EVENT REVIEW: Emeli Sandé - Live at the Hammersmith Apollo
I’ve seen Emeli Sandé 4 times since the release of her debut album “Our Version Of Events” 60 weeks ago. The first time was in a small Notting Hill venue where Miss Sandé was backed by a 3 piece band. Since then she has sold over 1.3 million copies of her album in the UK alone. As her star grows (and waist shrinks- girl looks good!) so too does her set-up, we have an extra couple of band members as well as two welcomed backing singers LaDonna Harley Peters and Aaron Sokell today at her Hammersmith Apollo show- the first of 3 sold out nights.
The night got off to a great start with support from 13 year old singer/songwriter Mahalia and rising star Jacob Banks. After a short interval Emeli opened the show with her euphoric sounding debut single, “Heaven”. As the first words graciously left her mouth it was evident that Emeli has never sounded better. As humble as ever Emeli took the time to thank fans for her success “This album has done things no-one ever expected, I didn’t expect… I thank you” and from then it was clear just how vehemently her audience were on her side, willing her to win.
We were treated to other gems off the multi-platinum album, all executed to great effect. But it wasn’t until Emeli and her guitarist performed a stripped back version of “Suitcase” that she really got her chance to shine. The crowd sat silent and hung on her every word as she lead us through a tale of abandonment by her partner. She has an innate ability to write songs that draw you into her story and a voice capable of making you believe said story wholeheartedly.
The rest of the set was much like the other shows I have been to aside from the addition of the sublime song she wrote for Rihanna “Half Of Me” which was inspired by the London riots and the newly penned ode to her husband “This Much is True”. “This Much Is True” hinted at a more folksy side to Emeli’s sound- new album anyone?
Overall Emeli proved exactly why she had the biggest album of 2012. Understatedly brilliant with a talent so huge I truly believe we haven’t seen the half of her capabilities.
P.s, Emeli is 3 weeks away from breaking the Beatles record for the longest consecutive stint in the UK top 10, an amazing achievement! Go out and buy the album people!
Photography by Troy Oraine
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