Sam Smith gave a star performance on his return to the stage at Thetford Forest last night (July 3).
The 23-year-old from London was making his first appearance since surgery after a vocal cord haemorrhage in May cut short his tour of Australia and meant he had to cancel several shows, including Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich.
There was no sign of any after affects from the surgery however, giving a faultless performance.
With many artists the key to a good show is distraction - with backing dancers, pyrotechnics and stunning lights shows hiding any vocal weaknesses.
With Sam you could have been playing the songs straight from the radio.
The crowd at the sold-out outdoor venue was on its feet throughout as he mixed between his usual stripped back approach that saw his debut album In The Lonely Hour go top of the UK charts, and upbeat versions, accompanied by a full band and a trio of backing singers.
There were even a few classics mixed in that got the crowd dancing along, a medley of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t no Mountain High Enough and Amy Winehouse’s Tears Dry On Their Own, a particular favourite.
Such is the stardom that Sam Smith has now reached it is unlikely he will return to such a venue again and like Ed Sheeran, who visited in 2012, it will be sold out arenas from now on.
But the crowds from across East Anglia went away happy with their experience - some of the lucky few to get a chance to see a world class performer in action in a more intimate venue - especially as so many feared the worst when his surgery was first announced.