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Jessie Ware – live @ Pitch

Let’s just say I was rather ridiculously excited to see British songstress Jessie Ware hit the stage at Pitch Festival last Friday. I actually hadn’t heard of Jessie Ware when we bought our tickets for the festival, but when we had a listen a few months back to check out what we were in for, PJD and I were intrigued and tried to find as many songs as we could, because we couldn’t get enough!

Jessie doesn’t have an album out yet (coming out August 20), but popularity of the release of tracks online has guaranteed the album great success when it does land. In the days leading up to the festival, I had the recently released video for Wildest Moments (directed slickly by the brilliant British designer Kate Moross, who I have written about before) on shameless repeat… Jessie Ware is a class act and it’s exciting to see that audiences and critics alike are giving her such a warm reception. Indeed, the large crowd was tightly packed to see her play in Amsterdam, poised with anticipation:

Jessie wowed us with her soulful and original sound (and was a totally professional performer  despite some major sound wobbles at the start of the set). Wildest Moments took the cake for me as the stand out number, but the imploring track Devotion, the sultry Running and the irresistibly upbeat and catchy 110% were similarly brilliant.

Perhaps Jessie Ware’s performance seemed a little incongruous at Pitch given her soul-singer qualities (Pitch was primarily an electronic based music festival), but her previous work with Sampha (one example of their collaboration being the previously mentioned gorgeous track Valentine – incidentally Sampha did show up to cheer her on, but sadly not to sing together) and SBKRT (on Nervous, Right thing to do) show the electronic beats that she regularly works with, and which complement her voice beautifully. The way the crowd was dancing and singing, we certainly were happy she was there.

I’m also enjoying Jessie’s cover of Bobby Caldwell’s hit What you won’t do for love. Jessie Ware is the kind of performer who I think would be extra amazing to see play live in a small, intimate venue, where her rich voice can fill up all the space and envelope your ears in listening pleasure. I would have loved to have seen her debut Live at the Nave performance which looks amazing. I hope by now if you haven’t heard Jessie Ware before you will have clicked on a few of the song links and have a listen, because she is a singer really worth hearing. More than this, she also strikes me as a really endearing, genuine and quite lovely person (she says she’ll be happy if people dance and kiss to her music), passionate about what she’s doing. Perhaps that’s why I’ve  refered to her simply as “Jessie” in the here and there in this post, unconsciously so. A bit overly familiar I guess, but hopefully she won’t mind.

Needless to say, I’m already looking forward to the next time (hopefully?!) that I get to catch Jessie Ware live in concert.


Photos by CIA at Pitch Festival, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.

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