Gig review: Jessie J

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WITH only one album and a handful of singles to her name, Jessie J is without question the most under-qualified act to perform at Edinburgh Castle in recent years.

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For her to be welcomed is testament to both her inherent star quality and the buzz surrounding the follow-up to 2011’s Who You Are, due out later in the year.

The predominantly teenage audience gathered tonight have clearly taken the 25-year-old to their hearts. That the set ultimately falls short of the triumph many were anticipating, can be explained by the relative lack of material.

She doesn’t have the catalogue of hits required to truly conquer the Castle and even some charting tracks fail to register with the audience, Who’s Laughing Now? being a case in point.

It takes a well-chosen cover of Aerosmith’s Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing to stir us from a mid-set lull, but the evening’s many highlights are enough to excuse the moments during which it falls flat.

With a tight band and trio of backing singers, Jessie is an engaging presence whose inspirational messages really seem to resonate with the crowd. Her revelation that “I’m just like you guys” may be patronising, but she lives up to these words by creating an atmosphere of communal celebration.

She concludes with an extended version of Domino, so euphoric that the audience’s cheers will echo throughout the Old Town for days to come.