Ethereal and entrancing, Celeste was everything we wanted... and more.

Chalk was brimming with anticipation last night - from queueing outside in the chilly evening air to enjoying a cold pint while chatting with friends, and even watching the available floor space slowly shrink, the excitement was tangible - until the lights went down and the place erupted as Celeste sauntered onto the stage.

It’s blindingly obvious that the Brightonian has far surpassed venues with capacity for just a few hundred people since the release of debut album Not Your Muse in 2021, but it’s in those small rooms of people that Celeste really comes alive.

We may as well have been chatting to one another while sat on the opposite side of a table in a pub, it felt that personal, like she was singing directly into your soul. And that was none more apparent than during the spellbinding Strange. What a track. We were all in tears. It was utterly amazing.

Moving from the US to the UK aged three, Celeste has shot to stardom at 26, with Stop This Flame with even becoming the soundtrack to Premier League football on Sky Sports - and the crowd were belting it out in good form during her flying home visit on Saturday night.

The Argus: Celeste at Chalk, BrightonCeleste at Chalk, Brighton (Image: Mike Burnell)

READ MORE: Celeste scores Oscar nomination for song from Netflix film

It was also great to see the Ivor Novello Award-winner bring her full band to the seaside, nearly tearing the roof off as they rattled through her catalogue of sensational anthems – each an absolute delight to witness.

It’s an overused phrase in reviews to say a singer “sounded as good live as they did on the album”, but it’s almost bizarre how Celeste’s voice was so immaculate in person. The sound engineer would’ve been stealing a living in the studio that day.

The best part of the evening, though, was to see how much Celeste was enjoying herself. Darting about the small stage, constantly grinning, she was absolutely loving it, and rightfully so. The whole night was a complete dream, and she sounded fantastic.

And so more than year later than scheduled, last night’s show was entirely worth the wait. Another brilliant “out-store” show from record shop Resident.

If you get the chance to catch Celeste, then grasp it with both hands. What a fabulous way to spend an evening.