LIVE REVIEW: Jorja Smith @ Manchester Albert Hall

1 907

By Joey Crutchley

The lights dim and for the first few minutes it’s just the band up on stage. A talented yet simple quartet of piano, bass, drums and guitar launch into the title track from the album, ‘Lost & Found’. After a lengthy introduction, the soul-singer herself, Jorja Smith, emerges on stage filled with elegance and charm. Dressed in a mink-coloured silk dress and white Air Max trainers, this Walsall-born songstress seems reserved, almost shy. “Why do we all fall down with innocence?” Jorja questions on the opening track as she sways across the stage like laundry in the wind. She is undeniably sultry as she waves to the crowd who listen intently.

The 21-year-old BRIT Award winner is welcomed with a roar of applause as the trickling piano notes from fan favourite ‘Teenage Fantasy’ fill the room. Her awareness of melody is clearly demonstrated as the packed-out venue roars the chorus back to her. With her style firmly set, she radiates a soulful similarity to Amy Winehouse, a major influence of Jorja’s. Her ability to switch up genres is completely evident within the 18 track set list, which ranges from violin arrangements with a melancholic ambience, to funky guitar flicks and strobe lighting piercing the venues walls.

A sea of mobile phones fill the room with lights while she performs the haunting ballad ‘Let Me Down’, her vocals stretching like an elastic band, soaring from an FKA Twigs-style falsetto to a rich and raspy Lauryn Hill-influenced alto. Flipping the tempo on the last track, ‘On My Mind’, the track starts with an acoustic guitar accompanied with Jorja’s smoky and honeyed vocals before evolving into a fully electronic dance party.

The show thrives on emotionally raw minimalism, with her voice being the central instrument. There are no elaborate stage props, no five minute dance intervals or outrageous costumes. Instead, just a girl on stage in a pair of Air Max trainers, dancing around in a world of her creation.

(Photo Credit: Academy Music Group)

About the author / 

Joey Crutchley

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Bakar @ Albert Hall live review – Bakar dares to dream big 

    Featured image and gallery: Georgina Hurdsfield The gloomy refrain “I hate the facts, I hate the situation” echoes affirmatively among the gothic furnishings of the Albert Hall. The fact is that 5000 fans have converged under the ornate roof; the situation being the first of Bakar’s two sold-out shows in Manchester. The aforementioned lyrics couldn’t…

  • Of Mice & Men @ Rebellion review – metalcore masters tear it up

    Featured image and gallery: Ameena Ceesay So-Cal band Of Mice & Men have spent the better part of a decade rising through the metalcore ranks. A couple months from the release of their 8th studio album, Tether, and as part of their UK and Europ…well, Germany tour, they grace the Rebellion stage and proceed to…

  • Anne Marie @ AO Arena Manchester review – A perfect and unexpected theatrical experience

    Featured Image and gallery: Ben Redshaw From West End childhood star and karate world champion to BRIT Award-winning popstar, Anne-Marie arrives at the AO Arena on the back of her third studio album, Unhealthy.  Leah Kate, an American singer best known for her post-heartbreak songs, is the opener. Kate tells the story of sliding into…

  • Manchester creatives celebrate identity, community and queerness at the 2023 Bound Art Book Fair at Whitworth Art Gallery

    Featured image and photography: Anna Klekot The Bound Art Book Fair returned to The Whitworth art gallery this month, featuring over 65 exhibitors showcasing a range of creative work including zines, books and posters. The gallery was filled with independent publishers and artists showcasing creative projects, and featured free artist talks open to the public,…