing due to technical difficulties. I later found out (I know people who know people alright), that they had been unable to do a sound check and refused to go on without one. Either way, I couldn't have been happier. On with the show!

Opening with the title track of his 2003 album, "Dudu", he instantly had the whole audience eating out of the palm of his hand. The crowds, both seated and standing went mad. This long overdue concert was, as he promised, "going to be a lot of fun".

If there's one thing Tarkan can do it's perform, and perform he did. The man has the moves of a God, and he made his backing dancers look like a group of clumsy idiots with two left feet. With a few too many costume changes for any self respecting Turkish man, he performed the majority of the new album. However, he didn't disappoint his long-term loyal fans either, playing all the classics and a couple of tracks from each album.

He seemed genuinely surprised, shocked and touched at the reception we gave him, sinking to his knees and blowing kisses to the crowd, one of which was directed right at me.

As he began to tell us it was the last few songs, though I was still so excited I could have popped, I began to panic that he was going to play his latest single, "Dilli Duduk" (meaning Crazy Fool). He finished up with "Vay Anam Vay" and ran off stage. The audience literally went wild, I mean think about it. Wembley packed full of rowdy Turks... it was electric. We started cheering and chanting for him to come back and then the music started, I couldn't believe it. He had officially saved the best till last. He came back to tumultuous applause and rocked that venue Turkish style. The atmosphere was insane and he left us all gagging for more.

I cannot even begin to put into words how good this show was. I'm not a huge fan of Wembley but to hell with that. The concert was amazing. I'd seen Tarkan on both his previous shows in London and this was by far the best. Not only was he looking his best, but he was sounding it too.

The only complaint I could possibly make, is that he pulled a diva stunt and didn't turn up to his own after show party, which left me at Crystal, a pretentious, over priced, over-rated club in Mayfair rather disappointed.

For those of you partial to a little bit of World Music, I couldn't recommend Tarkan more highly. He really does have something for everyone, be it pop, rock or mournful love songs that would make Omid Djalil proud.

A fantastic performance from an absolute Turkish Delight!

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