Gathered in the grounds of Somerset House on a (luckily) mild summer’s evening were an excited group of diverse Jill Scott fans, young and old. I say group, because unlike London’s other music venues, Somerset House doesn’t pack out their grounds like a Tesco Value sardine can…instead there was plenty room to breathe, dance and mime along to the multi Grammy award winner, and her support act Daley. A mix of seduction, comedy and soul, hit the jump to find out how Jill Scott made everyone (men and women) want to marry her…but made me “want that old thing back”!
Backed by a ten-piece band, Ms Jill Scott walked onto the Amex stage to overwhelming cheers from the crowd, wearing what I can only describe as Kente cloth sponsored by Fanta – but she managed to pull it off, kinda. Performing a whole spectrum of music from her back catalogue as well as her newer material, Jill wooed the crowd with her incomparable range and hypnotic harmonies. As any ‘Jilly from Philly’ fan will know, and what makes her unique, is that the roots to her music lie in poetry. Before being discovered by Questlove, Jill Scott was a spoken word artist performing at poetry cafes all over Philadelphia. And she played ode to her past by reciting short bursts of poetry between each song which would cleverly link to the next track, it was like witnessing a musical score being crafted on the spot.
Opening with a poem on love which led into ‘The Way’, Jill sung hit tracks from her first two albums with absolute perfection. Favourites such as “A Long Walk”, “Golden”, “So In Love” and “Getting In The Way” were performed with a sexual, confident, sophisticated and classy femininity that Jill Scott does so well. However her newer tracks, such as “Hate On Me”, “Shame” and“So Gone” reveal a more angry, bitter and weak Jill which I picked up on even more so live. The theme of these tracks as well as the way she performed them was just a little more shallow than her earlier hits, sure her vocal range and band were out of this world throughout the concert…but there’s certainly something a little more vacant about her newer material, as if she is trying to please someone else. Jill proved this further with her random, misunderstood and rather vulgar sketch about a new deodorant product for men who suffer from a sweaty balls problem…with a shout out to Rick Ross and Waka Flocka. I mean sure, it’s kind of funny, if you’re into toilet humour or know someone with sweaty balls…but for the rest of us – we want the old Jill back!
As part of the premium service delivered to Cardmembers, American Express handpicks the very best in entertainment through its award winning Preferred Seating programme. From giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes, offering money can’t buy experiences at events, American Express goes that extra mile to deliver inspiring and memorable entertainment experiences. For more information visit Amex.co.uk/potential
Yin: Jill’s management team were extra picky with photography so no one was allowed into the pit. Check out my photography of Daley’s performance below.