John Newman- Rock City 9/2/2014

15th February 2014

John Newman review- Rock City Nottingham 9/2/2014

Since being discovered singing in a Finsbury Park pub by Rudimental not so long ago, John Newman, a young man from the Yorkshire Dales with a fetish for northern soul, has landed himself two number one singles in the form of Feel the Love with Rudimental and a solo effort with Love me Again in 2013. He has just released his debut album named Tribute.

Judging by the rapturous reception the album has received on both sides of the Atlantic, the heart-break on which it is based on will seem almost worthwhile for Newman.
Like his decidedly cougar-infested fan base, John Newman roared into a swashbuckling and sweaty display of vocal vigour and hip swinging action when he finally entered from behind the sensual curtain on the stage of Rock City only ten minutes after the advertised starting time.

The 23-year-old’s ease and confidence in front of a crowd was apparent from the outset with a declaration of the beauty of Nottingham’s Newmanators.

The first three tracks followed which were drum heavy with the strong gravely lyrics and vocals synonymous with Newman. They were, however, disappointingly similar until his fourth track, a slow emotional effort to build the atmosphere into the well-known and well produced Losing Sleep which peaked at a disappointing number 48 in the UK charts in December 2013.

Thus followed the hypnotic Running and a selection of other heavily percussion and guitar based fast tracks accompanied by Newman’s trademark gravelly soul tone all from his Tribute album. His continued vigour and tin-man style dance moves throughout the whole gig without so much as sweating on his black blazer were a testament to his obvious physical fitness.

The inevitable encore to the show after the first farewell to the crowd came in the form of his number one hit Love Me Again. Newman had the crowd at his mercy with his modern classic and provided an almost orgasmic end to an enjoyable evening.

However, even though the vast majority of the crowd left satisfied, I was personally disappointed at the lack of range of musical styles at the gig. If Newman is to avoid being a mere flash in the plan, he must diversify himself and his music away from the sound of Plan B.

OVERALL 3.5 stars- Good but repetitive
John Newman

Written by Will Jowett