Corinne Bailey Rae Debuts New Songs In London

Corinne Bailey Rae Debuts New Songs In London

Corinne Bailey Rae has made her long-awaited live return with an emotional London gig.

The concert at the Tabernacle, West London, last night (Nov. 23) was her first full show since the March 2008 death of her husband, Jason Rae, from an accidental drugs overdose, and saw her debut songs from her second album, "The Sea."

Much of the new material is a departure from the breezy pop soul of her self-titled debut record, which hit No. 1 in the United Kingdom in 2006 and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 2007.

Bailey Rae played just three songs from that album last night -- "Like a Star" and an encore of "Put Your Records On" and "Til It Happens to You" -- instead concentrating on the deeply personal songs from the new album. The intimate surroundings proved the perfect venue for such a set, with Bailey Rae greeted as she came on stage by a clearly audible shout of "We missed you!" from a fan ("I missed you too," she replied).

Highlights of the set included the emotional ballads "I'd Like to Call It Beauty" and "I'd Do It All Again" and the upbeat "Paris Nights and New York Mornings," likely to be the first full single release from the album.

Bailey Rae's has also developed musically since her first album, with the jazz and soul touches augmented by a rockier sound on songs like show-opener "Are You Here?" and "Paper Dolls."

Bailey Rae played a brief set in support of Richard Hawley as a late addition to learning disability charity Mencap's Little Noise Sessions, held at London's Union Chapel on Nov. 19, but the Tabernacle show was her full live comeback.

"The Sea" is due to be released by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom Feb. 1.