Emeli Sandé @ O2 Academy, 22/3/2017

2016 was the year of Emeli Sandé’s triumphant return to our airwaves, with the release of two singles ahead of her much anticipated second album, Long Live the Angels, four years after her hugely successful debut. 2017 now sees Sandé’s return to the stage, as she tours around the country this spring.

The atmosphere at the O2 Academy very much felt like a reflection of this comeback- of an audience excited to see what Sandé had to offer after what was quite an extensive gap in her career. Needless to say we were not left disappointed.

‘Happen’ from the new album was a particular high point of the set, in which the soaring vocals of Sandé were given an interlude by a memorable guitar solo, to add a new dimension to the track and provide a brief reprieve from the otherwise intensive set list. ‘See Beneath Your Beautiful’- originally a 2012 collaboration between Sandé and Labyrinth- was arguably performed better in this particular instance, instead arranged as an acoustic piece between Sandé and her guitarist. Certain songs, such as ‘Babe’, did not live up to their original recording. However, they still served as a means to lift the mood of the set and build up the pace.

Sandé’s come a long way since her debut, and her experiences with fame and personal life are evident in her music. The songs are leaner, which help to add a sense of maturity to her live show, as well as balance out her earlier work which could sometimes come across as overwhelming in nature.

After her warm-up spring tour, Emeli Sandé will embark on a series of arena dates. Catch her at Leeds First Direct Arena on Tuesday 24th October 2017, with tickets available online.

Clare Redman

[image: ok! Nigeria]

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