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Dross Stone - singer keeps fans waiting for two hours without apology

Luffy | Wednesday, March 07, 2007 | 0 comments
At 19, soul star Joss Stone seems to be going through something of a mid-life crisis.

She has discredited her old albums, ditched her hippy look for tight dresses and hair like a burning bush, freely admitted to smoking cannabis and, worst of all, allowed Vinnie Jones to guest on her latest record.

Never mind the Devon girl’s strange mid-Atlantic accent, much ridiculed after a bizarre cameo at the Brit awards. I met her three years ago and she talked that way then.

The real worry is that Stone could be turning into one of the other guests on next week’s new album - Lauryn Hill, high priestess of flakiness.

The doors at last night’s show opened at 7pm and Stone finally appeared two and a half hours later, with no support acts in between.

You have to be truly fabulous to win back a crowd that is booing before your arrival, and she wasn’t fabulous enough. Playing a theatre show at club volume was her second mistake. Audience chatter almost drowned out much of the music.

She also began the set with three unreleased songs, when a couple of familiar hits might just about have got people back onside.

There was nothing wrong with the new material. Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now had an appealing lazy groove, while Girl They Won’t Believe It had more in common with the nu-soul of Jill Scott or Alicia Keys than the vintage stars to whom she has previously been compared.

Put Your Hands On Me sounded like the future hit to win over the doubters.

With its stop-start beat and swaying horns , it resembled Amy Wine - house’s Rehab with even more vocal acrobatics.

That freakishly powerful singing voice remains extraordinary, but she did herself no favours when talking between songs.

Giggly schoolgirl charm has been replaced by rambling self-indulgence.

There was enough time to go to the bar, to the lavatory and to catch the end of the football in the pub across the road during her excruciating introduction to another new song, Music.

A couple of old favourites, Jet Lag and Super Duper Love (Are You Diggin’ On Me), pleased some of, but not all, the long-term fans. Only once before at a gig has an audience member spotted my pen and pulled me aside to make sure I noted how short-changed they felt.

After her encore she threw flowers into the crowd — flowers being necessary, of course, when someone needs to apologise.
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