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.