“YOU know this one, right?” hollered Jess Glynne as the synthesised strings of Rather Be, her 2014 number one hit with Clean Bandit, swirled around her. “I’m gonna test you!”
Jess Glynne | Rating: *** | Usher Hall, Edinburgh
“I’m gonna test you!” As a performer and as a personality Glynne hits the right note, her mateyness endearing but never forced upon her audience. The backdrop of the stage glittered with floor-to-ceiling sequins, but Glynne’s lack of stage school training – a rarity for a British pop performer these days – lent her a seeming honesty amidst the polish of her show.
Her audience were clearly won over. Visibly composed mostly of women, from teenage to middle age, they had sold out the hall well in advance and were quick to respond to favourite tracks. Inevitably these seemed to be the more upbeat ones; the handbag-house flavoured double of Ain’t Got Far to Go and Real Love, the latter faded briefly into CeCe Peniston’s Finally, and It Ain’t Right, with it’s deep, soulful electronic bass.
Later in the show the finale picked up several gears once more, from the changing room disco of You Can Find Me to the funk groove of Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself and the encore duo of hits Right Here and Hold My Hand. Amidst these highs, however, landed a furrow of bland ballads and generic soul tracks typified by the “sexy guitar” (her words) slow jam of Love Me and lightened only be a nice cover of Amy Winehouse’s Tears Dry On Their Own. At its best it was a positive and very live-feeling show – at its worst, as when she panhandled for text votes to win a Brit Award, typical pop factory produce.