Performing to a packed Palladium, the buzz in the air for Beverley Knight tonight is palpable. Her emphatic opener Greatest Day sets the bar suitably for her set, and the second song Made it Back ‘99 is trademark Beverley as she dances majestically across the stage whilst singing ‘I don’t need the world’. A few songs in and with the crowd by now completely in thrall to her rhythm, she cheekily reminds the crowd “I’m fifty don’t you know!” which is met with a huge raw of applause, particularly from the ladies present.
Fan favourite A Little More Love feels like a wave of positive energy, inspiring what feels like the entire venue to stand from their seats and ride its wave of warm energy surging through the theatre. Not Prepared For You is a hard hitter with its lyric ‘You hit my heart like a train’ clearly felt by the audience as they passionately sing back the words.
Her cover of Robyn’s Keep This Fire Burning provokes a huge response from the crowd, and shortly after in a motivational pep talk to the crowd Beverley expresses how it’s “Easy to let go of your own self-worth with all the negativity around us in the world – we’re going through hard challenging times but stay strong to yourself!” which strikes a chord and invites emotional cheers in one of many emotional moments tonight. Gold has pure poetry in the lyric ‘Gold lies in rivers undiscovered’, moving the crowd with its sentiment.
In another emotional aside, Beverley opens up by saying “It’s a cold world- it breaks you down but you don’t know why”, and goes on to dedicate Cold World to her close friend and music director Paul Reid, “Honouring and celebrating our brother Reidy, joining the great gig in the sky”, who died of cancer on Christmas Day in 2020 after nearly 14 years support her career. Following this, Fallen Soldier is a truly heartfelt tribute to Stephen Lawrence, leaving many in tears tonight.
Bringing back an upbeat vibe, Beverley goes on to introduce you to her band, joking “. Is that alright? Good, I’m going to do it anyway!”.
Introducing each musician, she addresses the drummer saying he’s been “Pumping up the drums but now he’s playing the Oboe mr Carlos Hercules!”, who gets a massive reception.
The signature hit Shoulda Woulda Coulda is a highlight of the night, creating a stirring singalong. Someone Else’s Problem gets the crowd dancing and knowing looks from the crowd with its lyrics about ex-partners and moving on to better things. in an explosive encore, her cover of Chaka Khan’s classic I’m Every Woman showcases Beverley at her soulful best and gets everyone singing and dancing in ecstasy, followed by a phenomenal cover of Prince’s hit I Wanna Be Your Lover. Finally, Everything’s Gonna Be Alight creates a pure party, and has everyone singing the chorus in unison as she leaves the stage to end a world-class performance at the iconic Palladium.