Corinne Bailey Rae

Friday, April 7, 2006
12:25 PM

The Waterfront, Norwich

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The Waterfront, Norwich

In recent weeks the extra hours of sunlight and the (gradually) rising temperatures have made it feel like summer is on the way.

And last night Corinne Bailey Rae - dubbed the voice of 2006 - did her bit to help it along with a performance so warm it would bring images of cavorting in the sunshine into the mind of even the most hardened cynic.

Widely compared to Billie Holiday she perhaps owes more to Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray but, whichever way you look at it, she's got a lot of hype to live up to.

Her music possesses a youthful questioning spirit but is never lightweight. “I wonder why it is/I don't argue like this/with anyone but you,” she sings on her self-penned debut Like a Star.

This was never going to be a performance to set the pulse raising, but it possessed a simple elegance.

Intimate is an over-used word when it comes to live music but in this case it was entirely apt.

Much of her music has a vintage soul sound and this is never more true than on Trouble Sleeping, which she delivered with a confident pout.

Meanwhile current single Put Your Records On was a piece of perfect pop which lit up the dark atmosphere of the Waterfront.

The sing along nature of this track makes it inevitable that, by the end of summer, we will all be sick of it. But for the time being its enthusiasm is irresistible.

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