Part cabaret chanteuse, part torch bearing diva, Sarah Menage’s combination of acute cynicism and dry wit might deflect from the emotional honesty of her material if it wasn’t for the integrity of her singing. (Julian Owen)
Her last three songs – ‘Wishing Well’, ‘Thank You For The Blues’ and ‘They Fuck You Up Your Children Do’ were gems, nicely written and delivered with feeling… pretty damn good. (Tony Benjamin


Sarah Ménage is an accomplished musician and entertainer with a deep brown voice and the old fashioned soul of a cafe chanteuse. Ménage specialises in ballads about the comedic misery of human relationships - hardboiled, but with a disarmingly soft poetic centre - a finely crafted set of songs that entertain and pack a philosophical punch, delivered with off-the-cuff charm and wit. (Rina Vergano)

Unique is a word too often applied to musical artists when it is rarely deserved. In the case of Sarah Menage however it is the only suitable description of her mucis and her live act. Often funny, sometimes a bit risque, songs like I Want  A Willy get you laughing out loud. Then she changes the mood with songs of great beauty and poignancy like Sorry Kid. Couple this with her on stage patter and stunning appearance, Sarah is equally at home on a concert stage or a small intimate cabaret club. (Mike Tobin)

Equally competent in both piano-led vaudeville and Karen Carpenter-aping melodramatic balladry. On the debit side, her voice isn’t always strong enough carry the stripped down arrangements, but on the credit side, a strong sense of humour makes for an effective counterpoint to the tales of heartache. Take ‘Rabbie’, for example, a cabaret-style story-song and testimonial to the transformative power of battery-powered sex aids that almost forms a question-and-answer with the “moody bastard” refrain on ‘Two to Tango’. Some of the men-folk in the audience seem unsure of whether to laugh or take to the bar, but one suspects that’s part of the fun for Sarah. (Ben Welch)

In A Mood ****

Just ‘a’ mood? There’s a range on offer in Sarah Menage’s new album, mostly ambivalent. Making no attempt to sidestep life’s paradoxes with false certainty, she chuckles wryly into her glass before catching the nonsense of it in deft words and smart music. Thus the apparently sincere 'Love You Forever’ is followed by the ultracheeky ‘Let’s Get Spiritual’ (“When your good looks fade, when you can’t get laid, get spiritual”). There’s even a poppy Shirelles-outtake (‘That’s My Boy’), before the album closes with cocktails and ‘Let Me Sleep’, a haunted trio with Mike Willox’s tinkling jazz piano and Pete Brandt’s rounded bass. It’s a cool classic jazz sound to round off a collection as poignant as it’s witty. (©Tony Benjamin 2012) 

Who Needs A Man

There is a very lyrical and lilting quality to Sarah Menage's "Who Needs A Man". The backing seeming to follow the free flowing vocal that happily switches between English and French as it meanders through the album. It also enhances the continental filmaic feel of the album. This could be the soundtrack to an arthouse movie B&W, of course, as a young girl wanders through the boulevards and vistas in the late evening sun before taking a glass of red and watching other people and their lovers go by. "Who Needs A Man" is an album of lighting and ambience.

‘Who Needs A Man?’  ***

• Despite the generally low-key and composed tone of the music, there’s a lot of life in this album: Sarah Menage’s life, to be precise, and a lifetime’s worth of the ups and downs of the heart. When it’s good – ‘Are We In Love Then?’ – love’s a breeze, when it’s bad – ‘Music Is Your Woman’ – it’s a storm. Sarah’s love life has clearly been ‘Like A Yoyo’, and yet her answer to the question in the CD’s title is that she does. The ambivalent extremities of the songs make it a painfully honest listen, so you could miss the touches of craft in the writing and arranging at first. You’d appreciate the welcome breeziness of Andy Sheppard collaboration ‘Wish You Were Here’, however, and ‘Thank You For The Blues’ has a bitter-sweetness that gives this debut collection a neat resolution. (Venue)