Review by Hetty Dillon
It has been a year of rocketing success for soulful singer of the moment Jessie Ware. Recently nominated for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist at this year’s Brit Awards, the London girl remains modest about her achievements and endearingly so. From the very beginning of the gig it was clear that Ware was just as excited as her audience as she arrived on stage to perform in front of a sold out crowd at The Ritz in Manchester.
Collaborations with the likes of Julio Bashmore, SBTRKT and Katie B demonstrate the success Ware has attained since her song ‘Running’ made the charts in February 2011. The Disclosure remix of this track was one of the highlights of 2012 and she has appeared live with them numerous times. With festivals such as Parklife, Bestival and Unknown on the horizon it is unlikely that Ware’s presence on the music scene will be diminishing any time soon.
Beautiful soul singer Laura Mvula paved the way for Jessie as her support act and seized the attention of the audience with songs including ‘Green Garden’ and ‘She’. Mvula, a rising star of 2013 gave an enchanting live performance with powerful soaring vocals, executed with smiling ease. Accompanied by violin, cello, double bass and percussion, her rich voice harmonised to create a compelling performance which relaxed all ears in preparation for Ware’s arrival on stage.
Affectionately received by her eagerly awaiting audience, Ware did not disappoint. She rewarded attentive ears with an intimate and personal performance which despite the grandeur of the venue was delivered with warm ambiance. ‘Running’, ‘If You’re Never Gonna Move’ and ‘Sweet Talk’ were highlights and showed off Ware’s distinctively soulful voice. Despite it being a lesser known single, ‘Taking in Water’ was another particularly enjoyable performance, filling the room with palpable emotion derived from the deeply personal lyrics. Clearly, the whole audience was moved.
The natural and engaging manner with which Jessie addressed the crowd tonight was admirable. Her effortless style and distinctive sound makes her quite unique and this live performance confirms a bright future for the star. In summary, an inspirational artist worthy of respect and recognition.