The ‘Real Life’ album tour came to Ipswich last Friday. ‘Real Life’ is Emeli Sandé’s third studio album and it is full of emotional, uplifting content.
Emeli came on with her band and sang from the piano for the first track – there was instant energy that sucked you in.
The band was made up of the usual drums, bass, guitar, keys, what was more unusual the band were all seated. I liked the concept as it didn’t detract from the main event, yet they were positioned to be fully inclusive, just more relaxed which suited the nature of the show.
The four backing singers were front right to add to the acoustic treat and add the passion that was oozing from the stage.
Her set was packed with all her hits and plenty from the Real Life album, we had ‘Read all About it’, ‘Next To Me’, ‘You Are Not Alone’, ‘Clown’, ‘It Hurts’, ‘Shine’, ‘Honest’, ‘Human’, ‘Extraordinary Being’ and more and all were emotive, passionate, uplifting and almost evangelical.
She has a way with lyrics that everyone suffering through emotional times can relate to: ‘my bones are heavy and my soul is a mess’ and ‘I would smile if I wasn’t so desperate’, yet she encompasses them into empowering, lung popping songs which she sings her heart out to.
She spoke between each track with a little story, yet most of it was to say how she wants us to feel uplifted by the time we leave tonight. It’s clear she is a talented songwriter, writing with many famous people and she turned singer ten years ago and has had great success as a solo artist as her songs and music speak for themselves. She has a great vocal range and a compassionate voice.
I very much appreciated that she was wearing a pretty dress and comfortable heels. No tight, sexy dress or silly outfits to gain the attention of the audience……her songs, her words and the performance all did that. The duet with backing singer on ‘Beneath You Are Beautiful’ was lovely as she allowed him plenty of stage room to have his moment, very respectful.
Great over all gig performance for everyone, stage positioning, sound, lights – absolute quality without being showey, it was about the music. Emeli was connecting with the band members and the audience members, it wasn’t an ordinary pop concert, there was some deeper connection going on – it was spiritual.
There was one song in the encore and overall it was a short set, however with that much passion, emotion and love coming out of her, I can imagine she was exhausted.
Support act was Ben Monteith with his guitar and impressive dreads & beard. A good warm up act as he was playing his own music and it wasn’t just a guy with a guitar, he also had a couple of pedals where he was playing snare and drum – very difficult to do that whilst paying the guitar fully. Ben also had a fun personality and spoke to us after each track.
Another great act at Ipswich Regent – make sure you keep an eye out on their programme so you don’t miss out.