We are transported to a smoky Parisian bar in the late 1940s and Dutch jazz singer Caro Emerald is jiving across the stage in a blood red dress complete with leopard print fascinator. An hour in and her star quality is something to behold.
It is hard to fathom it was found almost by accident. Working mostly as a session singer in Amsterdam, Emerald got her big break when she was asked to sing on a demo for a Japanese artist on Back It Up. It became the lead single from her platinum-selling debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor.
Emerald has chosen a good time to unleash her talent, as the 40s-style jazz and big band blues sound has undergone a significant revival. Her smouldering vocals effortlessly take us through the tracks from her LP and the energetic band complements her well. There are undertones of hip hop, jive, reggae and electro-pop in her songs. Singles That Man and A Night Like This were saved for the first encore and the Bridgewater Hall erupted with adoration.
By the time the jive-tastic Stuck comes along the sell-out crowd is on its feet.This was Emerald’s first visit to Manchester. And from tonight’s showing, it won’t be her last.