CARO Emerald returned to Bournemouth with her sophisticated blend of music genres and manages to make the cavernous venue feel more like a sultry intimate club.

The evening started off with fellow countrywoman Loren Nine delivering a solo 30-minute set of, by her own proclamation, sad melancholy love songs which provided a contrast to the more upbeat Latin feel of the main event which was to follow.

Caro’s show opened with Paradise and moved through some of her classic numbers as well as new songs all set against a projected backdrop of beaches and palm trees giving a holiday feel to the first part of the show.

After a quick costume change the tempo was turned up and Caro really got the party atmosphere going with numbers such as Excuse My French, Wake up Romeo and a cover of Havana – it was carnival time.

Emerald was in complete control and it took only the slightest encouragement from her to get the audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles. They didn’t sit again all evening.

The set was an exquisite performance of varied musical styles that moved effortlessly between upbeat dance numbers, low-key soulful tunes and smouldering Jazz.

The seven-piece band were an absolute joy and provided the perfect accompaniment for the songstress, filling the venue with timeless music which spans generations. Indeed, the Bournemouth fan base also spanned generations, which goes to demonstrate the far-reaching appeal that Emerald has.

A rousing performance of the popular That Man at the end of the main set left the crowd baying for more.

The band returned to the stage with an encore of Stuck and A Night like This.

This was a brilliant show and if you missed it, make sure you book your ticket next time she is in town. You won’t be disappointed.

Review by Simon Durham