In the last two years, the Brummie singer Clare Maguire has evolved from credible fledgling with impeccable influences (Howlin' Wolf, Sister Rosetta Tharpe) to someone who has apparently spent a lot of time listening to Bonnie Tyler. Though Maguire's rich, rounded voice is still one of the most impressive new sounds in pop – for which she was recognised by the BBC Sound of 2011 poll – it's the 80s belter Tyler who comes to mind during her first headlining gig.
Rending the air with blasts from a larynx too powerful for her small frame, Maguire is the kind of artist record companies fall all over themselves to sign. There's not just a bagful of material that anticipates the return of the power ballad (her new single The Last Dance, which she performs with hands pressed meaningfully against heart, is a roiling epic that would have spent months at No 1 in 1988), she also has an alabaster beauty made for magazine covers. Resistance is undoubtedly pointless.
That said, the eight-song set contains fragments of the earlier, raw-talent Maguire, making you wonder what next month's debut album, Light After Dark, would have sounded like if it hadn't been filled with soft rock. Tonight's opener, Ain't Nobody, is a dubstep/blues creeper that illustrates the alchemy wrought by combining electronics with a husky female voice; an impromptu extract from Kanye West's All of the Lights is curdled with the self-flagellation of the original. A cover of Fleetwood Mac's Big Love is an unadorned delight – well, until she begins ululating and whooping.
Though Maguire's career is being prepared for blast-off, on this showing she's still a work in progress. Even a spot of banter with a fan is tentative. Still, the raw material is so promising that she's worth keeping an eye on.