| 16.5°C Dublin

Jessie Ware at The Academy, Dublin - 'at a time when pop is so in-your-face, her minimalist style is refreshing'

Close

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16:  Jessie Ware performs as GREY GOOSE Vodka hosts exclusive speakeasy at the Boulangerie Picardie on October 16, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for GREY GOOSE)

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Jessie Ware performs as GREY GOOSE Vodka hosts exclusive speakeasy at the Boulangerie Picardie on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for GREY GOOSE)

Singer Jessie Ware, who has just been nominated for best British Female Solo Artist at the 2015 Brit Awards, leaving Tofay FM studios. PHOTOS- JOHN DARDIS

Singer Jessie Ware, who has just been nominated for best British Female Solo Artist at the 2015 Brit Awards, leaving Tofay FM studios. PHOTOS- JOHN DARDIS

JOHN DARDIS

Soulful singing: Jessie Ware has been lauded for her spellbinding brand of R‘n’B-steeped electro-pop

Soulful singing: Jessie Ware has been lauded for her spellbinding brand of R‘n’B-steeped electro-pop

Jessie J and Ariana Grande attend the Jingle Bell Ball. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Jessie J and Ariana Grande attend the Jingle Bell Ball. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Singer Jessie Ware flashed some midriff in her black skirt and cropped top.

Singer Jessie Ware flashed some midriff in her black skirt and cropped top.

Band Aid 30 artists recording the new version of the song Do They Know It's Christmas?

Band Aid 30 artists recording the new version of the song Do They Know It's Christmas?

CAMERA PRESS/Brian Aris

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Jessie Ware performs as GREY GOOSE Vodka hosts exclusive speakeasy at the Boulangerie Picardie on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for GREY GOOSE)

Jessie Ware's classy soul music doesn't call attention to itself, which may explain why the Londoner has until now tended to slip beneath the radar.

With the release last year of second album Tough Love, however, there's a feeling things may be starting to happen for the former journalist : she's up for a Brit Award for best female singer while it was this week announced she has placed a song on the soundtrack to the big screen adaptation of S&M bonkbuster Fifty Shades of Grey. Here, you sense, is a quiet one worth watching.

Subtlety was one of the presiding moods at her biggest Irish show to date. Though her voice is as technically impressive as that of Adele or Florence Welch, Ware stands aloof where other vocalists might dive in, conjuring an agreeable air of 'less is more'. It helps, too, that she has worked with top notch writers – Ed Sheeran among them – and that her songbook is adventurous and nuanced.

With her four-piece band contributing spare rhythmic shuffles, Ware, in an elegant black outfit, was comfortable holding back, resisting the obvious temptation to overwhelm the sell-out audience with unabashed vocal prowess. This proved a winning strategy as she proceeded with considerable grace and poise through buttoned-down dirges such as Running and Cruel, statuesque anthems that benefited from Ware's minimalist style.

A cynic might have despaired of the one-note flavour of the evening – and of the unwavering whiff of good taste. But a time when pop is in too much of a hurry to get in your face, her willingness to keep something of herself in reserve will surely strike most people as refreshing. Certainly the roars of acclaim that echoed around the venue suggested Ware's moment may be at hand: for anyone who wishes chart music would grow up, that is an enormously encouraging thought.

Online Editors