It’s been a very busy 18 months for the young songwriter John Newman, having lent his songwriting talent and huge vocals to electro-pop outfit Rudimental’s track ‘Feel The Love’, he had his first taste of success as it hit the top of the charts.
This was followed by his emergence as a solo artist this summer with the unavoidable smash-hit ‘Love Me Again’ which again saw Newman enjoy number one status. On the brink of releasing his debut album ‘Tribute’ later this month, the 23 year old returned to his North Yorkshire hometown of Settle for an intimate homecoming gig.
A wet and windy evening hadn’t discouraged early queues from forming outside Settle’s 19th century Victoria Hall and it wasn’t long before the quaint former music hall was brimming with excited anticipation. A white curtain veiled the band as wispy silhouettes before it dropped to reveal a crisp white stage, from behind which Newman confidently strode out to accompany the six-piece in a rousing outro to ‘Feel The Love’.
As the song ended it gave Newman his first opportunity to take stock of the situation and a disbelieving smile succumbed to a full beaming grin as he admitted how it was “really weird” to be bringing his show to so many familiar faces.
He then proceeded to tear through an array of tracks from his new album, showcasing soulful pop balladry infused with splashes of modern jazz and dance, all led by his distinctive giant of a voice plus some nimble footwork as he glides, shuffles and soars about the stage.
The encore saw Newman return with a stripped back version of Rudimental’s ‘Not Giving In’ before ending climactically with a celebratory rendition of ‘Love Me Again’. The result of which had the seated balcony crowd rising to their feet in jubilation whilst he simultaneously dropped to his knees having triumphantly completed his return as the toast of the town.
John Newman’s debut album is released by Island Records on October 14, and the former Leeds College of Music student will return to the city to play a sold-out show at The Cockpit on November 3.