When stood outside Leeds O2 Academy in a freezing cold queue that snakes around the whole building, across the road and over a bridge it is hard to believe that this is only Emeli Sandé's second album and that she hasn't toured in a while. Her first album out in 2012 'Our version of events' was critically acclaimed and lead to a number of notable appearances, the most memorable being the opening and closing of the London Olympics. However her performance tonight was no less powerful despite the slightly smaller venue, in fact it was far more raw and edgy.

The night was kicked off by South London's Rita Ekwere A.k.a. Ray BLK. An upcoming Star that has just topped BBC's sound of 2017 list. Starting her career off in rap and now with her musical roots firmly planted in R&B she delivers hey smart lyrics matched with sweet melodies to make her definitely one to watch this year and the perfect support for this special main act.

In the years between albums Emeli has got married and divorced. The spectacular highs and heartbreaking lows of those years are heard and seen on that stage. She walked out and the buzzing excitement of the audience stopped and nothing but silence engulfed the room. Emeli stood on the stage and poured her heart out to the packed O2. Her voice was impeccable whether she was singing with the whole band or just a guitar, every note was delivered to perfection. A seamless performance matched with an emotive backdrop showed a rollercoasters of emotions she has been through in the last few years and she was taking us back through that journey

Her backdrop for the most popular song of the night 'Hurts' showed dark intense thunderstorm clouds which then flowed into another hit 'breathing underwater' which showed pretty picturesque blue skies and fluffy white clouds indicative of the light and shade in emotions she was feeling.

I found that the audience was leaning in the favourite of mostly men and everyone I saw was singing along, they certainly hadn't been dragged along. She captivated everyone and didn't let go. With a mixture of tracks from the first album and the cure one 'long live the angels' that she is promoting, the night was one hit after another. With very little talking in between songs it was a musically packed performance. Without a doubt Emeli Sandé deserves every accolade she is given, her voice, performance and intensity where that of a truly talented artist.

Emeli Sandé's Long Live The Angeles World Tour Continues:

24 March - Lotto Arena - Antwerp, Belgium
25 March - Rockhale - Alzette, Luxembourg
27 March - Zénith De Paris - Paris, France

28 March - Zenith Die Kulturahalle - Munich, Germany
29 March - Heineken Music Hall - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

01 April - Samsung Hall - Zürich, Switzerland
03 April - Columbia Hall - Berlin, Germany
04 April - Palladium - Cologne, Germany
12 April - Zénith De Paris - Paris, France

14 April - Bergenfest 2017 - Bergen, Norway
28 June - Nibe Festival 2017 - Nibe, Denmark
07 July - North Sea Jazz Festival 2017 - Rotterdam, The Netherlands
13 July - Edinburgh Castle Esplanade - Edinburgh, Scotland - UK
09 August - Stars In Town 2017 - Schaffhausen, Switzerland
19 August - Hylands Park: V Festival 2017 - Chelmsford, England - UK
20 August - Weston Park: V Festival 2017 - Staffordshire, England, UK

25 August - Seaside Festival 2017 - Spiez, Switzerland
14 October - Oil & Gas Arena (AECC) - Aberdeen, Scotland - UK
15 October - The SSE Hydro - Glasgow, Scotland, UK

16 October - Metro Radio Arena - Newcastle Upon Tyne, England - UK
18 October - The O2 Arena - London, England - UK
19 October - Brighton Centre - Brighton, England - UK
21 October - Motorpoint Arena - Cardiff, Wales - UK

22 October - Manchester Arena - Manchester, England - UK
24 October - First Direct Arena - Leeds, England - UK
25 October - Genting Arena - Birmingham, England - UK
27 October - 3 Arena - Dublin, Ireland

Review + Photos By: Laura Toomer Photography

The Modern Record