In the dimly lit studio room of The Met, candles on each table flicker as Emily, accompanied by bass player husband Christian, steps on stage to mild applause.
Opening her set with ‘Free’, she takes a moment to remember the holidays she took as a child to the Isle Of Purbeck, the tips of her long dark hair moving as she strums her guitar, her wedding band glistening in the minimalistic light.
Setting down the guitar, she takes a few steps over to the keyboard on her right and sits down. As her fingers move across the keys to play ‘Wanting Time’, she reveals an almost haunting piece of music, the atmosphere of the moment heightened by her sharp vocals but sadly affected slightly by the power and volume of Christian’s bass.
With rave reviews in the press for her lyrical abilities, ‘Bicycle Made For Two’ demonstrates them well while being extremely melodic and perfect for the setting of tonight’s performance. Returning to the piano saying “I didn’t want to write love songs, but it happened and this one comes straight from my heart”, she begins ‘North & South’.
Despite not being that well known, Emily’s songs have gone on to be of great help and importance to organisations, including Greenpeace. About to play ‘Woke Up’ she explains how it was used as a soundtrack to their Copenhagen campaign.
The small venue echoes with laughter as the pair set down their instruments to take a break with Emily declaring “Christian here probably needs a beer”, but thankfully they’re not gone long and within fifteen minutes, instruments in hand, they carry on where they left off.
‘Stranger Place’ provides the set with a rocky number, only for the tempo to slow right down with ‘Anything You Do’, another fine demonstration of Emily’s vocal talents, her right foot tapping the floor as she closes her eyes.
With the majority of her songs inspired by her battles with mental health issues, which she never shies away from discussing with her crowd, she explains how ‘Old Valentine’ just fell out of her head. Following on from that, ‘Bird Inside A Cage’ written as a result of reading an article from a woman left in a wheelchair after an accident, is an absolute highlight of the show. Back on the keyboard, she plays with the conviction and vocal prowess of Evanescence’s Amy Lee, yet with her own unique twist on the performance itself.
With the set drawing to a close, Emily and Christian continue to entertain, getting toes tapping and heads nodding along to the catchy melodies of ‘I’d Rather Be’ and, encouraged by the cheers of their audience to perform one more track, she ends with a rendition of her book’s title, the beautiful ‘Start Over Again’ and the applause that echo long after the final note plays out are very well deserved indeed.