Review: Jorja Smith @ Albert Hall, Manchester

Jorja Smith brought an array of soul, blues and jazz as she touched down for her first of two dates at a sold-out Albert Hall in Manchester.

Accompanied by a quartet of piano, bass, guitar and drums, the singer performed with a swagger and grace that captivated her adoring fans.

Jorja opened the show with the title track of her debut studio album Lost & Found. Smith remained very still as she delivered flawless vocals while the crowd listened on intently rather than screaming over the ballad.  

However, as the band began to play the intro to the song Teenage Fantasy, those in attendance let out a cheer that had been contained during the opener.

Despite being the age of just 21, Jorja glided across the stage during an extremely assured performance. Smith’s confidence was evident as she performed several body rolls in the centre of the stage while grinning at her fans during the final moments of Let Me Down.

Although Jorja’s style is unique, one can’t help but feel that she is the UK’s answer to Rhianna, and during her concert the Walsall-born singer e even performed a stunning cover of RiRi’s Man Down – a move that will only further fuel comparisons between the two.

There were moments during the gig where it felt like Jorja and her band were in their own bubble, just jamming together.

The singer-songwriter revealed during the show that her first gig with this current band had been at a previous show at Albert Hall, while also making the point to introduce every member of the quartet to the crowd half-way through the 90-minute set.

This was a nice touch which allowed for each of them to receive the individual acclaim their performances deserved.

When Jorja sang her renowned single Blue Lights, the packed-out hall sang every word with her in a moment that only united those in attendance as her core fans.

Jorja ended her set with On My Mind, a collaboration with Preditah. Following two minutes of an acoustic version of the song, she continued the trend of the gig by seamlessly transcending through genres when flipping the track into its more recognised electronic version.

It was a stunning end to a performance that will live long in the memories of those that witnessed it.

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