ANNE-MARIE, Village Underground – Evening Standard, 2 Feb 2016

Despite having sung to thousands, Anne-Marie Nicholson was delighted to see a few hundred people there just for her on the last night of her solo tour. She has lasted longer than the likes of Ella Eyre and John Newman as a touring vocalist for dance collective Rudimental, perhaps because this former karate champion can more than hold her own among the lads. They’ve kept her close, signing her to their new record label, but they’ll struggle to contain her personality for much longer.
Between songs she was hilarious, rivalling Paloma Faith, Adele and Jessie J for biggest contrast between singing and speaking voice. “Oh my gawd I’ve been proper shittin’ myself,” she announced. On the night that she was named MTV’s top tip for 2016, she lobbed Celebrations sweets around (if we’d seen her in the regions we’d have got Ferrero Rocher) and seemed to find the concept of an encore to be the biggest laugh yet.
In song, too, she was an open book, getting great mileage out of various failed relationships. The hip hop strut of Boy was about fancying a gay man. During the piano ballad Peak, the emotion was written all over her face. Livelier fare such as Breathing Fire best suited a singer who ought to bring some fun to the charts this year.