Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Corinne Bailey Rae and Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16

Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16
Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Jodie Abacus: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16 Corinne Bailey Rae: Shepherds Bush Empire 8/11/16

For fans of British soul, the pairing of one of the country's most established singers with one of the most exciting up-and-comers made an irresistible prospect.

Corinne Bailey Rae has for a decade been one of the most recognisable voices on the music scene, attracting fans including John Legend, with whom she has appeared onstage.

By contrast, Lewisham-born Jodie Abacus is making a name for himself and has plenty to be excited about...charismatic and soulful, he quickly captivated the audience when he took to the stage at Shepherd's Bush, the uplifting "Good Feeling" opening his set.

There is a warmth about his voice reminiscent of an early Stevie Wonder, and he looked like a natural on stage.

"Space Buffalo" and "I'll Be That Friend" follow, with the crowd showing their appreciation.
Judging by this performance, there are bright things in store for Abacus.

He set the scene perfectly for Bailey Rae to arrive on the stage, a huge smile across her face.
The London show was the last night of her UK tour, which by all accounts has been a roaring success.

Latest record "The Heart Speaks in Whispers" showcases her sultry soulful style, which translates superbly to the stage.

Backed by a four-piece band, she delivered a masterclass lasting more than an hour.

Highlights included "Green Aphrodisiac", from the latest record, and "Do You Ever Think of Me?"
Her music is laced with the pain of loss - her husband Jason Rae died during the making of her second album - and the joy of hope.

Bailey Rae's voice has a rich tone, and Shepherd's Bush is the perfect venue to make the best of it.
Guitar in hand, she delivered a lively "Paris Nights/New York Mornings", showcasing her ability to switch the mood of the show.

Unsurprisingly, it was "Put Your Record On" and encore track "Like A Star" that drew the largest reaction from the crowd.

Both still sound fresh and exciting, and rounded off a performance by one of our top singers, still at the peak of her powers.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

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