Jessie Ware has always been an artist that I wanted to see live after having been impressed when I saw her open for Paloma Faith at Somerset House in July. Since that July I have unfortunately missed the times when she performed in London. The Plan B show I was seeing Spector, the Rough Trade East and Banquet Records instores I was seeing The Joy Formidable and Green Day. So once it had been announced that Jessie would be playing throughout November I knew full well that I wanted to attend. The only two dates which were plausible for me were Concorde 2 in Brighton and Electric Brixton in London. I had initially planned to book both but as expected the date in the capital sold out. But it wasn’t all bad because venues in Brighton tend to be smaller than ones in London (Concorde 2 has a capacity of 540 while Electric Brixton is 1500). I got to the venue around 4pm to find there was no queue. I was the only one there (apart from an autograph hunter). It was literally freezing outside and the addition of rain didn’t help. My trousers were soaked and I was glad when the doors did open so I could warm up.
7pm came and people started making their way inside. I got the spot that I wanted on the barrier then I had to wait another 2 hours until the music started. There was a support and this being Two Inch Punch. Even though Ben is an artist (he is releasing his début album next year) he basically played a DJ set. Even though his material which was played was rather good sets like these just aren’t my thing.
The material that Jessie showcased was mainly from the Mercury Prize nominated Devotion which was released this August. This debut album spawned 4 singles and these being Running, 110% Wildest Moments and Night Light. “Hi Brighton” Jessica Ware said to the packed crowd when she graced the stage around 9.15pm. What opened up the set was Still Love Me. This was a sleek powerful song which oozed plenty of energy. The song was a mixture of Pop and Soul which worked perfectly. “How are you all?” Ware said engaging with the packed Brighton crowd. It was then onto the most recent single and this being Night Light. This song had infectious lyrics and was rather smooth. The vocal range was incredible and it was a slice of R&B perfection. “Thanks for coming. I’ve been to Concorde 2 many a time. I went to University at Sussex. Is there Sussex people here? Who was in Lewis Court? I was the Jewish Princess who had the en suite. I didn’t slum it at Uni. But I did love Brighton and we used to come here and I used to come to Drum and Bass nights. We saw The Gossip here, I saw The Maccabees play here. So it’s really great to be here so thank you Brighton and the next song is a song that I have done with my friend Two Inch Punch who was my support act. He’s been saying that he’s a Japanese teenager online about this but actually it’s not, it’s Two Inch Punch with another guy. So this is a cover of Brownstones If You Love Me and I hope you like it” Jessie then said before getting stuck into the tune which there has been a buzz about. Now this re working of If You Love Me was simply incredible. The vocals were superb and the lyrics were infectious. As for its melody I found it to be rather dreamy/ mellowing. Once over it was straight onto 110%. This tune sampled The Dream Shatterer by rapper Big Punisher. 110% was a wonderful synth pop song which had lovely luscious lyrics. It can easily get you moving and it showcased off Jessie’s stunning vocal range. “I got a tweet from somebody who’s in here saying Jessie sort your punters out, there’s so much grinding and snogging going on in here. So the next song is for all those snoggers and those grinders out there and I want to see you grind so hard on this song. I know it’s a bit of a slow one but I still think you’ve got it in you” Ware then said before Sweet Talk. I found this to be rather upbeat and sweet at the same time. Sweet Talk was a delicate song which was delivered superbly. “I hoped you snogged and grinded loads on that one” Jessie said once she had finished the mesmerising Sweet Talk. The song that followed on was Swan Song. This tune was played at a steady pace and the vocals were incredibly strong. Jessie Ware was like a powerhouse who never fails to deliver a song to perfection. “I wrote that song with like the best person I’ve met ever and he’s here tonight and it’s his birthday. Dave made this record with me and he’s the most special person I think I’ve ever met. So I would like us all to embarrass him and sing happy birthday to him. I’m sorry Brighton. We tried the Stevie Wonder one but I think that was pushing it too far” Ware said before asking everyone to sing Happy Birthday to Dave Okumu. After everyone had joined in it was then onto Taking In Water. This smooth number had a gospel vibe to it which made the song rather magical/ spine tingling. Something Inside was a stunning song which was delivered at a steady pace and was rather infectious. “The next song is a cover. It’s a song that I did with Sampha. I love this song and I love Bobby Caldwell and I love singing this one” Ware then said before singing her own take on the soul classic What You Won’t Do For Love. I must say Jessie’s version was quite stunning and smooth as well. “So this is our first ever tour. We’ve never played in all these places before. We’ve never played in Brighton actually I don’t think and it’s really weird. You’ve come to see us and it’s really nice to kind of see who my crowd is. So you know what this is a far more attractive front line than Manchester and Nottingham. I don’t know what they did but they brought a lot of middle aged men right to the front. I felt a bit like Nigella Lawson or something. It was really peculiar. Leeds really gorgeous girls” she mentioned to the crowd before revealing that the spoken word part was provided by Marvin Gaye instead of Dave Okumu. It was then onto No To Love/ I Want You. This song was half and half. If I had to pick a favourite between both halves I would have to pick I Want You. Firstly I hadn’t heard this before which was delivered flawlessly. As for No To Love it takes time to grow on you. The penultimate song of the evening was Wildest Moments. This was enchanting Pop which was delivered at a steady pace. Its chorus was extremely soothing. “Thanks so much Brighton. This is our last song and I have to say this before I’m not going to come back on and I definitely won’t cause I think encores are silly. And so it is the last bloody song so this is what you’re getting. I want to see loads of grinding on this one please. Thank you for being a wonderful crowd” Ware then informed the crowd before final tune Running. Words cannot sum up how phenomenal this R&B tune was. Running was the début single by Jessie Ware and she put in a flawless performance.
Still Love Me
If You Love Me
Taking In Water
What You Won’t Do For Love
No To Love/ I Want You
OVERALL:This was the first time I had witnessed Jessie Ware perform a headline set and I can see that she is an extremely talented singer/ songwriter. Ware is signed to PMR Records and Island Records and she has an bright future from what was showcased. At present she has already announced a tour for next year and a 2nd date at Shepherd’s Bush Empire was added due to popular demand.