By Jennifer Lynn
It was quite the line-up at Glasgow’s O2 ABC last night, as the soulful Jessie Ware was supported by girl of the moment, Laura Mvula. Funny, chatty and extremely comfortable on stage, with a voice to die for, Laura warmed the crowd up with songs from her debut album Sing To The Moon.
But, of course, it was all about Jessie. Our favourite Londoner arrived onstage to rapturous applause, singing her album’s title track, Devotion. Very much sticking with her signature style she wore a black oversized jacket and trousers, teamed with a white crop top to show off that enviably flat stomach, and her hoop earrings were ever-present.
Still Love Me came next, showing off Jessie’s soulful side, while singles Night Light and If You’re Never Gonna Move proved huge crowd pleasers. Unlike with most artists, you get the impression that Jessie’s fans have listened to her entire body of work, rather than than just buying into the hype of one single. Cue plenty of dancing and singing along, particularly for the jazzy Sweet Talk, set to be Jessie’s next release.
Peppering her tunes with some equally delightful chat, Jessie told the crowd of her dinner at the city’s Blythswood Square hotel, which some front-rowers labelled “posh”. “I am posh!” was Jessie’s reply. “Set menu, it was alright!”
Next we were treated to new song Jessie had written only two weeks prior to the show. “I want this to make you feel like you’re at Studio 54,” she said, name checking the infamous New York nightclub. “What’s the equivalent in Glasgow?” You can imagine the response…
The heart-wrenching Taking In Water, a song about Jessie’s little brother, slowed things down and had me just as emotional as the last time I saw her perform it live. It’s hard to say if there’s been any progression in Jessie’s live show since that initial performance at King Tut’s, as even then she was a natural. She definitely has pulling power, selling out this latest UK tour, with much higher capacity venues than the last. I expect next time we meet will be in a festival field, which could be a test of her versatility, but I don’t doubt that she’ll pass.
Valentine, Jessie’s duet with musician Sampha, got a makeover as her drummer Dornik joined her for the guest vocals. Ending on an all-time high with a trio of crowd favourites, Who Says No To Love, Wildest Moments and Running brought the house down, with that classic Jessie reverb ringing in our ears as she exited the stage.