Pick of the pops raises roof


A rock star in London's Camden Town on Sunday night had grown women shrieking with joy, with emotional sing-alongs and fans hanging on to his every word. But for most ordinary passers-by, he was the biggest rock star they'd never heard of.

Around 1,000 expat Israelis flocked to Koko, the cool club in the centre of Camden Town, to see Svika Pick, a 70s Israel sensation who is now the Gary Barlow of Israel, as head judge on the Israeli X Factor, Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born).

Named as the 83rd greatest Israeli of all time by Ynet in 2005, Pick is an Israeli pop sensation, brought to the UK by billionaire Ynon Kreiz to raise money for the Israeli Olympic team.

In many ways, it was an ordinary rock concert, as Pick strode on the stage, dressed head-to-toe in black sequins, with his shoulder-length grey curls billowing, surrounded by bald men on guitars and three glamorous, talented backing singers in tight dresses. Later, four dancers, decked out like a sequined Pan's People, frolicked in a circle around Pick during one of his power ballads.

But it was also a uniquely Jewish and Israeli concert – with iPhones waved aloft instead of lighters. Perhaps the crowning moment was a Jewish mother, leaping on to the stage, napkin in hand, to wipe some marks and sweat from Pick's face, licking the paper and dabbing him like a child.

Rod Stewart would have called in the heavies to have her removed, and probably arrested. But Svika Pick smiled, shrugged, and raised his eyebrows, wishing the woman"Kol Hakavod!" as she stuffed the sweat-soaked handkerchief into her pocket, as a memento.

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