Review + Photography by Michael Sibbons

Jess Glynne; ‘Wow I didn’t know she was a thing anymore’ this was what my friend said to me after learning I was off to see her this evening. Well unless you’ve been under a rock the last couple of months she’s back. Personally I would argue that she’d never gone anywhere, taking the de facto time off after her first album and record breaking six number ones (first for a British female solo artist) before releasing her upcoming second album. So far this year though she co-wrote Sigala and Paloma Faith’s ‘Lullaby’, featured in Rudimental’s ‘These Days’ (hitting UK number one) and Yungen’s ‘Mind On It’, as well as releasing her own single ‘I’ll be there’. But it’s been a while since we’ve seen her live, the first since she can remember and to paraphrase it’s like ‘starting anew’.

Jess Glynne

Tonight was a small intimate gig, possibly something to do with the starting anew and the not performing for a while.  I saw her at V a few years ago where she drew a massive crowd and I expect she could fill some of the larger venues easily. The intimate setting was perfect, and I expect it’s a warmup before announcing a tour along with a forthcoming album (slated for September according to good old Wikipedia). It really was one for the fans it wasn’t heavily advertised just something on social media, four days before. Naturally it was a sell out, and to keep with the intimacy there were signs on the way in asking concert goers from refraining from using their phones to photo/video the performance. Sadly this wasn’t enforced or stated before the audience started it would have been nice, partly from a photographic view… to the person who spent the whole performance centre stage holding your phone up videoing it the whole time. I’m talking about you.

Playing all her hits, it wasn’t an overly long set (roughly 45mins) but it was spot on. You name it. She played it.

Jess GlynneJess Glynne

Considering she’s been involved with seven UK number ones, I presume you’ve all heard Jess’s voice. Seeing her perform live is just pitch perfect to the studio recordings. ‘But hey when we see live artists we want something different to chucking in a pair of headphones and listening to the CD’. This is where her massive live band come in, three piece brass, three backing singers, as well as the usual, guitar, bass, keyboard, drums. All wearing matching tracksuits with her new logo seen prominently throughout the ‘I’ll Be There’ music video.  It’s these guys who really made a difference, and thoroughly enjoying themselves (the brass were even choreographed with little dancey bits!)

A true performer she doesn’t stay still, spending the time on stage dancing to the music. Playing with the crowd getting us to sing the repetitive ‘My Love and My Touch’ backing track from ‘My Love’. Asking the crowd if they want to hear ‘Right Now’ and of course getting everyone to cheer and applause when asking if we ‘loved her band’ (we all died). At one point she could even be seen holding an audience member’s hand (presumably during hold my hand). Something I expect in a larger venue wouldn’t be doable and many acts wouldn’t even contemplate it.

Jess obviously pours her heart and soul into her performance, and you can see the emotion on her face as she sings. She puts all in with the singing, and you can tell. It’s nice to see that it wasn’t just a churned out night after night performance.

Jess GlynneJess Glynne

Keeping with the intimate these she couldn’t have picked a better venue than the Jazz Café in Camden. With a capacity of around 500, for both seated dining patrons on a mezzanine and the standing area in front of the stage. There is no security pit filled with burley bouncers, the bar is well stocked and you’re not served generic lager in a plastic cup and the toilets aren’t a dread to go to. Speaking to the restaurant manager this was all part of the experience, where other venues you tend to just want to be focused on the performance and not look behind the curtain, here you come for an evening out, and not think it was great BUT.

There was no encore she announced after the stage lights faded to black, she says usually she goes off then comes back but she wasn’t tonight. I expect partly as it would have been a pain to pretend to get off the stage and back on again. Ending on her new track; ‘I’ll be there’ the audiences phones immediately went up to try capture this moment. After she finished there was no demand for one more song, I think it’s safe to say the audience was contented.

Tonight’s gig was a good gig. Not just because of the excellent quality of the performance and the venue but because it reignited my love for an artist I truly enjoy. I’d love to see her again when she inevitably tours for her next album, but I don’t think I will. Tonight was something special and honestly I feel like I would always be chasing that initial high.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t go and see her. If you enjoy her music I strongly recommend you do if you get the chance. She’s a talented and versatile performer who doesn’t disappoint.

Jess GlynneJess Glynne

Set List:

New Intro
Far To Go
These Days
Gave Me Something
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
My Love
Right Here
Rather Be
Why Me
Take Me Home
Hold My Hand
I’ll Be There

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