A dazzling vintage jewel

Caro Emerald. Photo: Adrie Mouthaan.
Caro Emerald. Photo: Adrie Mouthaan.

Caro Emerald at the O2 ABC, Sunday March 18.

SUNDAY may be an inopportune night for a gig, but as Dutch songstress Caro Emerald sidled on stage, it was clear that the O2 ABC crowd were raring to go.

Before all that, a confession – I was always going to like Ms Emerald’s work. From the retro sounds and album artwork to her impeccably groomed style (prompting numerous dress changes throughout the set), the lady is right up my street.

It seems that I am not the only one. Despite just one – albeit platinum – album under her belt, Caro Emerald has built up a huge fan base – and if Sunday’s sold-out gig was anything to go by, those fans are wide and varied.

Groups of middle-aged women danced side by side with young couples – that’s right, there was even dancing, as opposed to the obligatory head bobbing the ABC will be accustomed to.

Accompanied by her seven-piece band (including a particularly enthusiastic DJ for the odd mix), the lady herself seemed at ease as she worked her way through Deleted Scenes From the Cutting Room Floor, as well as a few new numbers too.

The show picked up a few songs in, with the tune Caro claimed to owe everything to, Back It Up. Uttering the line “give me some horny”, she launched into the first single with gusto and ended it on a welcome sing-along.

Highlights throughout included theatrical intros to The Lipstick on His Collar and The Other Woman – the latter of which started acapella and showcased a talented voice, and substance beyond all that style.

The power of the seductive Just One Dance was lessened by our experminental DJ introducing scratching – and again, sound effects used in I Know That He’s Mine detracted from the singer’s performance.

Still the audience weren’t put off, and final crowd pleasers Absolutely Me, That Man and A Night Like This were welcomed with grateful applause, before an encore of an acoustic number cut from the album, and the foot-tapping Stuck.

While chatting to the audience between songs, Ms Emerald revealed that she and the band had been exploring Glasgow the day before – and that (girl after my own heart), they’d even had “a beer or two”. She added that the city was “so cool” and that she’d like to visit again.

After Sunday night’s show, it’s easy to believe that the people of Glasgow would welcome Caro Emerald back with open arms.

Rating: 4/5