Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Live

Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17

Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com
Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com Emeli Sande: o2 Arena, London 18/10/17 @bluesandsoul.com

It's strange to think that's it's only been five years since Emeli Sande's debut album, "Our Version of Events", was released.

The record was a musical juggernaut in an extraordinary year, and within months Sande was performing at the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

She's also sang at the White House, been awarded an MBE and filled her mantelpiece several times over with awards.

It's an experience she still regards as surreal, but after "Our Version of Events" she was faced with a very serious problem - how do you follow that up?

It would be another four years before the follow-up, "Long Live The Angels", was unleashed, and on the back of its success she embarked on an arena tour.

First to the stage was British singer Calum Scott, who delivered a short set as the crowd filled the venue.

By the time the main act took to the stage, the o2 was packed, and she was met with a huge roar as she emerged to "Hurts" from the latest long player.

The o2 Arena is a tough venue to play, and singers really need to be on-point, but Sande looked in her element throughout.

She confidently strode to the front of the stage to perform "Free" and "Where I Sleep", as her vocals filled the huge venue while captivating the audience.

"Breathing Underwater" and "Heaven" were among the highlights from the first section of her set before she quietly exited the stage and re-emerged at a massive piano halfway back.

It is a brave move to strip the music back to just a voice and a piano, but where many artists would struggle, Sande delivered - and then some.

An excellent version of "Clown" was full of emotion, and she remained on the second stage to perform low-key versions of "Suitcase", "Starlight" and "Beneath Your Beautiful" before a phenomenal version of "Read All About It, Part III".

The soulful treatment suited the track, and received a well-deserved ovation as Sande departed back to the main stage.

The final section of the show included a strong and joyful performance of "Wonder" and "Highs and Lows" before a triumphant "Next To Me" had the crowd on their feet and dancing.

Sande returned to the stage for "Little Bit Longer" to round off a successful night.

There's no doubting her vocal abilities, and she certainly cuts it live...expect to hear plenty more from Emeli Sande in the years to come.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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