t’s astonishingly clear from the instant Celeste opens her mouth and commences singing that, even though I’ve been to a good deal of gigs and listened to a good deal of vocalists, her voice is certainly one particular of the ideal I’ve at any time listened to dwell.
And what tends to make it so magnificent is just how effortlessly the California-born, Brighton-elevated artist looks to tackle it. Her voice is a multi-layered marvel — times of velvety silent and serene, levitating highs can so quickly change into hair-increasing lung-busters — but by no means does she look everything other than fully in command.
Some singers, specifically those with the basis-shaking could of Celeste, feel like it is their voice that has the power around them foreheads sweating, arms wildly flailing, neck veins protruding. With Celeste, it’s the reverse. Her facial expressions are serene and concentrated, and her hands gently sculpt the air all around her.
It is difficult not to be transfixed by it, primarily in a venue like Union Chapel, the ornate appeal of which is an suitable backdrop. The 8-piece backing band are sleek and innovative, with limited, unintrusive flourishes on horns, strings, guitar and piano.
Celeste’s results has so much felt like a gradual-melt away — the launch of her debut album Not Your Muse in January was somewhat dimmed by the gig-considerably less earth into which it arrived — but it’s hard tonight not to sense like she’s on the cusp of a little something larger. This is the third evening of a 5-present residency, all of which have marketed out (with a socially distanced crowd, of program, but you get the perception entire capacity concert events would have been just as in-demand from customers).
And however, possibly unsurprisingly, she doesn’t participate in the John Lewis Xmas track she recorded final 12 months, the bubbly groove of Cease This Flame is a reminder of her strike-creating likely. Whilst the songwriting by itself does in some cases just take a backseat — her voice is challenging to ignore, but some of her lesser album tracks are not — there are some startling moments, these as with the doleful break-up ballad, Peculiar.
“I hope up coming 12 months we can arrive back and fill this position,” she suggests at 1 level amongst tracks. You definitely would not put it past her.