Jessie a favourite at the races

Jessie J
Jessie J
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Jessie J

Haydock Park

My trip to see Jessie J live at Haydock Park was more of a treat for the missus, than for myself.

Although well aware of the 26-year-old’s star quality, it was the wife who was buzzing with excitement and anticipation as we made our way to the Newton-le-Willows racetrack, near Wigan

A firm fan of the London-born artist ever since her breakthrough hit ‘Price Tag’, Samantha has spent many Saturday nights glued to the TV screen to watch the star as a judge in BBC singing competition The Voice.

Jessie J was at Haydock as part of a race and music night, which featured several races before the singer appeared on stage at around 9pm.

We arrived early and I quickly scanned the race card to see if I could pick out a winner.

I was unfortunate that my 9-1 backed ‘Busy Bimbo’ in the fourth race of the evening was narrowly edged into second, thus denying me a windfall of £20.

After that, though, all bets were off so far as I was concerned as Samantha demanded we find a good spot to watch the live music later in the night.

The stage was actually set to the left of the Newton Enclosure and we waited patiently for more than an hour near the front of the stage.

Thankfully the rain stayed away and we were entertained as we watched the horses in the final few races of the evening gallop towards the finishing line.

Jessie finally appeared on stage to a crescendo of flashing lights and screams from the crowd.

Supported by two backing singers, two guitarists – one of whom doubled up on keyboard – and a drummer, Jessie soon had the racecourse rocking as she belted out her 2011 hit single Domino.

More hits soon followed as she ran through her full repertoire of songs, including ‘It’s My Party’, ‘Laserlight’ and ‘Who You Are’.

She interspersed her music by interacting with the crowd – even reading out a letter one fan had thrown to her on stage.

In it, the writer explained how she had been inspired to shave her head for charity – just like the star had done last year.

At one point Jesse got into the spirit of her surroundings by donning a pretend horse’s head to sing a few lines of one particular song.

A big highlight of the concert, though, was when Jessie handed the mic to her drummer for a little solo spot for ‘Nobody’s Perfect’.

Very much a darling of the younger generation, there is no doubt Jessie J is a consummate performer, who commands the stage and is well worth seeing live.

Craig Salmon