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Live Review: Caro Emerald – Tuesday 13th December 2011 – Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK

6 min read

What a year it’s been for Caro Emerald. The singer, who exploded out of the dutch charts to cause swing happy havoc on the UK charts, has gone from local Amsterdam Jazz songstress to international diva in a heartbeat and the world just can’t get enough of her. Emerald has enjoyed a successful career to date with her debut record, the gorgeous Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, breaking all sorts of records in her native Amsterdam. The phenomenal release has spawned a string of hit singles and the success the singer has enjoyed in her homeland seems to be infectious as she been engulfed by critical acclaim in the UK following the records incredible single offspring including That Man, Stuck, Riviera Life, A Night Like This and the sublime Back It Up.

Having already wowed audiences at her sold out debut UK gig in North London’s intimate Jazz Cafe back in August it wasn’t long before public demand grew too strong and venues with a larger capacity beckoned. Still bathing in the achievements of Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor the sultry and seductive personality that is Caro Emerald took to the confines of West London’s iconic Shepherds Bush Empire to warm her adorning fans up and get those Jazz fueled juices flowing.

Arriving five minutes before showtime I was met by a sold out Shepherds Bush Empire, fans covering every inch of available floor space and almost hanging from all levels above. The singer has made quite the impression on UK audiences and that was evident by the crowd who chanted the stars name before the lights dimmed and the welcoming intro began to resonate throughout the venue.

With her eight piece band taking position on stage Emerald emerged to a powerful cheer from the crowd. Looking radiant in a black knee length dress, a pair of classy black gloves, a green cardigan and a large red flower perched in her hair the singer dove straight into the fantastic That Man. Bopping around the stage Emerald looked at home as she basked in the crowds energy while her band, which included a three piece horn section, gave a sturdy musical filling.

Just One Dance followed before island fever flowed in full force with the catchy Riviera Life giving us a slice of summer on an evening when the frost was biting at the door.

Further into the set the singer unleashed the stunning Back It Up and the crowd went crazy as she belted out her signature track which was reworked and included a confident electro filling that gave the track a new edge and created a number that could quite easily slot into any club DJ set. The singer also told of her rise to stardom following the offer to record Back It Up which resulted in the single’s parent record.

As the singer departed the stage a 1950’s style detective narration was played through the venue giving the night a real old-school vibe that suited the set up of the stage which was filled with 1950’s decor and a screen backdrop showing images of the singer and song titles as the musician lept through her set.

Welcoming Emerald back to the stage a few minutes later the singer was this time dressed in a flattering black and grey leather dress and we were offered a further string of gems including The Other Woman, where we were given a sublime a capella intro by Emerald whose vocals rang perfectly over the 2000 strong crowd with pitch perfect precision. The Lipstick On His Collar and the horn laden Dr. Wanna Do followed with the latter seeing Emerald handing the stage over to her horn section for some impressive instrumental solos. Given the time of the year the singer also threw in a beautiful Christmas addition in the form of All I Want For Christmas, a happy seasonal track containing a sample of the classic Jingle Bells before she left the stage.

Returning a few minutes later Emerald looked stunning as she sported a body hugging red dress that showed off her gorgeously curvaceous figure. A light piano intro then led us to the gorgeous I Know That He’s Mine while images of a smoking female character took over the screens and the smoke machine was turned up to help set the scene as her guitarist stood to her right embracing an accordion that played subtly throughout the track giving the number a dark French feel.

As well as showcasing the singers phenomenal debut album the set list also contained a couple of tracks that the star hasn’t yet recorded and instead offers fans at her live performances. During last night’s concert this included Two Hearts and Close To You, the latter being dedicated to Emerald’s songwriting partner Vince DeGiorgio who penned the track especially for Emerald and who was present at the performance.

Closing the set Emerald chose the stunning Stuck and the track was the obvious standout and the biggest crowdpleaser on the night as the audience danced and sang along with the songs infectious rhythm and hook laden chorus.

With a brief exit from the stage Emerald returned to perform a cover of the Amy Winehouse ballad, Love Is A Losing Game. With the late singer’s eyes fixed on the screen behind the Emerald the Dutch beauty performed a moving rendition of the track paying homage to one of her musical heroes before thanking the audience and leaving the stage one last time

Emerald’s vocals were strong throughout her set and the star often engaged with her eager fans telling anecdotes and giving background to a number of the set highlights. She was very humble, often showing her appreciation for the fact that the crowd had come to see her and making the show a sold out achievement for the musician.

Showing off an impressive catalogue of what can only be described as debut classics that ooze sex appeal and contain just the right amount of vintage cinematic flavoring to allow for a nostalgic yet fresh and energetic set the singer unleashed on her UK fans a performance to remember.

The Dutch songbird beamed throughout the set with an energy that kept every person in the venue captivated and she took the sold out Shepherds Bush Empire audience on a ride through jazz laced pop grandeur with her pitch perfect vocals that wrapped eloquently around her well crafted, radio friendly nuggets of musical gold. She swung from uptempo swing gems like Stuck, Back It Up and A Night Like This through to laid back pop balladry with ease and confidence.

Emerald also added just the right amount of seduction and glamor to her set to create an effective and memorable tone to the nights entertainment and we can’t wait for the star to return to UK shores with more live performances following last nights live success.

Set list:

That Man
Just One Dance
Riviera Life
Two Hearts
Back It Up
The Lipstick On His Collar
The Other Woman
All I Want For Christmas
Dr. Wanna Do
I Know That He’s Mine
Absolutely Me
You Don’t Love Me
A Night Like This
Close To Me
Love Is A Losing Game