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Live Review: Joss Stone – 8th July 2024 – Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

5 min read
Soul icon @JossStone triumphed last night as she delivered a set of timeless hits and pure vocal perfection last night at London's @RoyalAlbertHall . Our full review here....

After several days covering outdoor events in a very wet Hyde Park this past week, the idea of spending the evening seated within the warm, dry and extremely elegant confines of the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall brought joyful tears to our eyes. And what better performer to spend the evening with than the extremely talented soul icon that is Joss Stone.

The last time we saw Stone perform was in celebration of her 20 years in the industry and her debut album, The Soul Sessions at the London Palladium and we were blown away. It was also a very nostalgic show for us with the show being the first time seeing her since way back in 2004 following the release of that debut at Shepherds Bush Empire. Last night’s spectacle and journey through her remarkable career was by far one of the single greatest live performances we have ever had the pleasure of being in attendance for.

As the lights dimmed and her backing band, which included a horn section and a trio of backing singers took position, opening number Star began to play and Stone emerged from the back of the stage with mic in hand, bare foot and looking gorgeous in a floor length, shining bronze dress with golden metal belt and armbands. Looking like a modern day Cleopatra as her long hair trailed behind, she slowly made her way to the front of the stage, belting her way through a medley that included teasing snippets of career notables You Had Me and Fell in Love With a Boy.

Often addressing her fans as “my lovelies”, interactions with her adoring audience were frequent and at times, up-close-and-personal. During a powerful performance of Super Duper Love, Stone took to the floor section, singing her way through the crowd, right to the end of the venue, encouraging the crowd to sing and dance along as photographers stumbled clumsily over each other in attempts to capture as many photos as possible. In fact, this show was no sit-down affair. Stone told the audience “when you come to one of my shows, you are allowed to dance” after she noticed security asking fans to sit down, and while many seemed to timid to make the first move, it wasn’t long before the whole crowd was up on their feet and moving along to impressive cover versions of The Chi-Lites Stoned Out of My Mind and Womack & Womacks Teardrops before a male fan’s call of  “I love you” to Stone was is met with a quick delivered “you haven’t seen me in the morning” from the soul superstar.

Revealing anecdotes came ahead of numbers like Spoiled where Stone admitted to avoiding the hit in a live setting for many years due to a sour relationship with the track’s co-writer. “I loved him…..and he was a dickhead” Stone told the audience before delivering a pitch perfect offering of the Mind Body & Soul single.

A memorable duet which welcomed back on stage support act Stephen Wilson Jr was met with a standing ovation for the pair that seemed the best of friends as they lovingly hugged before and after the song while career highlights You Had Me and Stone’s famous White Stripes cover of Fell in Love With a Boy had the venue singing along and watching the singer prowl the stage as she tore through the up-tempo numbers with total ease.

Further into the set she allowed time for her impressive backing band and backing singers to shine with each playing centre stage for a moment under the Royal Albert Hall spotlights; her singers delivering explosive solo performances of Tell Me ‘Bout It, Young Hearts Run Free, Get Down Tonight and We Are Family that formed a meaty disco medley and was inspired by Stone’s daughter who, she told the crowd, had developed a keen ear for.

After a brief moment off stage, a few dozen singers – members of the London International Gospel Choir – began to line the elevated rear of the stage, and after Stone returned and found her place centre stage in a new floor-length, shiny blue number, she welcomed the members of the Change and Check Choir to stand alongside her as they delivered a phenomenal performance of Golden, a trailblazing breast cancer awareness campaign song that Stone recorded with the choir in support of the cause. As the song came to a dramatic close and the sound of over 50 harmonised voices faded, an eruption of heart shaped confetti exploded over the audience.

The Grammy-Award winning singer then took us through a powerfully emotive cover of The Chi‐Lites, (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People – awarding her yet another standing ovation from her fans and making every note seems like little effort to hit and writing it off as “well that was fun”; no sweat broken at all.

Closing the show, Stone swayed through a moving performance of Right To Be Wrong. Phones were held in the air and the crowd lapped up every note. The way that Stone manipulates her voice and bend notes is really something quite incredible and something you truly need to hear live to believe, and she did this on each song in the set but with an acapella closing of the encore number, we were able to hear every minor inflection in her voice and it was pure heaven.

Recounting her apprehension over booking the gig as she didn’t think anyone would show up, last night’s sold-out performance was nothing short of spectacular. An incredible set in an incredible venue by one of the greatest live performers in music! Utter perfection!

Setlist:
Star / You Had Me / Fell in Love With a Boy
Super Duper Love (Are You Diggin’ on Me?) (Billy “Sugar Billy” Garner cover)
Girl They Won’t Believe It
Stoned Out of My Mind (The Chi‐Lites cover)
Teardrops (Womack & Womack cover)
Spoiled
Walk With Me
Even the Sky (with Stephen Wilson Jr)
Everybody Dance / Disco Medley
Bring on the Rain (The Shapeshifters cover)
Mr. Wankerman
You Had Me
Fell in Love With a Boy (The White Stripes cover)
Tell Me ‘Bout It / Young Hearts Run Free / Get Down Tonight / We Are Family

Encore:
Golden (featuring the Change & Check Choir & the London International Gospel Choir)
(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People (The Chi‐Lites cover)
Right to Be Wrong

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