GIG REVIEW: Emeli Sande

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: The 02

WHEN: 18/10, tour runs to 27/10

SETLIST: Hurts; Free; Where I Sleep; Lonely; Give Me Something; Every Single Little Piece; My Kind Of Love; Breathing Underwater; Happen; Heaven; Piece Of My Heart; Clown; River; Suitcase; Starlight; Beneath Your Beautiful; Read All About It; Celebration; Wonder; Babe; Highs And Lows; Next To Me; Little Bit Longer

We’re here because we wanted to see her for the first time at this year’s Glastonbury but missed her, such is the competition for attention at our favourite festival.

  • Read on for reasons including how this was a concert of two halves

Sande opens with our favourite song from her second LP Long Live The Angels but Hurts seems too polite and restrained in this 20,000-capacity arena.

It’s a problem not helped by Sande’s own politeness, she’s clearly grateful to be playing such a large venue in the city that welcomed her with open arms when she arrived here from Glasgow.

We’d seen the setlist before we arrived and we weren’t expecting a great deal from the first run of 11 songs and so it proved. However, it was on the tiny satellite stage at the heart of the venue’s floor (see clip above) where the real magic happened.

Accompanied only either by a pianist or guitarist she sang some of her own most heartfelt songs. Read All About It (see above), Clown and Beneath Your Beautiful (her duet with Labrinth) were particularly memorable, anthemic and affecting.

They’re exceptionally sung and it seems clear that Sande can write songs that can enchant stadiums but it’s only when she’s at her most exposed and vulnerable can she captivate while singing them.

We’re not sure why it took four years between her only two albums but her second was nowhere near as memorable as her debut.

It seems she’s keen to debut new music more swiftly this time around and current single Starlight (performed in a stripped back version here) is a definite swift step in a more positive and upbeat direction.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Emeli Sande. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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