Some people seem to come alive when they sing, Corinne Bailey Rae is one of those people. This diminutive woman from Leeds, who shot to fame ten years ago following her nomination as the predicted number one breakthrough act by a BBC poll of music critics, entertained her fans last night at Cambridge Corn Exchange by doing what she does best.
Her four-piece band quietly took to the stage and introduced her from which point she did not stop. Guitar changes were seamless, her song intros on point and despite the cool professionalism of her presentation it was still an intimate show. By the time she was encouraging young women to put their records on, groups were waving their arms aloft in time to the rhythm whilst couples slow danced with eyes only for each other.
Her set was a mix of songs from the number one chart topping, self titled ‘Corinne Bailey Rae’, ‘The Sea’ and her latest offering, the highly acclaimed ‘The Heart Speaks in Whispers’. Her show showcasing her ability to sing sassy soul at one point or rock the auditorium the next. At times though, it was difficult to make out her vocals, a sound issue not uncommon when attempting to engineer audio for such a diverse artist in a large cavernous hall.
Nonetheless, Ms Bailey Rae was on top form as were her band. An awesomely tight combination of keyboards, guitar and bass but special mention must go to Myke Wilson on drums. It is not often that you get a drum solo in a soul set but Myke nailed it!
The evening was opened by Jodie Abacus, a new name to us but one I suggest we will hear a lot more of. It is always dangerous to compare artists but when Jodie started singing I was watching him through my camera’s viewfinder from the press pit – I was thinking I’m hearing Stevie Wonder! Check him out for yourself at: http://www.jodieabacus.co.uk/
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