Review: Jessie Ware
Words by Alice Rook
In support of her third album, Glasshouse, Jessie Ware made her debut in Bournemouth last night. Having seen her several times at musical festivals, I knew what to expect with her sultry and powerful vocals but I was delighted by the production of the show – which was split into four acts, much like a film plot, with each ‘act’ being introduced by a few words on the screen behind her.
The 33-year-old singer from South London returned to the music scene with Midnight last year, her first single in three years. Her new album was written and recorded between home and LA and was released last October.
Act One began with the gorgeously gentle Sam, which is a personal and autobiographical song about her finally marrying her childhood sweetheart and starting a family with him after spending almost half their lives together. Jessie then continued with the latest single Your Domino, an upbeat and electronica track which captured her strength as a versatile artist.
Jessie looked sensational in a black and white polka dot knee length dress and long red earrings… which felt heavy to even look at! She took the time to really speak to the crowd, evidently deeply caring for her fans. She took the time to chat to the audience between songs, asking if anyone was from Southampton or Bridport, as she has some relatives in the latter. She told the crowd that it was ‘very important to know who I’m playing to.’ She also informed the crowd that it was the last night of her tour and she was of course sad it was coming to an end.
Jessie’s vocals were beautiful, raw and honest and with every song during the show, it was clear people were increasingly mesmerised by her performance. She effortlessly hit the high notes and really engaged with the audience from start to finish, bringing a decent level of banter to the Academy. Making the crowd laugh, she said that Easter weekend was working out really well for her because she did a gig on Friday night and people were up for partying, she did a gig on Saturday night and people were up for partying and she said that as the next day was a Bank Holiday too, we had no excuse not to party with her and get extra drinks from the bar!
Jessie explained that her new album, Glasshouse is all about her journey longing for motherhood, then falling pregnant, then freaking out once the baby came and trying to juggle it all. She said she was very proud to be able to share her journey with us through her album. Performing First Time, Jessie explained that she wrote it to convey a time when she felt that her husband and herself were just like two ships passing in the night and all she wanted was for a few spare minutes to share some kisses.
Act Two included No To Love which had a call and response feel with some members of the audience singing along to the backing track. The stage backdrop turned a haze of blue for this song which highlighted the band on stage, silhouetting them against the backdrop. The third act included the piano-based Midnight and Champagne Kisses which was really well received by the adoring crowd. It’s an addictive love song with an 1980s feel.
The fourth and final Act served as the encore, delighting the crowd with Tough Love and Wildest Moments. As my personal favourite, it was a great way to end a great evening, with the audience singing an entire chorus for her.
It’s hard to believe Jessie has never played Bournemouth before, but I’m really pleased she has and I look forward to her returning… and hopefully soon!
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