Review: Jessie Ware at the O2 Academy, Birmingham – Alison Stacey

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“You should have won the Brit”, bellows a booming fan as Jessie takes a break from the music to talk to the O2 Academy crowd.

The audience whoop and clap in agreement, and one woman even throws her bra on stage to show her support.

And it’s easy to see why her fans think she was robbed of the Best Female Solo Artist award.

Jessie’s voice is completely captivating as she opens the set with ‘Sam’, a tribute to her childhood friend and now husband Sam Burrows.

Dressed in a stunning red kimono, Ware cuts a mesmerising figure alone on stage.

Jessie Ware
(Image: Daily Mirror)

Her band are initially playing behind a Japanese style screen, which is removed later to reveal the huge ensemble of players.

There’s a good balance of classic hits from debut album Devotion, like Running and No to Love. But the crowd are no strangers to her latest album Glasshouse, and the whole academy loyally sing along with Ware as she belts out its opening track Midnight. We’re all transfixed by her faultless voice, with Jessie occasionally breaking the spell to chat and joke with her fans.

And we all cheer when she shames some cretin in the front row who has been shining his phone light in her face for the duration of the concert. She apologises later, but we all know she doesn’t mean it.

Finishing with Wildest Moments, probably her most-loved soul anthem, it’s hard to believe it’s all over so quickly. But I get the feeling this is only really the beginning of Jessie Ware, and it’s only a matter of time before the mainstream realise they’ve overlooked this incredible talent.


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