Words: Charlie Smith Images: Charlie Smith & Joe Richards
Seal gave a dynamic and nostalgic performance at Sheffield City Hall on the 13th of September 2023, his voice still, somehow, remained the same since the early 90s but his between-song patter demonstrated the wisdom that comes from being a man of 60 years old (which he looks amazing for, by the way).
The first act of the night was Zia Victoria (whom Seal personally presented beforehand with a gushing introduction), an 18-year-old singer-songwriter with an extraordinarily strong voice. Her songs had a very current kind of bedroom pop style to them, and I have no doubt she has a bright future ahead of her!
Seal started his set after a montage of clips from past TV appearances with “Crazy” (interestingly enough, Zia Victoria ended her set with a cover of “Crazy”), and the audience were on their feet immediately in awe and appreciation of the pop icon. His main set entirely consisted of songs from his first two timeless albums, Seal (1991) and Seal (1994); tonight’s set proved those albums certainly still have a significant audience.
After a plethora of musical highlights, he ventured into the crowd for a double-helping of “Killer” and “Kiss from a Rose”, augmented by some fun vocal call-and-response (with Seal telling one woman, “honestly, that is one of the worst voices I’ve ever heard”).
The venue’s fire alarm unfortunately cut the encore short, but as it was, it was still a great gig that proved how much of a consummate entertainer Seal really is.