Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Belsonic: Fans are in heaven as Emeli Sande wows a rainy Belfast

Emeli Sande

The second night in a week and a half of Belsonic concerts was another fun-filled but distinctly soggy old affair.

As the rain fell, music fans huddled together in their plastic ponchos waiting for the talented Ms Sande to make her highly anticipated Belfast debut.

Ahead of her appearance on stage at around 9.30pm local acts Duke Special and Foy Vance entertained the crowd.

Two young women from Banbridge, who paid £15 on top of the £25 entrance fee for access to the VIP zone, said they were having lots of fun, but reckon Belsonic organisers should splash out for a marquee or awning to shelter them from the rain next year.

Just days after Emeli Sande sang live to a television audience of millions at the closing ceremony of London's Olympic Games, a slightly smaller, but just as excitable crowd, was packed into Custom House Square to hear the 24-year-old’s brand of melodic soul-pop.

As the heavens opened Sande quite aptly opened the gig with her anthemic single Heaven.

She thanked the audience for braving the inclement weather to watch her perform and for all the support her Northern Irish fans have given her since she blasted into the public's consciousness just a couple of years ago.

It’s been a great year for the pretty Scottish singer who says she’s influenced by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill among others.

Following a Mobo award in 2011, her album Our Version Of Events is the UK’s biggest selling debut of 2012.

The songwriter won this year’s Brit’s Critics’ Choice Award, secured a slot on Coldplay’s US tour and got to play to Belsonic last night.

What more could a girl wish for — except maybe that it hadn’t been raining so heavily in Belfast town last night?

Sande's vocal was strong and full of emotion.

She was full of energy and pulled out hit after hit for her up-for-it Belfast audience, including My Kind Of Love, Suitcase, Next To Me, Daddy and Read All About It.

A great talent and a classy addition to a great Belsonic line-up.

AMANDA POOLE

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