Gig Review by Nic Jones with Photography by Chris Ensell

Jessie Ware

It’s not that often you get the chance to see gigs at Manchester Cathedral. One of the city’s best and most underrated venues, it is always a special occasion when an artist or group chooses to perform there, and tickets are always in high demand. When we got wind that Jessie Ware would be playing the Cathedral on a small pre-album launch tour, we knew we had to be there.

Jessie Ware

The dim, beautifully gothic interior is already humming with chatter as we arrive. People animatedly take in what they can see of their surroundings and trying to find the best position to get a decent view of the small stage. With only a DJ providing support, people are more than ready for the show by the time the venue plunges into darkness and we hear the opening deep bass and drums.

Jessie Ware

Ware calls it a listening party, and it has that intimate feel. Grand though the venue may be, there’s nothing cold about the atmosphere or the evening at all. Ware is endearing and warm, chatting animatedly between songs, explaining their origins, who they were written for. She is authentically self-deprecating, and at times rambling but in an engaging and funny way. The audience laps it up. Mostly what comes across is that Ware is an artist who is resolutely happy with where she currently is. She seems so at ease in front of the rowdy Manchester crowd. It’s easy to see she’s confident in her new material.

Jessie Ware

Ware puts on a beautifully understated show. The lighting display and stage set up is minimalistic, she lets the venue and her voice do all the talking. And what a voice she has. Pure smooth soul, she glides with ease between high and low notes, never missing one of them. She has the kind of voice that can send shivers down your spine whether she’s singing to an uptempo dance beat, mid tempo soulful groove or she’s belting out a storming ballad. She elicits emotion with such ease.

Jessie Ware

The best thing about Ware as an artist is she is unexpected. Just when you think you’ve figured her out, she’ll throw you a complete curveball. This evening that surprise comes in the form of a collaboration with Miguel, ‘Kind Of…Sometimes…Maybe’ which is a sultry slow tempo number. Listen to the recorded version of the song is a different experience to seeing it performed live. Ware throws everything into it on stage, the entire last third of the song becomes a completely different beast. ‘Want Your Feeling’ is given depth by Ware’s passion, she pours such feeling into the performance of it, you can only wonder about the inspiration behind it and where that came from.

Jessie Ware

The room does come instantly to life when ‘Wildest Moments’ starts, which is testament not only to the strength of the track but also the adoration it has earned. Ware sings it with relish, and the entire crowd joins in. This is the track that’s going to stay with her over the years. It’s already a classic.

Jessie Ware

If this gig is anything to go by, it will be well worth getting acquainted with the new album ‘Tough Love’. In a live capacity it’s usually difficult to get a sense of new songs and whether they will resonate, however there are a few tracks here that sound like potential singles and the overall gig makes for a strong album which definitely serves as an evolution from her first. With this loyal a following, there won’t be a spare ticket going when the main tour comes back to Manchester.

Catch up with Jessie Ware at her own website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

One Response to “Jessie Ware at Manchester Cathedral, Manchester, UK – 3rd October 2014”

  1. LIVE REVIEW: Jessie Ware @ Manchester Cathedral | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] This review first appeared on Gig Junkies. […]

Leave a Reply