Musical thriller in Manila for Carpenters’ tribute singer from Leeds

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A LEEDS singer is on top of the world after her tribute act to seventies stars The Carpenters played to thousands of adoring fans in the Philippines.

Laurie Briggs, of Pudsey, was stunned by the Filipino public’s overwhelming response to The Karpenters during the tour.

The Karpenters played a concert in front of 2.200 fans at the Kia Theatre in Manilla, where Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier in the famous 1975 ‘Thrilla in Manilla’ heavyweight contest.

Miss Briggs said she was treated like a star as she was given a bodyguard and featured in national press and on breakfast TV.

The Karpenters have just returned to the UK after supporting the USA Platters and Japanese Elvis impersonator Douglas Masuda in the Philippines.

The band is now in talks with promoters to tour Singapore with the USA Platters later this year.

Miss Briggs, who said she was just eight-years-old when she first fell in love with Karen Carpenter’s voice, formed her tribute band in 2002.

She previously spent around six-years touring Europe with popular Abba tribute act Fabba

The Karpenters have toured in Canada, America, Australia and last year visited China, playing in cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

Miss Briggs said: “The Carpenters’ music is timeless and wonderful and I never get tired of it. They are wonderful arrangements by Richard Carpenter. I just love Karen’s beautiful voice, the warmth of it is still affecting to this day.”

She added: “The Carpenters’ music is very popular in Asia. My experience in the Philippines was amazing, I was treated with such respect. I had a bodyguard and appeared on breakfast TV, radio and attended a press conference which was fit for Madonna.”

Miss Briggs will be performing closer to home on Saturday March 24 at a ‘Ladies of Song’ concert at the City Varieties music hall in Leeds city centre. She will be performing songs by iconic singers including Judy Garland, Doris Day, Shirley Bassey, Carole King, and, of course, Karen Carpenter.

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