WHY have I never before been to an Elkie Brooks concert? That’s the question I have been asking myself since seeing her at Stroud’s Subscription Rooms on Saturday night.

It was an intimate venue for someone who has played Wembley and sold out the Royal Albert Hall and weren’t we the lucky ones.

After five decades in the music business the former wild woman of rock n roll has a voice that is richer and more powerful than ever.

Elkie Brooks is 67 but you would never guess. She looked fantastic. But that voice is just something else.

No wonder she holds the title of best-selling female album artist in the UK for the past 30 years.

She can belt out the blues and make the hairs on your neck stand on end but her voice also has extraordinary versatility, and she slipped easily between jazz and pop.

The old favourites were there of course, Pearl’s A Singer, Lilac Wine and Fool If You Think Its Over, all greeted with rapturous applause by her adoring audience.

We were also treated to some songs from her latest album Powerless including the haunting title track as well as cover versions of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love and Bonnie Rait’s I Can’t Make You Love Me.

In between songs she chatted and engaged with the audience and came across as a thoroughly nice person.

I cannot remember ever enjoying a concert more.

Special mention has to go to her fabulous backing musicians especially saxophonist Steve Jones whose solos were just mind blowing exquisite.

Elkie Brooks was born to sing and I won’t be the only one grateful that she is still touring.

This was the first time I had seen her in concert but it is not going to be my last. It’s hard to imagine a more enjoyable evening. I wanted it to go on forever, long after the standing ovation she so thoroughly deserved.

Her concerts are selling out fast but she’s on the road well into 2013. Catch her at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre on January 19.