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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Gig Review: James Blunt at Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

james-blunt, afterlove-tour, music

The man everyone loves to hate, James Blunt is still going strong, thirteen years after the release of 'You're Beautiful', the song that instantly catapulted him into the limelight. Now, all those years later, the crowd still love to belt out that hit, night after night, tour after tour.

On Friday 17th November, I headed along to Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena to catch James' Afterlove tour. Fresh from a string of European dates and a plush gig touring as Ed Sheeran's support in the US, Blunt seemed fresh, energised, and ready to play his heart out as he made a start on the UK leg of the tour.

Bizarre seating arrangements at the venue and a sticky floor as a result of someone else's spilt coke didn't bode well for the start of the evening, but once the lights went down and the music started, everything else was instantly forgotten.

Support came courtesy of the charming Jamie Lawson, another singer-songwriter on his way to stardom with the support of a certain redheaded singer. After signing to Sheeran's record label, Lawson's hit 'Wasn't Expecting That' propelled him into the public eye, and now, having just released his second album Happy Accidents, he's back on the road once again.

Playing a decent set with a mix of both upbeat and slower songs, Lawson provided a great way to get the crowd warmed up ready for the main event. In the interval between the two acts, Lawson headed out to the foyer to meet fans, sign albums and take selfies. In a world of self-absorbed musicians, talents like Lawson who truly appreciate each and every step of the journey are a rare breed, and this was clear to see. Plus, he's lovely - what's not to love?

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Hurrying back to our seats just in time for the lights to go down once again as James Blunt took the stage. The motley crowd, a mix of families, friends and couples of every age were on their feet; most of those in the floor seats abandoning their seats in favour of standing and dancing in the clear area in front of the stage.

High energy and full of life right from the very start, Blunt's performance was certainly no disappointment. Having previously seen him live (way back when at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2014) I already knew he makes for a great live performer, but this second dose only served to further cement that fact.


Playing a mixture of his previous hits and tracks from the new album, The Afterlove, there was plenty to keep everyone entertained. In addition, the variety of slower, emotional songs and bouncier tracks kept us all on our toes - there really was something for everyone.

With a celebratory party atmosphere and a fully-loaded arsenal of jokes and stories to pepper the night, the show was a surefire success. Leaving the venue, everyone was laughing and joking with one another, discussing the evening and humming Blunt songs.
"You're beautiful, you're beautiful it's true."
Are you a fan of James Blunt? (Sssh, I won't tell!) Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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