"Devotion" was one of my favourite albums of 2012. Simplistic, stunning & sophisticated. You need this woman in your life!
Monday nights are normally extremely dull, you're probably still that little bit hungover from the weekend and on a serious downer that its the beginning of the week again. However this Monday night was far from that.
With nothing planned & a few extra quid lying about i sent a friend a text & asked if she wanted to join me later that evening. Her reply was "Why the hell not?" Looks like we were going.
Not in the mood for too much hanging about, i decided to pick my friend up that little bit later. I thought we were going to make the supporting act Laura Mvula, however the weekends lack of sleep had got the better of said friend and i therefore had to sit & wait while she got dolled up.
We rocked up to the o2 Academy in Oxford just after 9 and had to slither our way through the very excited crowd. It was a diet coke & bottle of water night tonight! And i was stuck behind the tallest person in the venue - typical. I wasn't going to let this ruin my evening.
It seemed we had timed it perfectly. Within 5 minutes of finding our spot, Jessie was on stage sporting her usual glamorous underground look - cropped top showing off her toned midriff & fiery red lipstick. This woman meant business.
Still Love Me
110% / If You're Never Gonna Move
Imagine It was Us
Taking in Water
No to Love
When she launched straight into "Devotion" it was as if i had pressed play on my iPhone in the car - but obviously ten times more incredible. I felt like a little girl again getting that all excited feeling. I was about to be blown away.
As she continued to have the crowd gripped gently within the palm of her hands, she stopped to chat after each song and then on to introducing the next. Most gigs i go to needed little introduction however it was nice to see Jessie break that barrier between performer & the audience. I felt my money had been greatly received at the Ware-house! I'll definitely come back again. However i think she suffers a little bit from word vomit, just like me. We are similar in more ways then i thought! Both babes of course.
Each track that she sang, i was convinced that it was my new favourite - although its was so hard to decide. All the hairs on my arms stood up as she sang "Night light". Its such a soothing song & i found myself swaying subconsciously This woman had me hypnotized "110%/If you're Never Gonna Move" had everybody bobbing along in the crowd. Co-written by Julio Bashmore, this song was set to get everyone moving.
Apart from a few technical hitches beyond Miss Ware's control, the music kept flowing and Jessie kept on finding that little extra bit of WOW for each song. Dedicating it to her brother, she sang "Taking in Water". I didn't know this until that moment but this was by far my favourite track and performance of the evening. Jessie made it look so effortless, however portrayed such passion & emotion throughout. I dared to think what else this woman was capable of.
As she continued to charm her audience, she introduced her drummer Dornik Leigh to the front of the stage & explained that he would cover the part of Sampha in the duet called "Valentine". The boy did good! I had already heard Dornik sing on a cover of "Diamonds" by Rihanna when Jessie had performed in the BBC Radio 1 live lounge a month or so previous to this, however nothing beats the real thing of course. It was really amazing to see Jessie encouraging Dornik so much, but then she knows exactly what its like to start from the bottom and work her way up. Give it a few years and this soulful young man may surprise us even more!
As her performance drew to a close, Jessie made a joke in reference to her short set by saying "I've only having one album!". Yes she was right but not many can say they've had a debut album as mesmerizing as hers.
To sum the evening & this lovely lady up, it was a true pleasure to have been there. Jessie is a natural performer with a twinkle in her eye and one who really appreciates her fans. Already accustomed to "life on the road", i wish her all the luck for the rest of her European tour.
2012 was a monumental year for Jessie and 2013 is already proving to be extremely kind to the 28 year old.
If you haven't already, then you'd be a fool to ignore "Devotion" any longer. Click here to check it out.
Peace & Love