What has changed since the release of ‘Our Version Of Events’?
I’m at the O2 Academy in Brixton, waiting to see Emeli Sande. Her support act, Ray Blk, is really good. The crowd joins in to a cover of ‘Say My Name’; latterly, we become more enthusiastic as the night goes on, due to spaces slowly yet surely filling up in the room. I’ve never been here before, but I love the architecture that you can see from the Circle-and what seems to be inclusive of a built in tree. Always one for the greenery!
Firstly, Sande is nearly forty five minutes late….we’re not really given an explanation for this, in spite of the fact that are tickets are seemingly being checked and checked again. Random cheers to up at points, but it’s not her, not just yet.
But she’s back.
Emeli’s voice is ultimately very powerful-at once gospel in harmonising with her background singers, rocky when singing Hurts, and soaring when she sings old classics from Our Version Of Events.
There isn’t a lot of chatter between songs-and to be honest, I would have hoped for more, really. But there’s cheers when Sande declares “London, you are full of wonder!” when introducing her next song. (It’s in the lyrics.) Her voice seems girlish, but you can see that she’s excited, even exhilarated, to be performing. But it’s on songs that we all know and live which are truly special moments-who’d have ever thought that there’d be an audience sing-a-long in Read All About It? We’re all singing along, enjoying ourselves.
I also had problems with the sound; at points her voice sounded a little mechanical, almost as if the actual transmission of it was not working. (My ‘plus one’ for the evening remarked that it sounded as if she had a sore throat..) There was also far too much bass. To give the show more of an edge, there needed to be more emphasis on percussion-although there was a formidable kit on stage-and her transmission tempered, in order to prevent the mechanical sound. Additionally, there was also a lot of new material, in comparison to older material; I know that this is promoting Long Live The Angels, but there could be more of a balance.
What impressed me most was Emeli’s seemingly positive vibe throughout-in that she encouraged us to be Angels in what is gradually becoming a very dark world. We need more singers and artists like her-the talented, the ones who don’t swear, and who are suitable for all ages. I highly suggest you buy a ticket to see her live.