#Review: James Arthur @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 12/03/22

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On Saturday 12th March 2022, James Arthur arrived in Brighton to perform an incredible show in support of his latest album, It’ll All Make Sense In The End. With support from Sonia Stein, the evening was one packed with excitement and stunning performances. Here’s what we had to say about the show…


Sonia Stein

Sonia Stein was an interesting performer – she seems to eloquently blend funk and soul with contemporary pop, making for a really interesting sound. Think somewhere along a similar vein to Nao and you’re along the right track. She graced the stage in a bright yellow jacket, accompanied by just two band members, however between them, they produced a fantastically full-on sound. Between songs, she displayed an almost shy demeanour, yet her vocals were powerful, well-controlled and confident. If you’ve not checked her out yet, you can catch her live throughout James Arthur‘s current UK tour, or listen to her recordings on all streaming platforms.


James Arthur

He may have done something amazing simply by winning X Factor in the UK, but James Arthur demonstrated that he is so much more than just a talent show winner at his Brighton Centre show.

The singer/songwriter took to the stage to monumental applause from the packed crowd as he showed off not only his incredible vocals but his great guitar skills too, on opening track, ‘4000 Miles’.

From there, the artist proceeded to wow the audience with a mixture of his well-known hits, old cuts from previous records and some album-tracks from the recently-released, It’ll All Make Sense In The End.

The singer is undoubtedly a true professional, having spent 10 years in the industry, performing countless shows and releasing 4 albums to date, and his show appeared seamless throughout.

One thing that truly stands out in his performances though, is just how incredibly powerful and achingly beautiful his voice is live. Of course this is something you’d expect from having heard his studio recordings but it translates so well to his live performances as he shows off just how technically impressive his voice is…and it’s all done so effortlessly.

James Arthur engages with the crowd well telling little anecdotes here and there but particularly shows his gratitude to the crowd for their decade of support since winning the X Factor and how grateful he is to the show for allowing him to pursue his dreams, before launching in to the incredible single that started it all, ‘Impossible’.

Four albums in and nearly a couple of handfuls of tours down, it’s easy to see why this singer/songwriter has picked up such a fantastic following and just how wonderful his shows are. Whether you know each and every song or are relatively new to his music, I can’t recommend highly enough, seeing him live whenever you get the chance. He will not disappoint.

Highlights:

  • His vocals – I said it earlier, but his voice was truly remarkable – powerful and dynamic; something mesmerising to behold live.
  • The cruel joke he played on the audience by welcoming out Anne-Marie to perform an acoustic rendition of The Greatest Showman cover, ‘Rewrite The Stars’, before admitting she wasn’t actually coming.
  • The renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ he sung to a couple of members of the crowd were hilarious, particularly when he couldn’t hear the name of one of them and had to keep getting them to repeat their name numerous times.
  • The addition of a section of ‘Ready Or Not’ in the middle of ‘Sermon’ made for a great crowd-pleaser.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Matteo D’Ambrosio 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram.


 Setlist

4000 Miles
Medicine*
Sermon (including a snippet of ‘Ready Or Not’)
Falling Like The Stars
September
Can I Be Him
Rewrite The Stars (Acoustic)*
Safe Inside/Empty Space/Emily (Acoustic)
Naked (Acoustic)
Last Of The Whiskey
Always
Sun Comes Up*
Impossible*

Encore
Train Wreck
Lasting Lover*
Say You Won’t Let Go*

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Simon Blackmore for arranging this review for me and to both James Arthur and Sonia Stein for putting on such incredible performances.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other live reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: James Blunt @ Brighton Centre, Brighton – 03/02/22

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On Thursday 3rd February 2022, James Blunt arrived in Brighton to kick off his The Stars Beneath My Feet Tour, seeing the artist perform a whole bunch of his greatest hits to a packed crowd. With support from Irish singer, Gavin James, the event was incredible from start to finish. Here’s what we have to say about it…


Gavin James

The singer took to the stage and instantly wowed the crowd with the beautiful, falsetto-driven ‘Nervous’. Starting out as just the singer and a guitar, he proceeded to be joined by a keys player and drummer, creating a deeply rich sound. The set was packed with more rock-like tracks such as the guitar solo-laden ‘Coming Home’ to the piano-led ‘Always’ (before he switched back to guitar, mid-song!) The singer really drew the audience in with his witty crowd interactions and ability to get everyone singing parts of his songs, along with him. He is a really interesting artist and someone to definitely keep an eye on!

Highlight: The beautiful falsetto notes and powerful full-on vocals Gavin James can create with his voice is truly astounding and wonderfully captivating!

 Setlist

Nervous
Heaven
Coming Home
Tired
Circles
Always
Hearts On Fire
Only Ticket Home


James Blunt

Say what you will about James Blunt, the guy is a fantastic performer and comes with a massive, loyal fan base.

From the moment the intro music blared through the speakers and the TV screens descended to cover his entrance, before slowly rising again to reveal Blunt himself, the crowd were cheering in anticipation.

Known for his sense of humour on social media, he was also just as quick-witted in person, making jokes about singing ‘You’re Beautiful’ 22 times, performing his “greatest hit” tour (saying because he only has one) and telling people to sit tight as he took to the piano before belting out a series of sad songs.

This was a truly wonderful show, that demonstrated the amazing talent he has, not only as a songwriter, but a performer too and showcased a diverse collection of songs (after all, this is a greatest hits tour), making it a performance to remember.

Whilst the screens above the stage added some diversity, the visual effects used were at times a little corny but did add to the arena feel of the show.

