Treating my recently wax cleared lugs to the R&B anthems of Aberdonian singer Emeli Sande, I had a night out yesterday evening at the first direct arena in Leeds. To clarify, spelling first direct without capitals and in bold text isn’t a misprint, it’s the brand spelling. Knowledge I’m privileged to as one of my personalities worked there for around 20 years.
That particular personality thankfully shuns the limelight these days, acquiescing to one of his more creative but angrier companions, allowing them at last to hug centre stage. The consensus of my many characters is that it’s a wise move by the previously dominant personality; his influence spawning little but existential misery for yours truly.
Anyway, a different personality who disapproves of me procrastinating has just told me to get on with the subject of this monologue, ie last night’s Emili Sande gig.
It was a pleasant surprise when I found out we’d secured tickets to witness the Scot who sang during both the opening and closing ceremonies at the London Olympics in 2012. Prior to leaving the house, my wife, who has an endearing quirk of incorrectly referencing singer/band names, had told me we were going to witness a concert by Emily Sandshoes.
This led to me unenthusiastically believe we were embarking on a night out to see a tribute act….. Although, if I’d have thought about it in more depth, I should have realised that a tribute act is unlikely play in a 13,000 seater arena.
After a pleasant early evening two-course meal at Brown’s in Leeds we headed to the Arena for around 7.30pm, arriving just as the support act, Hull born singer Calum Scott (or Alan Stott as Karen called him) took the stage.
Scott’s support of the lady Scot was an impressive set. In my role as middle aged comfort zone music listener and Britain’s Got Talent objector, I’d never heard his music prior to yesterday evening. It’s been my loss, though; Scott winning me over to such an extent with his soul anthems I may even start streaming them on Apple Music. That is if I can stop myself from automatically typing in Phil Collins on the artist search.
Following Alan Stott’s enlightening 40 minutes or so on stage with his tight band, Miss Sandshoes (err, I mean Sande) took over the reins as our entertainer…… Incidentally, when I say Calum Scott’s band were tight I’m referring to the fact they keep the beat well as a unit whilst accompanying his songs; not that they are reticent to buy a round of drinks at the bar!…… Well, not that I know of anyway.
What can I say about Emeli Sande’s contribution to our evenings entertainment. A thoroughly enjoyable mixture of R&B toe-tappers and soulful piano accompanied ballads, delivered by the lady and her tight band…… Incidentally, when I say Emili Sande’s band were tight, I’m referring to the fact they wouldn’t buy me a beer!
I suppose when someone is asked to start and finish an Olympics with their songs from the heart, belted out from a voice of soulful efficacy, it’s taken as read the show will be of the highest quality. And that’s what Ms Sande’s audience were the benefactors of during her 90 minute set.
Right, I’m off to google if Emile Sande has a tribute act called Emily Sandshoes, and if she does are her band as tight at buying a round as Emili’s.