Review: Deva Mahal at Norwich Playhouse

NNF18 - Deva Mahal. Photo: Shervin Lainez

NNF18 - Deva Mahal. Photo: Shervin Lainez - Credit: Shervin Lainez

It wasn't until she got the audience on their feet that Deva Mahal really came alive.

Performing songs from her debut album Run Deep, the Hawaiian-born singer definitely stepped up a notch with her rendition of Wicked, and caught on fire with a reprise of Snakes for an encore that featured plenty of enthusiastic audience call and response.

Earlier in the gig at Norwich Playhouse she seemed more subdued, with a 15-minute delayed start, a lack of a set list, and a band that didn't seem quite together not offering much promise.

At times she seemed in competition with her backing singer, whose rather overstated emoting verged on the scary, and a little let down by a band that seemed rather too keen on improvising.

Not bad for a Thursday night in Norwich, but her voice – so strong when she properly lets go - deserves better.

James Goffin

• Deva Mahal was part of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival. For your daily guide to festival events click here• For all the latest festival news and reviews click here

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