Emeli Sande - Eurosonic Noorderslag 2012 review

'Built for the heights of the Royal Albert Hall'

Photographer:steve wild

Chris Swindells - 14 January 2012


Kicking off with 'Daddy' and 'Suitcase' you quickly realise this is an introduction built for the grandest heights of the Royal Albert Hall. Not a temporary festival tent in central Groningen, The Netherlands. Despite this Emeli Sande is coping with the setting like a seasoned festival veteran. She knows all the tricks; south baptist arm flailing and vocal warbles from back in time.

Duetting with Pro Green might have been a chart topping exercise but Sande has no plans in the hip hop mould. It's only pop, and classic mo-town affected pop at that, with some soulful, Americanised delivery which seems a million miles from the influence of her hometown of Alford, Scotland.

'My Kind of Love' imparts the chart style and savviness of Alicia Keys and Beyonce, once again proving the art of the ballad is not dead. A songstress like Sande has a crowded field of formers to fend off but if Katy B and Florence Welsh have carved a similar path so early in their career then Emeli Sande's first solo offerings certainly deserve your ear. 

'Heaven' is the final track of her live set, and first track to cut into an urban, dub beat with a RnB flavour that fully justifies it becoming Sande's highest solo entry in the UK charts, at number two, last year. She won't be finishing second in 2012 though, on the strength of the performance tonight it's all the way to the top for Emeli Sande.

Have you got an Emeli Sande side? Did she deserve to win the Brits Critic's Choice Award? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or posting on our festival forums.


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