Thursday, February 07, 2013
Jessie Ware - Live In Sydney
This is going to be a short review because there are only so many ways you can say - she looked glamorous, sounded brilliant and made amazing use of back-lighting. It's strange how seeing an artist live can completely change your opinion of them and their music. I've always liked Jessie Ware and included Devotion on my best albums of 2012 list but I thought of her as a niche diva. The kinda sophisticated lady you play when you're trying to impress someone or slightly buzzed at 3am. In my mind, she was the second-coming of Sade. Which is a great compliment but an indication that her music might not be best fit for an intimate venue - located above a gay bar, no less.
But Jessie proved me wrong. Her one hour set was positively dripping in sass. She took the odd moment to indulge her jazzy, low-key diva leanings but most of the show was funk-heavy and had the crowd shuffling as much as you can in a room squeezed full of hipsters. From the very first song, a soulful and earthy rendition of "Devotion", it was instantly apparent that the Brit's voice is an instrument of rare quality. She sounded immaculate and gave the material a warmth missing from her album. "Still Love Me" sounded like a different track altogether and "No To Love" was a goosebump-inducing showstopper.
As much I loved those moments, the highlights - for me - were the upbeat songs. "Sweet Talk" is such a slinky anthem. It reminds me of something a Prince protegee might have recorded in the '80s. Equally amazing was "Running" - surely one of the most underrated anthems of 2012. That was a television advertisement away from being massive. And let's not forget my favourite Jessie song, "Wildest Moments". It was worth a trip to the Beresford just to hear that triumphant tune. The rising star promised to return to Australia soon with a bigger show. I'll be there, front and centre.