Emeli Sandé at the Roundhouse (05/09/2012)

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Buried in the heart of Camden, the iconic Roundhouse provides the perfect setting for a surprisingly intimate gig on the fifth night of the free-ticketed iTunes Festival. Support  comes from Youtube-bred soon-to-be acoustic sensation Gabrielle Aplin, and Bastille, who emulate a more commercial and catchier James Blake. However, most anticipation is for the creator of the biggest selling album of 2012, Emeli Sandé.

Beginning with a considerably shaky performance of ‘Daddy’, reminiscent of her faltering and unimpressive performance at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, she moves on to a cover of Coldplay’s ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ with which she fails to engage the audience. Sandé only begins to shine when she performs ‘Clown’, an emotional ballad with her voice showing it’s full power whilst accompanied by gentle strings and sparse piano chords. Other ardent ballads including ‘Suitcase’ and a reworking of Professor Green’s number 1 single ‘Read All About It’ on which she featured, are the tracks which really gleam both on the album Our Version Of Events and in a live setting.

As a break from album material, Sandé also sang producer Naughty Boy’s recent single ‘Wonder’, and also glided into covers of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ and ‘No Woman No Cry’ from a reggae version of ‘Where I Sleep’. Thankfully, by the end of the set, the audience had warmed to Sandé and her performances of ‘Heaven’ and encore of ‘Next To Me’ had everyone singing along.

Her stripped back ballads were incredible whereas the tracks like ‘My Kind Of Love’ and ‘Breaking The Law’ which she performed with a band were unremarkable. However, after an uncertain beginning, it’s safe to say that Sandé won over the audience with her evocative and emotional voice and lyrics.

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