Review: Katy B, Newcastle’s O2 Academy

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KATY B is well within her rights to be a diva.

Her rapid rise to fame has seen the flame-haired singer notch up three top 10 hits since bursting on to the music scene last year.

Her debut album also shot to number two in the charts and she earned herself a nomination at this year’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

The Brit School graduate doesn’t seem to have let any of this go to her head and her no-gimmicks performance at Newcastle’s O2 Academy last week proved she remains as down to earth as you or I.

Dressed down in skinny jeans and a plain-blue, long-sleeved T-shirt, the Peckham-born singer owned the stage from the start, kicking-off her energetic set with Broken Record.

Proving she’s far from being a one-trick pony, Katy B – AKA Kathleen Brien – flitted in between genres, taking in R’n’B, funk, reggae, soca and dubstep during her hour-long set.

Accompanying her on stage was MC Versatile, who she claimed she takes everywhere, and it was easy to see why as he has a great way of getting the crowd bouncing.

Her pitch-perfect voice is full of soul and she belted out a string of hits, including Louder, Easy Please Me and Perfect Stranger, with ease.

Despite the 22-year-old still being in school in the 90s, Katy B treated the crowd to a medley of dance hits, including Robin S’s Show Me Love, before rounding off the night with On A Mission.

Disappointed, the thronging crowd started to leave the Academy, but just before the lights came on, Katy B and her band returned to the stage for a performance of the song that gave her mainstream appeal, Lights On.

Minus Ms Dynamite, who made a guest appearance on the single, Katy B rounded-off a spectacular show, proving she has the voice and talent to keep her in the charts for a long time.