Date: 10 September 2012 at 04:56
Jessie J wowed over 9,000 fans with an energetic performance at the first Gibraltar Music Festival on Saturday. The 24-year-old delivered an impressive vocal performance while bouncing around the stage with all the confidence of a woman at the very top of her game.
Her adoring fans were already buzzing with excitement by the time her band made their way on to the large, oval stage. The Londoner wore white shorts and sneakers, with her hair pulled back. Her energy on stage was rewarded with the cheers and screams of thousands of Gibraltarians, ex-pats from up the coast, as well as Spanish nationals from across Andalusia.
Jubilant children and teenagers made up the front row, singing along to songs from Jessie J's only album to date, Who You Are. The UK's most fashionable singer performed all her big hits, including Price Tag, Laserlight and Domino.
It was a slightly older audience that swayed to UB40's classics earlier on. Ali Campbell delivered Red Red Wine, Can't Help Falling in Love and Kingston Town in his distinctive and easily recognisable voice. Their trademark reggae definitely struck a chord with the crowd; theirs is an easy-on-the-ear sound that has seen them sell over 70 millions albums worldwide.
Ali Campbell also surprised the crowd with a few covers of songs by other artists, such as Prince's Purple Rain.
It was a great night for music-lovers in Gibraltar, including the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, who attended with his wife and most of his cabinet.
The live music started at 5 pm with a strong performance by local band Jetstream. Their excellent covers of pop-rock bands like Coldplay ensured the festival hit the ground running.
Atomic 4 were next on stage; two Gibraltarians, a Brit and a Linense, who performed origianl songs in Spanish and a few covers in English. They're looking to record their first album in the coming months - watch this space.
The last local band on stage was also the youngest, but Noiz were far from inhibited. Despite being in their teens, they demonstrated fantastic energy and showmanship. Again, they played a mix of originals and covers of popular songs by other artists.
All in all, it was a marathon day of music and a fun party. Those left wanting more will be pleased to hear the Government of Gibraltar has promised to make it an annual event.
Can the 2nd edition expect to attract similarly big acts next time round? If Jessie J's impression of the Gibraltar Music Festival is anything to go by, the answer should be clear. Shortly after the show finished, before flying out on her private jet, the star tweeted: "wow wow wow wow wow wow #gibraltar".
(photo: Leo Hayes, C/O Ministry of Culture)