Tragically, as is so often the case, it has taken death for the world to arrive at a true appreciation of the late Amy Winehouse, says tribute performer Gyp.
Gyp aims to capture the Winehouse brilliance when she takes to the stage as Amy in The Amy Winehouse Experience at Bognor’s Regis Centre on August 30 at 7.30pm.
“We have been going for a couple of years,” says Gyp. “I had started adding in Amy songs into the set that I was doing, and people said to me ‘You really look like her’ and ‘You really sound like her’. Enough people said it that I thought about doing it properly.”
Gyp was already up and running as an Amy tribute by the time Amy died; in fact, Gyp was flying out that day to do a gig in Portugal. She was convinced that the client would pull the gig in the circumstances, but he insisted that the show must go on – a decision vindicated by the reaction.
“I think it was a turning point in the way people looked at Amy. People just used to think of her as that troubled singer. Now people are looking at her in a much more curious way. People are curious about what made her tick rather than damning her.
“She was incredibly tragic, very, very troubled. I get the impression that she was lovelorn. None of her relationship situations worked out and she took it to heart and blamed herself. There was terrible sadness. It was a very tragic short life.”
“But what I want to celebrate in the show is the clever, funny, talented Amy, not the sad figure. I want to celebrate her brilliance and not play up the drink and the drugs.
“I know some acts would do the drunken Amy.”
But Gyp sees it as a commitment to the fans who clearly can no longer see her: “I want to offer them something, I want to get as close as possible to it, showing her times of glory when her performance was brilliant and when people come away thinking ‘Wow! I have just something really incredible’ rather than ‘I have just seen something sad and ridiculous.’”