THE BUZZ and excitement is evident; the stage is packed with vintage retro theatre spotlights, bathed in a warm, violet light, instantly creating the allure of old-time Hollywood. It’s clear we’re all in for a show and a half tonight, a night packed with big, jazz tunes from Seal’s latest album Standards, a nod to the Rat Pack era.

In a career spanning three decades, racking up over 30 million records sales worldwide and a string of Grammy, Brit and Ivor Novello awards along the way, Seal continues to shine as one of the world’s brightest music stars and, even before I enter the venue, I know which song I’m most looking forward to, having been soaking up his latest album all week. I’m not disappointed when the man himself - tall and imposing - bops out to Luck Be A Lady.

After rapturous applause, it’s straight into I Put A Spell On You in which Seal incorporates raw and gravelly vocals. It’s a difficult number to belt out as he struggles to hit the higher notes at the end. Still, the loyal audience is lapping up it up.

Finally, he speaks. “It’s good to see you again, Glasgow,” before he dives into They Can't Take That Away From Me.

“It’s good to play live again,” he says, before turning around for his second water break. There doesn’t seem to be much rapport with the audience and the atmosphere is a bit awkward as we sit silently, waiting for him to finish.

Thankfully, the tension is broken with the uber-soulful Anyone Who Knows What Love Is.

Another water break. Back turned, this one is longer than the last and the awkwardness is getting to be a bit much. Thankfully, a woman fan screams: “Love you, Seal!” The audience breaks into laughter. Seal fails to make light of the situation or acknowledge the comment and dives right into Under My Skin. I don’t know if I’m enjoying the night as much, now, as I crave for him to liven things up and get the audience going.

Kiss From A Rose!” comes another cry from the audience. Again, no response. Maybe the brash Glasgow humour has taken the singer aback.

Instead, he jumps into My Funny Valentine, so apt, considering the most romantic day of the year is around the corner. Eyes closed, he pours his soul into the ‘30s show tune which quickly emerges as my favourite so far. Massive applause goes to the brilliant trumpet soloist whose name we’re not given. Still, he takes a well-deserved bow.

The tempo is taken up with That’s Life. Starting off with Seal next to the pianist in what seems to be an acoustic solo, the band strikes up as the audience starts to sway and move. Maybe Seal is finally getting into the groove and letting loose.

He departs from the stage and emerges with a guitar. The audience is collectively at the edge of its seat. Finally, it’s the tune we’ve all been waiting for. All it takes is the “Ba da ba da da da ah ya ya” at the start and a lady in front of me starts to wipe her eyes and the crowd is swept away in the ‘95 smash-hit that landed Seal a Grammy for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance the following year. You can tell the song is Seal’s proudest moment as he stands at the end, arms outstretched, head up, eyes closed, and massive grin as he soaks up the wild reaction.

Future Love Paradise, with its pounding, immense bass, reverberating throughout the entire hall, is where the tone changes completely for the rest of the night.

The pinnacle comes during Killer when Seal leaps off the stage and into the seat next to me which is free; he unsteadily climbs on top of to belt out the tune as I have visions of being crushed by the soul legend himself. There’s no stopping the audience now as a crowd rushes around, much to the worry of staff who struggle to, not only keep people back, but also to help Seal keep his balance. Could this be a first for the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, a venue that is notorious for implementing a strict sit-down-and-enjoy-the-show policy?

Gasping and euphoric, the crowd gets ready to sit down, when Seal utilises some reverse psychology: “Come on, you lot. I thought this was Glasgow. Do you not love to dance? I’m 55 and look at me.” There’s no stopping us now as the staff gives up completely on the sidelines as Crazy takes over.

Tonight has been a rollercoaster of emotion. Seal definitely brought the glamour of old Hollywood straight to Glasgow - and only he can take a chilled Sunday night and turn it into a Saturday at the dancing. Gateshead, you’re in for a treat.

Verdict: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Seal heads to Sage Gateshead on Tuesday, February 13. For ticket information and complete list of tour dates, visit