Monday 8 November 2021

GABRIELLE tour 2021

Gabrielle is a singer/songwriter hailing from London, England who was born on April 16th, 1970. Since her debut in 1993 she has been one of the most succesful UK-based soul acts of her generation, with her five albums garnering her two BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello in 2008.

It’s safe to say that Louise Gabrielle Bobb made quite an impression when she debuted at the tender age of 23. Her debut single “Dreams” hurtled into the charts at number two, which was already the highest chart entry for a debut single in the history of the U.K singles charts. She went one better the week afterwards though, when the single topped the charts and stayed at the top for the following three weeks. With one single, Gabrielle had established herself as a talent to be reckoned with, and followed it up with another top ten single in the form of “Going Nowhere”. Her debut album “Find Your Way” was released soon after that, and signaled the peak of a commercial purple patch for the young artist along with her award for British Breakthrough Act at the 1994 BRIT Awards.

After touring the world for the remainder of 1994, Gabrielle released her second studio album in 1996. The self-titled effort was another huge hit for her, as was its lead single “Give Me A Little More Time”, but as the campaign went on her singles started slipping further and further down the upper echelons of the charts, save for a duet with “Stay Another Day” hitmakers East 17 in the form of “If You Ever”, which was a number two hit and sold over half a million copies. However, people were beginning to doubt the commercial potential of Gabrielle on the whole. Almost as a response, 1999 would see her go through one of the most spectacular career rejuvenations of the 1990’s. Her third album “Rise” spent three weeks at number one and was certified four times platinum, with its eponymous lead single enjoying similar success in January 2000.

Gabrielle was queen of the 90’s and the early 00’s with her glossy, RnB-pop tracks With many a hit under her belt that have stood the test of time, from ‘Rise’, ‘Out of Reach’ and ‘Dreams’, she is still a nostalgic staple for ballad lowers, with many of her songs used in soundtracks for Hollywood films, such as ‘Bridget Jone’s Diary’. I saw Gabrielle at the height of her fame in the early 2000’s. She was still playing large venues and bringing in the crowds. However, the NEC in Birmingham, where I was part of the audience, felt too big and didn’t suit Gabrielle’s soulful sound, or heartfelt lyrics. A more intimate setting would of taken the music to another level. Instead, Gabrielle tried to hold the huge stage all alone, with only the large screens to help. She wore her trademark black suit and sunglasses, making the show lack even more spectacle, some much needed colour wouldn’t have gone a miss. The audience were a mix of ages, mostly women. A collection of mums, grans, aunts and kids all dotted around the enormous hall. The crowd were reluctant to dance or sing, but were willed to there feet by constant encouragement from the lady herself. Hits like ‘Sunshine Through my Window’ managed to raise some voices in a sing-a-long, but the older members of the crowd stayed very much quiet and seated.

Technically Gabrielle was pitch perfect, she has the vocal range and the stamina of a much younger woman and chatted with ease between songs to the crowd. She has a sweet, rich voice that didn’t falter once, she even treated the crowd to some unexpected covers, in which she invited a member of Damage on to the stage (which really dates this review).

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