SHE emerged dressed simply, but elegantly, in white blouse and knee-length pencil skirt.
A quick hello and then she broke into song.
For Emeli Sande – the self-confessed “unlikely pop star” – it’s all about the music.
North-East born, but raised in Scotland – she comes from Sunderland, but grew up in Aberdeenshire – this was a sort of homecoming.
It certainly felt like we were witnessing the return of a heroine, such was the warmth emanating from the audience at Newcastle City Hall on Friday night.
Opening with ‘Heaven’, she ran through almost the whole of her multi-million selling debut album, ‘Our Version of Events’ and while that meant there were few, if any, surprises to her set, it also meant those gathered were able to join her in song.
Unsurprisingly, no one was able to match her when it came to vocal talent.
Rarely, if ever, have I heard someone whose singing came so close to, and at times even seemed to surpass, that which appears on their album.
She is truly that rarest of stars. Self-effacing, humble, honest and yet supremely gifted.
Sitting down and alone at the piano for ‘Clown’ and ‘River’, her ability was truly thrust to the fore. Only the constant whooping from some over-zealous members of the crowd spoiling the spine-tingling atmosphere both her lyrics and her accompanying music create.
Mention should also be given to the superb venue.
Had this show been somewhere the size of an arena, its required intimacy would have been lost. Here, in these architecturally resplendent surroundings, she was able to truly connect with her fans and they with her. It is to be hoped that it never becomes a victim of any austerity measures.