Beverley Knight, Signed, Sealed, Delivered In Sheffield
Graham Clark, Features Writer
The last time I saw Beverley Knight was less than 12 months ago in pantomime in Birmingham, before that I witnessed her in The Bodyguard and now she is on tour singing the songs of Stevie Wonder. Knight is a talented singer whose versatility in many ways replicates the songs of Stevie Wonder.
It is a Saturday night, it's Sheffield and the concert is sold out so naturally you could expect an exuberant audience - and they were, they were up on their feet from the word go. Add to that a 21 piece orchestra led by Leo Green and you have the makings of something special.
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Superstition and Living For The City shone whilst He's Misstra Know It All showed that Stevie Wonder could also write songs about social injustice.
The Stevie Wonder songbook is a big one and Knight cannot cover everything. Wisely she missed out Happy Birthday and I Just Called To Say I Love You, though the omission of You Are The Sunshine of My Life seemed like a missed opportunity.
All Is Fair In Love from the Innervisions album was a surprise inclusion, the song is not one of Wonder's more recognisable songs. Do I Do was bolstered by the horn section, whilst As Always might be better known by the George Michael version but Knight gave her own spin on this soulful track.
Apparently her brother in law is from Rotherham who was in attendance. There were also fans who had travelled a bit further from the Cayman Islands. Knight's warm and inclusive performance replicated the warmth felt towards her from the Yorkshire audience.
Sir Duke brought back memories from her when she was aged just 4 years old - you can just imagine her singing the song in front of everyone in her household at that young age.
She returns to the stage to sing some of her own hits, I Made It Back and Greatest Day of My Life lead into Keep The Fires Burning. Whilst the songs might not be in the same league as the Stevie Wonder songs they proved that British soul is not a shallow imitation of the real thing.
She managed to slip in her new single, Now or Never - a disco tinged track that came as a surprise, then she lets rip on the Chaka Khan hit, I'm Every Woman. An even greater surprise would have been if she had performed Khan's version of the Prince song, I Feel For You as Stevie Wonder played harmonica on the hit!
For tonight though the fire still burned strongly for Knight.
Beverley Knight, Signed, Sealed, Delivered In Sheffield, 7th October 2019, 22:11 PM