Tackling the ‘great American songbook’ is a career option for an increasing number of established musicians – those to have dipped into this reservoir include the late George Michael, Rod Stewart and Annie Lennox, but the list is lengthy.

To make a success of the challenge these classic tunes present you need a great voice, and happily, Seal’s warm, velvety vocals turn his latest album, ‘Standards’, into a sumptuous collection.

Tuesday at the Sage, Seal took to the stage bathed in tasteful blue and purple lighting and opened with a trio of songs that transfixed the audience – ‘Luck Be A Lady’, ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’.

Continuing in this vein with ‘Anyone Who Knows What Love Is’, ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘My Funny Valentine’ the crowd were appreciative but also, you felt, patiently awaiting the first, bona-fide Seal number. Instead he continued with a heart-breaking version of ‘It Was A Very Good Year’ following up with ‘That’s Life’

He slipped on a guitar for his Grammy winner ‘Kiss From A Rose’ but it was actually ‘Future Love Paradise’ that persuaded the first people to leave their seats to dance. The reaction to the riff of ‘Killer’ and his foray into the crowd had everyone on their feet.

While the evening’s closer ‘Crazy’ was another natural highpoint, the band’s earlier take on Steve Miller’s ‘Fly Like An Eagle’ was both surprising and a delight.

It was a classy, entertaining show that succeeded in delivering something for everyone.

Dave Lawrence