EMELI SANDE / CALUM SCOTT | LIVE REVIEW
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, Sat 21 Oct
Calum Scott and his band, first up on Emeli Sande’s Long Live The Angels tour date in Cardiff, successfully warmed up the continuously growing throng with a number of his own tracks and covers. Becoming well known in the music industry after his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, Scott continuously thanked the large turnout for arriving early in between covers of vague Beatles track Golden Slumbers and a rather stale take on Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You. His popular version of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own, though, was met with cheers and applause for both his impressive signing and open modesty.
The venue was draped in darkness as the lights lowered and were replaced by screams of excitement, beckoning Emeli Sande on to the stage. Holding little back in terms of atmosphere development, she walked out with lights bursting to the beat of Hurts, huge screens blasting bright images out over the venue. Her vibrato-driven vocals proved to be the perfect combination of professional training and emotional angst as her fellow musicians co-ordinated dance routines.
Sande’s focus on love, life and positivity in between tracks flowed through everything she had to say to the packed crowd, before diving straight back into her material. A diverse genre blend kept the set interesting throughout: from the gospel motif of My Kind Of Love to the upbeat pop of Highs And Lows, whose choreography and thick rhythms snapped certain audience members out of their trance.
Later incorporating an uplifting cover of Erma Franklin’s Piece Of My Heart into the set, a touching video intermission on relationships kept everyone’s attention fixed on the stage while she surreptitiously made her way to the central mixing desk where a grand piano lay in wait for her. Clown and Starlight lent intimacy to the arena’s ambience, Sande’s musical director appearing later to take up the piano role and performing a unique version of Labyrinth’s Beneath Your Beautiful and Read All About It Pt 3.
Wending her way back through the building, she and her magnificent backing band concluded with Wonder, Next To Me and – in the encore – a new song, Little Bit Longer. Energy levels bounced back up to the heavens and left Emeli Sande’s audience immeasurably satisfied with the evening’s frivolities.
words and photos NATHAN ROACH