Toronto was blessed to have an opportunity to see up-close one of the UK’s greatest acts in recent memory. Jess Glynne brought her Ain’t Got Far to Go Tour to Adelaide Hall for a late show last night and although locally she is growing more familiar thanks to several Bench billboards featuring her distinct face and red locks, the support certainly was there for her at the packed club.
The 26-year-old Singer/Songwriter’s 45-minute-long set had the crowd dancing start to finish and when she slowed things down mid-set with a pair of ballads, the audience stopped and listened. Believe me, this isn’t an easy feat when people wanna dance and get liquored-up.
The success is undisputable. Many new artists are happy to chart even. Glynne after winning a Grammy last year for her collaboration with Clean Bandit, Rather Be, has had a whopping five number one singles in the UK. And her album just came out a few weeks ago there, also debuting on-top. True, there isn’t anything cutting edge in her debut offering I Cry When I Laugh, but the tunes all are solid and there is an authenticity and focus to what Glynne does, which is refreshing. Her songs have singable melodies and the hooks are infinite and we miss that in an age of digital vocal trickery. The comparisons to Adele and Amy Winehouse are inevitable with her jazzy alto, but there is an Mariah/Whitney-esque relatability which is uplifting, not brooding.
The thing about Glynne‘s set is that she performed tracks omitted inexplicably on the North American pressing of her disc, but the crowd got going with the spirited disco of Real Love, Ain’t Got Far to Go (for which her tour is named after), You Can Find Me, a cover of Winehouse’s Tears Dry on their Own, before witnessing magic onballads Take Me Home and My Love. She capped it off encouraging fans to turn their cell phones off for the finale, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself and encored with her current single, Hold My Hand which for some odd reason simply doesn’t translate as well live. Perhaps it’s the missing horns or the rhythm over-powering the keyboards, this is the only track which wasn’t as great as the recording.