Emeli Sande Oran Mor - review by Pauline Keightley

Photo: emeli sande at oranmor. Glasgow 1st November 2011

Emeli burst onto the Oran Mor stage firing on all cylinders. I saw her gig there for her first EP launch in December 2006 when she sang her own songs and a Nina Simone cover. Four years later in December 2010, I saw her at King Tuts she has had a busy time since then. This year she's had The Mobos and released her debut single 'Heaven', which reached No 2 in the UK charts in October. Now her second single 'Daddy' is due for release in November and her album, 'Our Version of Events', will be released early 2012. At OranMor Emeli spoke of how wonderful the past year has been for her and of her present number one song with Professor Green titled 'Read All About It.'

Tonight again at Oran Mor she owned the stage and took us on her musical journey through soul, gospel, rock and R & B. Emeli sang the new songs from her upcoming album as well as a medley of her past hit singles collaborations.

She sat at the keyboard and explained that it was in OranMor that she started her musical journey. She sang her song 'Clown', a favourite from her new album. It was a beautiful haunting song and I wished I had remembered to bring my recorder with me! She talked about the wonderful experience of writing with Alicia Keys in LA and sang their collaboration song 'Hope'.

Photo: emeli sande at oranmor. She finished her set with her singles 'Heaven' and 'Daddy;. For her encore she sand 'Maybe', when the poignancy shone through with lyrics such as ' We Can Try A Bit Harder, We Can Make It Work.'

I thought that her performance was much improved and that she was both more relaxed and more energetic. Her excitement at performing her songs with a top band, back home in Glasgow where it all started, was palpable. The venue was sold out as is the rest of her first intimate headline tour.

Her music is rocky and upbeat. It's also full of pathos and on the edge of our joys and sorrows. As Emily says herself.. This ain't no 'soft soul easy listening' but soul with a questioning edge. I had a chat with her backstage at King Tuts December 2010 when she said her music was 'soul with a rocky edge' and influenced by the likes of Portishead, Massive Attack and Joni Mitchell.

I am now excited for her album release and I expect it to be a smash success! Emeli's big soul voice attracted attention when she was only 16. She studied at Medical School at the University of Glasgow and after obtaining a degree in Neuroscience decided to focus on her music.

I wish her well for her album release. It is clear she doesn't do things by half measures! www.emelisande.com/

Set List

  • Tiger
  • Where I Sleep
  • Suitcase
  • Lifetime
  • Clown (Emeli piano)
  • My kind of Love
  • Next To Me
  • Breaking the Law
  • Hope - River (Emeli Piano)
  • (Medley)
  • Gravity
  • Daddy
  • Maintain
  • Heaven
  • Maybe (encore)

(PKIMAGE photography, Glasgow - photographic artist of mainly music, portraits and events. Please visit my website to see my photo work and to get in touch with any questions.