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Corinne Bailey Rae
  Corinne Bailey Rae  
  Well worth going to see!
Would be even better in the right venue.
Corinne Bailey Rae @ Metropolitan Univ. - Leeds [April 8th, 2006]

Corinne Bailey Rae graced her hometown of Leeds with a special evening of music. Some people in the audience knew Corinne from when she was in the Leeds band ‘Helen’. Most people however, were there because of the release of her hugely successful singles ‘Like A Star’ and ‘Put Your Records On’ and wanted to see this new starlet live. The evening began with the support act James Morrison. The crowd, quiet at first, soon warmed to him due to his soulful rock voice and he sang each song passionately in his sexy, gravelly voice. The band complimented his sound and fed off each other during the show, a promising start to the evening. Corinne walked on stage, flower in hair, simply attired with high waisted 50’s style dress, along with her band and two backing singers, everyone cheering her as she looked out onto the vast audience. From the opening song ‘Call Me When You Get This’ to the next track ‘Trouble Sleeping’, we were in awe. The next track ‘Breathless’ was soulfully sung and well received, Corinne explaining she wrote this whilst working at Harvey Nichols. ‘Enchantment’ was sung beautifully, as was ‘Til It Happens To You’. Corinne’s songs are honest and pure sounding, sung with a strong voice. One thing I was worried about before the performance was the venue for the show. Would it be the right kind of venue for this particular performer? It wasn’t. All through the night I couldn’t help thinking it would be enhanced, sat in a Jazz Café type venue, relaxing, listening to this artist. A University Hall, stood up, with people cramped in (and they were cramped in), didn’t create the ambience this artist deserved. The audience encouraged her throughout the night saying “Come On Corinne”, “Come on Leeds”, much to her amusement. The band was sufficient. It didn’t appear they had been together long or had gelled together as a band, but good guitarist. Corinne sang a B-side to one of her songs from her previous band as well as a Led Zeppelin cover. ‘Like A Star’ was the song Corinne sang on Jools Holland, which she told us she appeared on due to Sinéad O'Connor having a stomach bug - it is how most breaks happen, by chance. ‘Put Your Records On’ was sung with the two people whom she had written it with, watching in the audience and ‘Butterfly’ was written for her Mum, also in the audience. Finishing off with ‘I’d Like To’ before the encore. Corinne ended the set with ‘Choux Pastry Heart’, sounding much better live than on her CD and ‘Seasons Change’, the last song on her album. Corinne isn’t here for the limelight, but is here because of her enthusiastic love for music. Not to be pigeon holed into singing any particular genre/style, but simply to sing music she enjoys. It would have been good to see Corinne encourage a little more crowd participation and for her to have sat a little more forward to the audience rather than at the back of the stage when she played guitar. I also felt an hour and ten minutes was a little disappointing for Corinne to be on stage. I see a star with huge potential, yet sill young in her performance abilities. Providing she is cultured with the professionals of the music industry, ‘Like A Star’, her talent will keep shining and she will hopefully stay in music for a very long time. Let’s hope she is given the chance to do just that.

Tracey Cope [Just Soul]

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