Joss Stone, The Carling Academy, Glasgow

3.00

There is something eerie in a Joss Stone performance, something unsettling in this white-blonde, apple-cheeked teenager belting out rhythm and blues with the deep, rust-and-honey voice of a soul veteran.

There is something eerie in a Joss Stone performance, something unsettling in this white-blonde, apple-cheeked teenager belting out rhythm and blues with the deep, rust-and-honey voice of a soul veteran. It's the 17-year-old from Devon who pads barefoot on to the Academy's stage, but her strutting, raunchy voice is that of a Detroit diva, as if she were channelling another presence, like a scene from The Exorcist.

But her head never swivels, and not one profanity passes her lips. This is a family show, and an army of dazzled adolescents watched someone not much older achieve a very Fame Academy dream of instant stardom. Yet Stone is no digitalised music-industry invention, and she sings with hair-parting power. She may be gauche and gangly at times, but she has an uncanny affinity with the sounds of Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia. What happened when Stone was in the womb; did her parents play a loop of Motown and Stax? Did they blast her nursery with Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Dinah Washington?

Anyway, here she is, at 17, opening her UK tour, with a No 1 album, Mind Body and Soul, and with gold US sales already notched up. There are the songwriting collaborations with Lamont Dozier, and Nile Rodgers on guitar on the first single off the album, the vengeful "You Had Me", the sassiest and best song of the night. These are legendary R&B craftsmen.

When Stone sings "Spoiled", a Dozier co-composition, you wonder at how someone this young, British and white can sound so deeply, soulfully black. Rock music, after all, has been founded on white artists emulating African-American voices, from Elvis to Eminem. In female vocalist terms, the closest comparison is Janis Joplin's white-soul scream - but she was older, wilder and American. And when she sings "Right to Be Wrong", Stone has the authentic passion of a performer many times her age. This novelty value may be a problem; with a mediocre backing band playing standards and selections from the album, it is a moot point whether this would all be so special if it wasn't such an incongruous Devon lass singing the stuff.

Strange that someone so young should concentrate on, and magnify, so much that is old. The influence of veteran musicians is in everything she does, and the lingering impression is of a massive retro session. Stone's songbook is mostly made up of old-school soul balladeering and gyrating R&B, and it seems she is too gutsy a vocalist for material that could descend into Vonda Shepherd bar-room retreads.

Coming soon, worryingly, is Stone's duet with Mick Jagger for a cover of Mud's "It'll Be Lonely This Christmas". But time is very much on her side; if she can take that exemplary voice and apply it to edgier, more adventurous material, Stone might become a considerable force in pop and soul.

Touring to 14 November

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea