Gig review: Jessie Ware at O2 Academy Leeds

Jessie Ware
Jessie Ware
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Jessie Ware’s vocal talent is indisputable but she went up another notch in my admiration during this gig.

It might be my age but I detest it when people go along to see an artist and then spend the entire evening recording it on their mobile phone.

What is the point? Do they ever fondly watch them back? And, if they do, why not just view countless other near-identical shaky repetitions on YouTube?

Then, instead, you can concentrate on actually appreciating the far more real experience you have actually paid to see – watching the talent live, right there in front of you in the very same room.

Apparently, I’m not the only one irked by this practice; Ware, the 30-year-old soul-pop singer who earned instant acclaim with her 2012 debut album Devotion, agrees.

During the penultimate song of a classy, slick and faultless set, she urged her fans, with a little expletive included, to put away their phones and actually enjoy the stirring performance. Well done her.

A few thankfully heeded the advice and – whichever way they absorbed it – a packed O2 Leeds Academy left having been thrilled whether by an ethereal Wildest Moments, the captivating You and I Forever, the brilliant and definitive Say You Love Me or any other of the Londoner’s fine offerings.

She had recalled fondly a “wild” night performing at the now-defunct Cockpit on her last visit to Leeds a couple of years previously and there is no doubt she will be returning to the city again given the manner in which the crowd lapped up this great demonstration of her range.

Often likened to Sade, her retro sound touches on the Eurythmics, too, and from the electronic keyboard in her band, to striking lighting of the stage and even her shoulder padded outfit, there is a definite 80s feel to her vibe.

It is just all a little more cool.

Gig date: January 24

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