Emeli Sandé, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

 
4.00

 

After spending many years in the background, writing the lyrics for artists as diverse as Tinie Tempah and Cheryl Cole, tonight, on the final date of her UK tour, Emeli Sandé is basking in the limelight.

Clearly commercially astute, she switched her moniker from Adele to Emeli (her middle name) because, in the music world, Adele was already taken. Her lyrics also show she knows what will work in the industry. She takes broad themes - the stuff of Disney ballads and soul divas of the 60s - like climbing mountains, floating down rivers and making relationships work, then adds idiosyncratic details that flash through your mind and stick in your gut; a solitary suitcase, a set of keys in a door, sleeping back to back.

It's rare that someone so gifted at song-writing (she co-wrote Chipmunk's third single "Diamond Rings" which placed at number 10 in the UK singles chart and Professor Green's number one hit "Read All About It") is also a great performer, but she is. The Brit Award winner's shock of bright blonde hair bobs up and down as she thrusts across the stage, flashing her Frida Kahlo tattoo and sharing her brand of big, powerful soul music.

Trance-hop hit "Heaven", where Sandé sounds a bit like Beyonce and a bit like Massive Attack, gets one of the best reactions from the crowd along with soon-to-be-released single "Wonder", written just three weeks ago. It is super-catchy, summery pop with a rap chorus including the slightly dodgy line "This life is contagious, so tell your neighbours, reach out and pass it on."

"My Kind of Love", her next single, written while she was training to be a physician and realised that "Being in hospital, the people that come to visit are the ones that really care for you", combines a heavy bass beat with gospel choir harmonies and floating above it is Sandé's voice, so powerful and emotional that several members of the crowd feel overcome with the need to spontaneously start snogging.

Introducing "Clown", a vehicle for Sandé's amazing vocals, with the accompaniment stripped back to just a few piano chords, she explains the meaning: "It's about when you are trying to do something different and people will laugh at you, but I can promise you, you'll have the last laugh". It sounds as though she's speaking from experience.

SET LIST

Daddy

Tiger

Suitcase

Where I Sleep (with Reggae intro)

Clown

Breaking The Law

My Kind Of Love

Read All About It (Part 3)

Maybe

River

Hope

Wonder

Mountains

Heaven

Next to me

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week