Music review: Raye, Academy, Glasgow

From jazz to hip-hop to MOR gospel singalongs, Raye covered a lot of musical ground into this show and is clearly relishing her moment, writes Fiona Shepherd

Raye, Academy, Glasgow ***

Raye looks like a star and chats like your best mate but, much like her grab-bag of musical styles, she makes the down-to-earth diva dichotomy work, demonstrating the joys of reverb but able to bust out a rapping interlude with some credibility. She declared the theme of this evening to be honesty, though her initial confessional concerned potential wardrobe malfunctions; later, she did her best not to kill the vibe with songs inspired by sexual assault and body dysmorphia.

These and more appear on her debut album My 21st Century Blues, which has set her on the record-breaking path to seven Brits nominations and the Songwriter of the Year Award. She cut her teeth first as a writer for other artists and then guesting on some clubby collaborations – David Guetta’s Bed and Jax Jones’s You Don’t Know Me were both in this eclectic set helmed by her ace, adaptable band, who accompanied her twittering falsetto with lovely lazy brass and a scatting interlude with gurning guitar.

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Jazz, hip-hop and gospel also made the grade, while a solo requests section at the piano showcased her willingness to go slightly off-piste. If anything, there was a little too much going on, chat included, but Raye moved freely from emoting to anecdotes about buying weed in Amsterdam. She is relishing her moment, so can be forgiven for trying to cram it all in, including an MOR gospel singalong for set closer Buss It Down.

She encored with her big breakthrough hit Escapism, accompanied by audience screechalong and a mobile phone filming fest. There were better songs in her set, if not more popular, but with so much thrown at the wall, there is still all to play for for this hungry artist.

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