It’s clear that Jess Glynne is an invested storyteller, from her staging to the way she speaks about herself and her artistry. Behind her, a surround screen brings us through the seasons via some fairly stunning visuals to match the set itself – a set of rolling dunes.
It is also clear that this facet of her artistry is more important to her than pop stardom. She comes on stage in a low key fashion, opening with Hold My Hand, backed by her consistently impressive dance troupe. On occasion, she grimaces when she flubs a step in the choreography or when she struggles to finish a run because she can’t hear herself with her ear piece. She awkwardly segways in to Somebody To Someone, a highlight from her sophomore album ‘Always In Between’.
Luckily, it gets better from here on in. Whatever discomfort or exhaustion she seemed to be showcasing initially is masked as she rattles off the hits, including her recent collaboration with Rudimental and Macklemore These Days.
However, it’s hard not to notice her reluctance to dance. Not everyone’s a dancer – as we learned with Zayn Malik during that infamous X Factor boot camp episode – and that’s fine. But it’s hard not to take your eyes off her awkward two step when her dancers are as good as they are.
The sentimentality Glynne’s puts on display with her lyricism is criticised in some circles for being cringey; saccharine for the sake of the chart’s flavour of the month at the minute for sad bangers. It would be extremely hard to say that in the face of her actual performance though, especially her emotive rendition of Take Me Home. Glynne herself is overwhelmed by the chorus and at one point, holds back tears as a result.
The trajectory to which Jess Glynne followed to super stardom was a steep one, earmarked with endless features which she undoubtedly made. Perhaps it was a trajectory that was simply too steep for the singer to follow. While the set does progress positively, it’s hard to forget her initial agonised facial expressions. Touring’s not for everyone, but it’s clearly taking its toll here.