Norah Jones at the London Palladium
Revered singer/songwriter Norah Jones tours UK shores for the first time in years. The artist recently released a remastered 20th-anniversary edition of her seminal debut album Come Away With Me. Aside from this, there doesn’t appear to be a new body of work on the horizon and therefore nothing obvious for the artist to be promoting. It seems Jones simply felt the urge to play to her fans. A sold-out London Palladium proves there is quite the appetite to see the star.
Assisted only by a guitarist, bassist and percussion, along with her trademark piano, the setup is suitably minimal. With Jones, it is all about the music rather than theatrics. Her previous life as a lounge singer is apparent. While she interacts with the audience, she talks very sparingly and seems most comfortable when singing from a repertoire spanning more than two decades.
Opener My Heart Is Full from 2019 compilation album Born Again oozes her trademark soft jazz into the auditorium, and it instantly consumes the crowd. With soul-drenched vocals, the atmospheric number sets the tone for the evening. The tempo turns more upbeat with I’m Alive from 2020 album Pick Me Up Off the Floor. The country-esque number is afforded a jazz edge, which allows a different take. What Am I to You? from sophomore album Feels Like Home follows before crowd pleaser Sunrise lifts the audience, who sing along. The setlist encompasses all eras of the singer’s seven studio albums.
It’s a laid-back affair, with Jones guiding concertgoers through her considerable back catalogue. While her music is rooted in jazz, much of her material encompasses folk and country with echoes of pop. Tonight, Jones pulls everything back towards bluesy jazz, which affords certain songs a fresh quality and new perspective.
Come Away With Me and Nightingale from her debut album lead to signature song Don’t Know Why, which draws the evening to a fitting close. It is, after all, the song that placed Jones on the map more than 20 years ago, awarding her a Grammy in the process. It is more than apparent why she has gone on to win nine in total, along with numerous other accolades. This is a real artist – a master of her craft who stays true to herself and has an infectious zest for performing. Fans and newcomers alike are gifted a carefully considered setlist that caters to all. Here’s hoping it’s not too long a wait before Jones returns with both new material and another UK tour.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information and future events visit Norah Jones’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Don’t Know Why here: