The Liverpool Philharmonic was set ablaze as the Queen of British soul, Beverley Knight, brought her ’50’ tour to the city Thursday just gone. Celebrating her fiftieth birthday in March, Knight’s UK tour not only marks a significant personal milestone, but also acknowledges a career spanning over three glorious decades.
So, who is she for those of you who aren’t familiar? Beverley Knight is a British soul icon, celebrated for her extraordinary vocal prowess and her profound influence on the soul music scene. Born in Wolverhampton, England, in 1973, Knight’s musical journey began at an early age, eventually leading her to the forefront of the British music industry. She has since firmly established herself as one of the finest soul singers of her generation. Hailed for her powerful and emotive voice, Knight’s extensive discography boasts chart-topping hits and critically acclaimed albums, solidifying her status as the current “Queen of British Soul.”
Beverley Knight is a revered figure in the genre and a source of inspiration for aspiring artists, especially those with voices like a full force gale. Liverpool’s music lovers flocked to witness a spellbinding performance by Knight at the wonderful Philharmonic Hall, and boy was this party city out for fun! Treated to an electrifying array of Knight’s chart-topping hits, the evening began with the soulful anthem ‘Greatest Day’ from her 1998 album, ‘Prodigal Sista,’ setting the tempo for a night of stand-up revelry. Addressing the delighted audience, Knight couldn’t help but exclaim, “You look glorious!” So, in all honesty, did she for a woman recently turned fifty – she looks twenty years younger and gym-nimble, even breaking into dance routines made famous in the 90s!
With ‘Made It Back,’ another gem from ‘Prodigal Sista,’ Knight continued to mesmerise the packed house, her powerful voice filling every inch of this expansive hall. Expressing her love for the city, she declared, “It’s so good to be back here; I love it. The best accent in Britain,” before effortlessly belting ‘Gold,’ showcasing the magnitude of her talent. With the notably harmonious addition of her three talented backing vocalists, Knight delivered a stirring performance of ‘I’m on Fire,’ before the gig’s pinnacle came with a trip down memory lane. Knight treated the crowd to what is arguably her biggest hit, ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda,’ and the roof lifted along with the entire crowd.
With no intention of slowing down, Knight closed with breathtaking covers of Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ and Prince’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover,’ offering a fitting and epic conclusion to a nostalgic night of musical celebration. It was all a surprise to me if I’m honest – I went on a whim, not knowing what to expect or just how talented Knight actually was. No wonder it was a sell-out crowd, and no wonder this powerhouse vocalist continues to go from strength to strength. Her humility was typical of most Wulfrunians – and the spirit in her music undeniable.
A great discovery for me, albeit late! Beverly Knight is on tour for a while yet, so catch her and her outstanding band for a night of high octane joy!