Gig Review: Jessie J at the 02 Academy Leeds

“I am Kirsty Hulse and I am a Jessie J fan.”

This is what I had to tell myself when I walked out of the O2 last Sunday, like some kind of self professing mantra.

I never liked Jessie J – not really sure why; I just took an instant dislike to her (what I thought was) jarring mix of stage school theatrics and ‘street’ style. I attended the gig at the O2 laregly because I had been asked to and was more than ready to stand with my arms folded and feet planted firmly to the ground, ranting as I exited about what a hypocrite she was and how she was a bad role model etc etc.

Oh how wrong I was.

Interestingly, her albumn as a whole is rather different to the style of the singles that she realeased. Not syrypy sweet in a commercial pop style with an ‘urban’ twist like I thought, much of Jessie J’s song are actually very soulful – with clear influences from the likes of Luther Van Dros (she sang Never Too Much as part of her set). Although there are undoubtedly these elements within her songs, Jessie J is muscially varied and adapts well to different styles. Rather than grasping onto some marketable cliche as was my previous impression, it became apparant that actually Jessie J genuinely enjoys performing music across a broad range of genres. And is bloody good at it too.

Her voice was incredible. Watching videos of her on YouTube warbling ‘mandem mandem’ had previously made my skin crawl, though watching her live, it is unavoidable to succumb to her vocal talent. She had an excellent stage presence – and threw herself limbs flaing into her performance with  infectious energy.

I actually also really liked her. She was charming and witty and clearly cares a lot about her fans. She dragged a die hard fan from Australia and a competiton winner on the stage with her to perform Price Tag and read out letters that were thrown to her on stage. Her ability to build a rapport with the audience is also incredible, from joking about the tackiness of her Poundland-bought Halloween themed set to interaction the crowd were hooked on every word she said.

I will head towards HMV with my tail in-between my legs to buy her next album, and would not hesitate in going to see her again.

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