By Michael Skywood Clifford.
Yesterday I saw Adele sing for the first time, on BBC at 8pm, doing a gig at the Royal Albert Hall. I thought she could sing but I found her patronising ramblings as the end of her numbers quite mindless, very much in the style of the camp Mrs. Merton, that dreadful woman who interviewed celebrities on the BBC in the 90s.
Yes she can sing, with a strong voice, with perfect pitch, with great control and expression, yet so what? She didn’t have a distinct voice, it just sounded like the hundreds of wailers that now take over the X Factor and similar shows. We’ve heard it all before and it’s been done much better by previous artists. Hundreds of gospel/ soul stars – headed by devas like Aretha Franklin, Lorraine Ellison and Gladys Knight – have been doing this for decades and the torch was picked up by Maria Carey and other talents of her generation. They sing better songs with more memorable performances. I think if Adele had been born in the real 1960s she would have had a career doing TOP 6 records. They were covers of big pop records and were on sale in Woolworth’s. She may have recently won many gongs but Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize so I don’t rate talent judges much.
There was something profoundly over managed about Adele, about her songs, their lyrics, her chatter, the precise use of camera shots of the audience and the whole package. It was as stage-managed as a Coalition press meeting. She ticked all the boxes. Adele seemed to want to connect herself to Amy Winehouse, by singing a pastiche song of – it may even be a song made famous by – Winehouse.
It was interesting to see so many shots of the audience rapturous with adulation, basking in the decibels of this northern throat warbler. What amazed me was that the audience seemed to be ALL women. Now what attracts women in droves to go and see Adele? It is the lyrics or is it that sentimental soft meaningless drivel that she comes out with at the end of her songs? Is she some sort of auntie whom all the nieces love to bits, she was certainly dressed and coiffured like a gigantic Edna Everage auntie from the neo-1960s.
Give me Beverley Knight any time.