Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

THERE are some artists who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Beth Hart pins hers firmly in the centre of her chest and invites the whole audience to share every emotion with her.

At the Bridgewater Hall she delivered a truly mesmerising performance during an evening where tears flowed, laughter rang out and a sold-out crowd sat spellbound by this powerful force of nature.

Beth Hart makes no attempt hide her flaws. She spoke openly about being bipolar and her battle with addiction during the show but it is these flaws combined with that voice which make her such a compelling performer. There is no attempt to disguise anything, there is no glossing over anything - what you get is 100 per cent pure Beth.

Starting the show with a stripped back, acoustic cover of Bill Withers' For My Friends was an inspired idea.

From the outset she was at one with her fine band of musicians - Jon Nichols on guitar, Tom Lilly on bass and drummer Bill Ransom. Although she was battling a cold - a show a few days earlier had to be cancelled - you would never have guessed it.

The set was an eclectic mix in part showcasing her most recent album, War in My Mind, and also the back catalogue with some covers thrown in.

Beth was clearly at home in Manchester. An audience 'shout out' for Soul Shine led to a quick check with the band they knew it and away we went - and very good it was too.

Among the highlights were a hugely moving Tell Her You Belong to Me which she wrote for her father and Leave the Light On which brought the entire audience to their feet.

Beth is known - quite rightly - for her voice. It is a thing of great power, great beauty and equally great fragility. What is often overlooked is her all-round musical ability. For much of the night she was seated behind the piano and more than held her own with the fine musicians around her.

After 19 songs the night sadly came to an end. But no-one was in any doubt - we had been royally entertained by the Queen of the Blues.