It’s not often you can come away from a gig saying “WOW! That person’s voice was phenomenal”. When you do it’s something to treasure, a memory to hold. True, there are lots of good singers, some brilliant front men and some talented songstresses, but the term phenomenal needs to be reserved for the very special indeed. So, to witness not one, not two but three all on the same stage in front of little over 200 people on a grim Wednesday night in Birmingham was nothing short of miraculous and not likely to be emulated any time soon.

Josh Kumra

First up was Josh Kumra – a nicely-spoken young man from Swindon. Well groomed and sporting a knitted jumper he didn’t instantly strike you as a rock star and judging by the crowd’s reaction was unrecognised by most – me included. In fact his most notable accolade of date is his collaboration with Wretch 32 on his number one single ‘Don’t Go’ which he opened with. Wise move! From the moment he sang his first perfect note, the audience and most noticeably the female contingent hushed. Instantly!

Josh Kumra

Without wanting to sound clichéd his voice was sooooo smooth, soooooo pure that it was nigh on angelic. It is plain to see why comparisons are being drawn between him and the likes of Ray LaMontagne and James Morrison. It was haunting.

Armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a mate on the keys/drums he went effortlessly from ‘The Answer’ through to the ‘What We Might’, each song as beautiful as the last.

Josh Kumra

“This is my first time in Brum” informed the singer. I don’t think it will be his last…

Josh Kumra + Mahalia Burkmar

Half way through his set it was time to introduce uber-talented singer number two, Mahalia Burkmar a young lady hailing from Leicester who’s massive talents belie her tender years. Nobody in the crowd had heard of the young songstress, but by the end of her duet with Josh everyone was talking about her. It was a genuine ‘goose bumps moment’ with traits of Amy Winehouse and Macy Gray combined with her own twist. Personally the last time I was this excited about a singer was when I witnessed a solo acoustic set by a little known Adele in a small room at Birmingham’s Glee Club. It’s no exaggeration to say that Mahalia can emulate everything that the loveable singer from Essex has and more.

Josh Kumra

As with Mr Kumra our advice is to look out for the singer labelled as ‘Mahaliamusic’. She’s going to be massive!

A splendid cover version of MGMT’s ‘Kids’ followed and then it was time for Josh to leave the stage to rapturous applause and audience appreciation. Rather than retire to his dressing room like so many performers now days do, he then went on to make his way outside to pose with fans (mostly girls) for photos to be shared on twitter. Well played sir. Well played.


Completing the trio of vocal greats, Delilah, the main event, quickly followed. Instantly likeable, the pretty singer made her way to the stage dressed in a stunning white dress which was only outshone by her beautiful smile. Despite the mic stand problems she was having she oozed confidence and looked as if she had been performing for years.

Kicking off with ‘So Irate’ it quickly became apparent that, as with her two predecessors, Delilah is immensely talented. