JESSIE WARE

Words: Stuart Livens Photos: Robin Pope
Last week's show at the Shepherds Bush Empire is testament to the speed that today’s music industry is moving. Headliner Jessie Ware is only one album into her career and already has two worthy rivals supporting her.
First up is Lulu James a self-professed 21st-century soul singer who has been on the scene for nearly the same time as Jessie Ware. Following her debut last year - Rope Mirage EP - she has released her new single Closer, a pulsating electronic gem of a song. 
Laura Mvula is currently promoting her new album Sing to the Moon. A graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire, she is backed by an eight piece band. The harmonies and arrangements are seamless, although the quieter moments suffer under audience background noise. Nevermind, her new song Green Garden drowns out any naysayers and it’s impossible not to move along to it.
Headliner Jessie Ware is bursting with personality - one minute seductively singing her way through Night Light from last year’s debut album Devotion, the next exchanging anecdotes about award show speeches and seeing Another Level at this very venue 15 years ago. It’s like simultaneously watching a pop diva and your best friend down the pub. Backed by a three piece band, the hour long set is flawless in performance and sound. Her voice fills the Empire perfectly, and when she sings If You’re Never Gonna Move and Wildest Moments, it becomes apparent that this is only the beginning of an exciting journey for the budding star.