Celeste Review – The audience is stunned by the singer’s stability and poise | Celeste
aThe live music industry is carefully dusting itself off, the Union Chapel in North London is in a lucky location because it’s designed for social distancing: its airy booths and vaulted ceiling offer the closest thing to an outdoor experience you’ll find in an indoor setting. CelesteOn the other hand, an interior artist, she excels in spaces small enough to keep them crisp and uncomfortable.
As such, the cavernous church isn’t the natural home of a jazz singer, but here anyway, she’s presiding over five nights out. She feels like it’s a huge step outside her comfort zone. The first words from tonight’s opening song, Ideal Woman, may convey a heartbreaking confidence – “I like to think it’s because I’m so proud? So proud, so proud, so loud / Others might say because I’m so tall / But it doesn’t bother me at all – But it is the little things that tell me that. When she speaks briefly to announce song titles or admits that she suffers from stage fright, her voice is weak; When she turns to the music it’s from the waist up, her feet seem glued to the stage and for every lady who presides over a perfect woman on the list, there are two who fret and devour skin. (The trembling father’s son, who is clearly addressing absent fathers, needs to shout here.)
Looks like she’ll have to get used to the larger rooms. Tickets will cost £360 each at secondary locations, which answers at least one question: Can the 27-year-old Los Angeles-born, Brighton-born, Brighton man regain the momentum that was accumulating just before Covid? Having won the 2020 BBC Sound Poll and the Brits Rising Star Award, she stunned the audience at the live show of Brits With a strange strange song, it looked as if 2020 would be hers. The pandemic prompted this, forcing to cancel a tour and delaying her debut album, Not Your Muse, for months. But it continues where it left off. Finally released in January, Not your inspiration It reached #1, and tonight’s adorable fan reaction says Celeste is the right person to fill the triangle space of Adele, Amy Winehouse and Norah Jones.
Its performance gets a kapow out of restraint. Fitted with tough but strong tubes, it could break up the stained-glass window above the stage, but it only comes close once, on last year’s jazz funk radio launch, Stop This Flame. The audience, divided into “seating pods,” rises as one at this point, an exhilarating moment, but a strange evening. The hallmark of this show is the stillness and acoustic poise that distinguish Celeste From the current intake of the young pop singer. Their unobtrusively attractive backing stripe’s velvet sound bedding melts into the background, and there’s no edge to any of this. It’s unabashedly mainstream music, albeit with emotional weight — a crack in her voice when she sings, on the promise, “Do you remember when we drenched that morning, when our thing collapsed?” It is a fatal fact. As a post-shutdown activator, it works.