Being one of the most revered and reclusive artists in Britsh pop history, R&B and soul singer Sade could happily spend the rest of her life hidden away in her country house in Gloucestershire. Matthias Scherer explains why you’d be a fool to miss her gig in Antwerp on 1 May.
Helen Folasade Adu OBE – or Sade to her legions of fans – is a hugely successful singer and songwriter and has sold more than 50 million records during a 25-year career. Her breakthrough came with ther debut album Lovers Rock, released in 1984, which won the Brit Award for Best British Album the following year. It contains the hit single “Smooth Operator”, which she co-wrote.
Apart from her often emotional, deeply personal songs about the struggles – but also the ecstasy – of love, Sade is famous for her JD Salinger-like avoidance of the spotlight. Before her last album Soldier of Love came out last year, her previous record had been released a decade earlier.
In her early days of fame, paparazzi scaled trees in front of her house to get a shot of her, and, after an interview with a tabloid newspaper, she vowed never to give interviews again (she has since spoken to the press on very few occasions). This fierce protection of her private life might have its roots in her slightly chaotic upbringing – she was born in Nigeria, but moved to England as a four-month-old toddler after her parents’ marriage fell apart.
She then moved around, from Colchester to East Anglia and to London, where she set about starting her career in music. After her song “Smooth Operator” created a big buzz in the music industry, she signed to Epic Records – a label she’s still working with.
Despite her reluctance to play the industry game, she loves playing live. “Whatever anybody might say about me, when I feel the warmth we get back from the audiences , I think it’s worth all the bulls***”, she told The Times last year. After touring only once in 14 years, she now brings her intense stage show to Europe.
This promises to be a very special tour indeed and you should move fast to get tickets. We propose her gig on 1 May at the renowned Sportpaleis in Antwerp, which is easily accessible from P&O’s port in Rotterdam. Tickets are going fast, so you’d be advise to act quickly if you don’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity. Tickets can be bought here or here.
P&O Ferries wants to help you get on your way to this show – the show is on a Sunday, you can take the 9pm ferry to Rotterdam the day before. From Rotterdam, it’s only a 45-minute drive to Antwerp.