Kicking off the UK leg of her new tour, the divine songstress Caro Emerald brought her own blend of Latin-inspired jazz pop to the Regent Theatre in Ipswich on Saturday 5th October.
Taking centre stage dressed in a distinctive metallic pink layered skirt and simple yet stylish ponytail, Caro opened the show looking every part the shining star that she is. Beginning with some of her best known tunes – “Absolutely Me”, “Tangled Up”, “The Ghost Of You” – Caro demonstrated her ease and comfort performing to an audience, moving across the stage with grace and style as she interacted with the members of her 7-piece supporting band.
Indeed, throughout the show, she underlined that a Caro Emerald gig is just as much about the band as it is about Caro herself. About halfway through the gig, Caro disappeared entirely, while the musicians entertained the crowd with an extended musical sequence, clearly enjoying themselves as they demonstrated their creativity and musicality.
Featuring classic tracks such as “My Two Cents”, “Back It Up”, “Liquid Lunch”, “That Man”, as well as a frankly-better-than-the-original cover of Camila Cabello’s “Havana”, Caro’s pure vocal talent shone through in every track. She also showcased a sample of her new songs – including the cute “Wake Up Romeo” – holding the crowd in rapture with her beautiful voice, as she offered a sneaky peek at what is to come from this illustrious songstress.
Unlike last year’s “Emerald Isle” tropical vibe, this year’s tour – nick-named “The Random Tour” by Caro herself – didn’t appear to have a particular theme. Instead, the evening simply consisted of an apparently random selection of her most popular hits from the last nine years, interspersed with some new tracks and stunning instrumental interludes from the band. This meant that the tempo unexpectedly switched between smooth and mellow to upbeat and bouncy, often confusing the seated audience who weren’t quite sure when to get up and dance.
That said there was plenty of dancing in the aisles going on, encouraged by Caro herself who involved the audience throughout the show, implying they were as much a part of the show as she was. Later changing into a sleek black skirt and colourful blouse, swapping heeled shoes for trainers, Caro bounced around the stage with an energy that belies the fact that she has two young children at home.
The evening concluded with an ambitious audience call-and-response version of “A Night Like This”. The crowd were split in half, with each learning their own call and response melody, while Caro sang over the top. It was surprisingly quite tuneful. Caro and her band retired for the night amidst thunderous applause and whoops of joy in appreciation of a superb and entertaining evening of fabulous music.
In my view Caro Emerald can do no wrong! If you get a chance go and see her perform, you won’t be sorry.