American singer/songwriter Norah Jones has not toured the UK for over ten years, so it is no wonder that fans have flocked to the beautiful Bridgewater Hall this evening for her only tour date this side of the Pennines.
Jones released a special edition of her album ‘Come Away With Me’ last year which marked it’s 20th anniversary. We treated to a number of classic songs from that number one album, as well as plenty more from her back catalogue, many of which have hit the top spot in the UK charts during her illustrious career.
Jones also played some of her newer material, which takes a different direction from the bluesy hits we all know and love. Norah had nothing to prove tonight, her backing band and Jones are serious performers and their musicianship stood out without the need for gimmicks or lengthy fan interaction between songs.
Jones was polite and humble, allowing the multitude of instruments do the talking as she switched from the grand piano to the keyboard throughout the evening. The aforementioned newer hits included ‘What Am I To You’ and ‘Sunrise’. The older hits were met with rapturous applause, and Jones is a singer you NEED to see sing in person to appreciate that husky voice and cool stage presence.
The one track encore was a wonderful moment, as Jones had saved the best for last. The song she has become known for ‘Don’t Know Why’ sounded immense in this stunning Manchester venue, in which I had forgotten how outstanding the acoustics are in here, which suited this style of music perfectly.
Despite the beautiful setting, I cannot help but think that an event such as this would have been better held in the city’s latest venue The Blues Kitchen just around the corner, a more relaxed setting not dissimilar to a New York style jazz bar would have complimented this evening. Let’s hope we do not have to wait another ten years for Jones to make her way across the pond onto UK soil!
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