If you get a chance to catch James Blunt on this UK tour, I highly recommend it – whether you know him for his obvious hits, or are a long-term fan, he will not disappoint with his showmanship! I loved every second of it, despite not knowing every song, and would love to see him again.

Highlights:

  • James Blunt‘s banter with the crowd was on point and always had the audience in stitches.
  • The performance was faultless – he was a true professional at his art…as were his band.
  • There was the perfect combination of uplifting tracks, sad songs and even rockier elements, showing just what a great collection of music he has created over his career so far.
  • The way he held the crowd in the palm of his hand was something amazing to behold too, and there were people who clearly knew every word to every song, showing just how much more he is than ‘You’re Beautiful’.
  • ‘Wisemen’, ‘Love Under Pressure’, ‘Postcards’ (particularly for the use of the ukuleles), ‘OK’ and ‘1973’ were among some of the best songs of the show.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

Breathe*
Wisemen*
Carry You Home
Adrenaline
The Greatest
Goodbye My Lover
High
Smoke Signals
I Really Want You
Love Under Pressure
Postcards
So Long, Jimmy
Same Mistake
Monsters
Coz I Luv You
You’re Beautiful*
Stay The Night*
OK

Encore
Where Is My Mind? (Pixies Cover)
Bonfire Heart
1973*

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Tom Pearce from Good Soldier for sorting out this review and to both Gavin James and James Blunt for putting on such a great show!


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other live reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#Review: Fickle Friends @ Chalk, Brighton – 13/01/22

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On Thursday 13th January 2022, Fickle Friends kicked off their UK tour at Brighton’s Chalk, in support of their second studio album, Are We Gonna Be Alright? The band were supported by Foxgluvv and Valeras, before taking to the stage to play a packed set. Here’s what we have to say about the evening…


Foxgluvv

Stemming from London, support act Foxgluvv, aka Imogen Davies, showcased her unique pop style to early arrivals, in anticipation of the long-awaited Fickle Friends album tour.

You can see her influence from the likes of Madonna and even a touch of Kate Nash within her song writing – very 80’s inspired. She stood confidently on stage, singing songs about relationships, anxiety and identity in a sincere manner. Foxgluvv only had a handful of songs, as a debut album is still on the horizon. One standout song of the evening was the disco banger, ‘1:00AM’, with foot-stomping bass and synths, showing true potential, on par with Charlie XCX, for more exciting things to come in the future.

Michael Hundertmark


Valeras

Valeras were an interesting pair (I say pair, because they’re technically a duo but come accompanied by two other touring members). They packed a punch in terms of sound and the singer’s voice was great too – both raw and powerful. The singer, Rose, did a great job of captivating the audience too – especially when she revealed that she is part of the LGBTQ+ community and performed a personal song about this. There was another point in the set, where she stepped down from the stage and into the crowd, really capturing everyone’s attention. It was a great set and they’re certainly an act to keep an eye on.


Fickle Friends

Fickle Friends took to the stage and the crowd burst into applause and cheering as the band performed their incredibly catchy single, ‘IRL’. From there, the set was packed with a superb combination of songs, both new and old – some from their debut album, You Are Someone Else, some from EPs and some from their recently-released second album, Are We Gonna Be Alright? It was a fantastic showcase of their catalogue!

The band’s use of their instruments and backing tracks interwoven throughout the set was seamless and they demonstrated just how good they are at live performances…even after some time away from performing due to the pandemic. Singer, Natti’s voice was impeccable throughout too – effortless and powerful in all the right places.

The stage design was humble, with their second album cover as backdrop and some cool light towers on the stage to add interesting effects, but otherwise is was over to the band to wow their audience, and wow they did; the crowd were loving every second of the band’s performance, dancing and singing along throughout.

The set was split into some of their most upbeat pop tunes, then “rock hour” (as the band called it) and then “the home straight”, which consists of songs the band know inside out and have performed for so long they don’t have to think about it. Natti took a sip of her “home straight juice” and explained the layout of the set to everyone, making people laugh. “Rock hour” consisted of some of the tracks from their second album, one which they experimented with a heavier sound, in places (read our review here).

Possibly one of my favourite moments though, was the performance of second album title track, ‘Are We Gonna Be Alright?’ The song was very different from the rest of the set and really showed off the talent in Natti’s voice, as she played guitar with fellow band member, Jack – it was beautiful.

Their crowd interactions were short and sweet but kept the show moving nicely.

One thing’s for certain; the band are polished in terms of their live performances and know how to entertain a crowd in all the right ways! If you haven’t seen them live yet, I strongly recommend catching them on this tour, especially as they’ve hinted that it might be a while before they tour again! Grab a ticket and dance and sing the night away.

Highlights:

  • The diversity of the setlist made for a truly brilliant show.
  • The energy that oozed out of the band was superb and made for a great set.
  • Favourite performances included ‘Glue’, ‘Not Okay’, ‘Love You To Death’ and ‘Say No More’.
  • ‘Pretty Great’ was a brilliant end to the set too as a vocoder was used in one part, Natti played some keyboard, Jack took centre stage and shredded the guitar, it was wonderfully chaotic in the best way and made for an outstanding close to the show.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Michael Hundertmark 📸
Why not give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter or check out his website.


 Setlist

IRL
Glue*
Not Okay*
Hello Hello
Not In The Mood
Brooklyn
Write Me A Song
Yeah Yeah Yeah
Love You To Death
Hard To Be Myself*
Are We Gonna Be Alright?
Say No More*
Swim
Pretty Great

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Kat from Deidkated PR for arranging this review and to Fickle Friends themselves, for putting on an incredible evening.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other live reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks