O2 ABC, Glasgow, April 15th
Right now, [a]Adele[/a] Adkins occupies a Princess Diana-esque place in the pop firmament. With her second album, [b]‘21’[/b], she’s done what we secretly long for all of our pop stars to do, and broken America. Not just America, mind you, but the whole world. She’s the retro-soul diva everyone can agree on, neither as bland and dead-eyed as [a]Duffy[/a], nor as smack-ravaged as Winehouse. That she writes her own songs and looks like the average human female simply makes her more beloved in the eyes of… well, pretty much everyone.
The thing is, it’s not entirely undeserved. Certainly, the evolutionary distance between her and your standard set of X Factor lungs-on-legs is vast, as evidenced tonight by the likes of [b]‘Hometown Glory’[/b] and her cover of Dylan’s [b]‘Make You Feel My Love’[/b]. Right down to her stage set-up of elegantly suspended lampshades, everything feels tasteful and restrained.
She’s still a mouthy north London girl at heart – she introduces [b]‘Someone Like You’[/b] as “My first eva UK numbah one” and winks to the crowd that, “I’ll be out on the tiles somewhere tonight” – but musically, she’s about as mature as pop gets these days. Sure, things can get overly slushy, and not every tune matches up to [b]‘Rolling In The Deep’[/b] or [b]‘Chasing Pavements’[/b]. But even though it sort of pains us to go along with the snowballing critical consensus, it’s hard to deny that tonight is mostly great.