Nervous Adele kicks off world tour in Belfast

Adele performs at the BRIT Awards at the O2 arena in London, on Feb 24, 2016.
Adele performs at the BRIT Awards at the O2 arena in London, on Feb 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Adele has kicked off her first world tour in four years with a concert in Belfast that received overwhelmingly positive reviews despite the bestselling singer's bout of pre-gig nerves.

The show in Northern Ireland's main city on Monday was sold out months in advance and fans came from as far as Japan and South Africa to catch a first glimpse of the British singer.

The 100-stop tour includes dates in London in March, Paris in June, as well as New York's Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, culminating with two dates in Mexico City in November.

"I know some of you have been dragged along but I'm going to win you over," Adele joked with some 11,000 fans gathered in Belfast, the BBC reported.

"Although some of my songs get a bit depressing."

The 27-year-old, who has been frank about her stage fright, also informed fans that she was suffering "bowel movements" because of nerves.

Dressed in a long black dress with golden threads, she performed 18 hits including Hello, Rolling In The Deep, Set Fire To The Rain and Skyfall, the theme song of the 2012 James Bond film of the same name.

She last performed in Britain in September 2011.

Alexis Petridis, music critic for The Guardian newspaper, gave the concert four out of five stars, praising her "fantastic voice" and calling the performance "solid - if unsurprising".

The Independent called on the singer to be the "bawdy, ballsy person she is on stage when she writes".

She has broken several records with her third and latest album, 25, featuring the ballad Hello.

She was the biggest-selling artist in the world last year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.