GROUNDED Essex girl Anne-Marie started her pop career as a “featuring” singer, guesting on records by terminally dull but undeniably popular electronica acts Rudimental and Clean Bandit. In person, she’s a likeable enough performer with a cheeky sense of humour, joking about her double chin (which has its own Instagram page) and introducing her microphone roadie with the words “this is Marcus, he’s on Tinder – right now”.
Academy, Glasgow **
But beyond the mild rasp to her tone, it was hard to hear what distinguishes her from her equally formulaic pop peers. Who knows, maybe there is a deep rivalry between Anne-Marie acolytes and the Dua Lipa army, but both trade in R&B-inflected polished pop with a modicum of attitude and a responsible, positive message for their teenage fans.
Trigger wrapped laudable sentiments in a tinny pop song, Perfect ticked off a pedestrian list of entirely normal habits in an attempt to appear quirky, while she imagined herself as the heartbreaker on the banal Bad Girlfriend.
To date – and she is still only one album in – her hit singles Alarm, Ciao Adios, Friends and her chart-topping Clean Bandit collaboration Rockabye have all deployed the ubiquitous reggae rhythms of Jamaican dancehall in a clinical pop production but there was brief respite from the generic monotony to indulge in the soul jazz tones of an earlier track Gemini, which was less familiar to the audience but did allow her to show off greater vocal dexterity.