Sade rules, she really does... it's all in the detail, precise, easy, she came on in a body con style outfit, plus signature 'polo neck' (I'd already discussed her wardrobe with a few friends! Bolero jacket, cummerband and capri pants were all options). She arrived on stage hair slicked backed, big hooped earrings, my favorite look really, looking elegant, modern, understated and most of all really happy to be on stage in London.
Back in the day Sade wasn't the most enthused about performing, infact she hated it by all accounts. A fashion student at St Martins around 1980, she trained in the era which produced Stephen Jones, John Galliano, Kim Bowen, Melissa Caplan, Stephen Linard and Lee Sheldrick. She soon gave it up but her looks and style were already legendary even back then.
Initially Sade was in a couple of bands backing singing - Arriva and then Pride - she then became lead in Pride co writing Smooth Operator and eventually forming her own band under her own name with some of the original members of Pride. Amazingly all members have stuck true to the Sade journey, they are Andrew Hale, Paul Denman and Stuart Matthewman.
The boys in the band.
I know she's huge in America and I knew she had an album out a couple of years ago (Soldier Of Love and now The Ultimate Collection) but I always wondered why she didn't tour in the UK over the years. I still don't know, perhaps some things are better unsaid. At the age of 52 she's really come into her own. Stylistically her vocal range is better than ever and really quite unique, without pastische, i.e. she's got her own style and she always has... which is a thing I worry about when listening to emerging singers- generally they always sound like somebody else.
Ok next 'look', Sade came striding on in flats and a natty and modish looking suit complete with pocket detail and braces, (can't find any pics alas). She worked the stage with a backdrop of video installations, films and projections courtesy of Sophie Muller, it all looked perfectly in keeping, not trying too hard or over the top, and here I go again, she looked immaculate, absolutely stylish. And you know what, when she had the saxaphone solo going on it didn't seem dated in the least... I admit to a guilty sax moment! Her next looks were much more 'my lady' a white satin floor length gown and a red number, hair down.
This is Sade now (above) but lets have a look at some of her iconic moments...
Early days hanging out, Sade and Ollie having a fag! (Shapers Of The 80's.com)
What a lady, long may she reign!