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Beverley Knight gig review

Lynda Moyo watches the UK soul queen give 100% at The Bridgewater Hall

Written by . Published on November 18th 2009.


Beverley Knight gig review

It’s not often you see the front seats of a gig taken up by a majority of middle aged, middle class males. You know - the ones that don’t normally dance, because they can’t. It would take something or someone really special to attract the type of crowd you’d normally only expect to see, stiff as a board at board meetings - not a Beverley Knight concert.

Beverley Knight is like every credible, soulful artist rolled into one. With the strut of Tina Turner, the range of Whitney Houston and the emotion of Mary J Blige, she belted out her back catalogue across the hall, all the while looking every inch the soul diva in a dazzling mini dress and heels.

But Beverley isn’t your average pop star. Despite having dabbled in pop throughout her 14-year career, her speciality is for music that doesn’t have pop’s best before end date plastered on it. It’s music from the soul, for the soul. Kicking off with fan favourites such as the motivational and up-tempo ‘Keep this Fire Burning’ and feel-good track ‘Greatest Day’, Knight achieved in her hour and a half set what most singers can’t - the ability to perform with strength and stamina whilst still being note-perfect throughout.

When most artists tour, you get the impression that they’re reeling off the same ‘this is my favourite city’ stuck record speech wherever they go, but there was something much more heartfelt about Beverley’s acknowledgement to fans at The Bridgewater Hall.

“I love this city. I recorded an album once in Music City in the United States. Manchester is the Music City of the UK," she gushed. And the dedications didn’t stop there as Beverley gave fans an insight into her personal life, speaking about the importance of family and the admiration she has for long-lasting marriages. “This one’s for Cynthia” she said, pointing out her sister in the crowd, who is both a wife and a mother, before giving a rendition of the beautiful love song, ‘Gold’.

Beverley Knight is like every credible, soulful artist rolled into one. With the strut of Tina Turner, the range of Whitney Houston and the emotion of Mary J Blige, she belted out her back catalogue across the hall, all the while looking every inch the soul diva in a dazzling mini dress and heels. Her voice bounced off the walls, hitting the men on the front row who couldn’t help but melt as they looked on in awe of a woman so talented, yet so incredibly under-acknowledged in the music industry. What is clear, however, is that Beverley gave the industry the finger quite some time ago.

Touring to promote her new album ‘100%’- it’s the first album released from Beverley’s own record label, Hurricane Records. One of the songs off the album named ‘Soul Survivor’ couldn’t have summed her up any better.

“There's a time and place for change, ain’t too many things that stay the same. I've been there through every phase, seasons come and go, but I remain,” she sang.

No chair was touched in this seated venue, until Beverley came back for a very mellow and moving encore with the hit ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’. It wasn’t long however before we were back on our feet for ‘Made it back’ and ‘Flavour of the old school’ from her first album in the nineties.

More tracks from her new album revealed even further vocal progression, particularly in the ballad ‘Bare’. Despite this, the album is still familiar for fans and very much in-keeping with the Beverley Knight signature soul style as one track runs seamlessly into another. She clearly enjoys the formula which has gained her a niche, yet loyal following and despite never having had a number one record it’s for the love of the music that Beverley Knight remains the ultimate British soul survivor.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Marie HeatleyNovember 18th 2009.

Couldn't have said it better myself, so agree Beverley Knight is like every credible, soulful artist rolled into one.What a fantastic performance oh what a night I loved it. Great review

NobbyNovember 18th 2009.

^^ You won't ever see something from the x-factor give a perfomance like Beverley! Primarily because Bev comes from the school of music where every note is visceral, every song is honest, every performance is naural. x-factor wannabees come from the school of music where no emotion is involved, just "hitting notes" (which most of them can't even do), nothing is real because all their music and image has been pre-packaged by some label boss. I see that Leona bird at the Capital ball and it was the worst thing I think I'd ever seen. She just stood there in one place with all the charisma of a piece of cardboard, wailed her way through a few songs without any interpretation or crowd interaction, went out of tune more times then an unserviced piano. In her effort to impress a bunch of music nobs by standin there and trying to emulate all those vocal runs she totally missed the point of what a live gig is supposed o be. She's such a puppet who gets through by trying to imitate Mariah Carey... VERY poorly

PaulNovember 18th 2009.

A fantastic gig from Beverley as always! Tuesday was my 5th Bev concert and I am always so impressed with the voice, energy and intimacy of her performances.Lovely to see her perform in such a beautiful venue as well. Thanks for a really accurate and honest review :)

GordoNovember 18th 2009.

Great review this Lynda, proud of you. But make a note, Gordo CAN dance ;-)

Donna MamigonianNovember 18th 2009.

I was there too - she was utterly brilliant. She is THE most under-rated female artist in the UK - everyone pays so much attention to the artists spouted out from the X-Factor machine - I'd like to see even one of them perform the way she did!Great review

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