Jamie Cullum – The Pursuit – REVIEWED BY ANNIE STEVENS

YOU can never be sure what to expect at a Jamie Cullum concert.

There will, of course, be jazzed-up covers from Kanye to Radiohead and plenty of leaping around, but Cullum never sticks to a set list. ”Don’t get too comfortable,” he told his adoring audience on Friday night, after opening with a pared-back cover of Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music.

The music didn’t stop for nearly 2½ hours as Cullum, with a seemingly endless store of fizzing, hopping energy, bounded between crowd-pleasers from his Twentysomething hit album to the heartfelt ballad Love Aint Gonna Let You Down, written for his wife (TV presenter and author Sophie Dahl).

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Cullum is a talented pianist and, flitting between jazz, funk and swing influences, he certainly gives the baby grand a good workout, from manic improvisations to a beautiful and muted interpretation of Tony Bennett’s If I Ruled the World from his latest album The Pursuit.

At times Cullum’s jam sessions seemed too long, but his energy and charm made up for any self-indulgence and he had his fans eating out of his hand when he serenaded them with an acoustic version of Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River. On Friday night, Cullum lived up to his nickname ”Sinatra in Sneakers”


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