Gig review: Caro Emerald, Glasgow

CARO Emerald is bigger than Michael Jackson in her native Netherlands, where her debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor beat the record previously held by Thriller for most weeks at the top of the charts.

Caro Emerald. Picture: Contributed
Caro Emerald. Picture: Contributed

Caro Emerald

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

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She has since gone on to conquer the rest of Europe with her perky pop appropriation of jazz and Latin styles for the Strictly Come Dancing age.

As such, the front of the auditorium had been cleared of seats in case anyone felt the urge to sashay along to the band, who blended old school brass with keyboards and turntables to slick and occasionally downright synthetic effect – current single Liquid Lunch being one of the most throwaway examples of this marriage of commercial convenience.

Her DJ was a skilled scratcher but he couldn’t compete for impact with the burnished twang of rockabilly guitar or the rich flourish of the horn solos which eventually got the show off the ground after a sedate start.

Despite the variety of styles in Emerald’s pick’n’mix, from the manicured bossa nova of Riviera Life through the New Orleans jazz-style Excuse My French and impish swing of Dr Wanna Do to the mambo/chanson combo of A Night Like This, most of the set was coated in the same processed, plasticky veneer, lacking drama or dynamics.

Emerald herself maintained an unflinchingly pure and palatable tone throughout but as a modern jazz diva she was rather too well-behaved, like Amy Winehouse shorn of the chaos – and the soul.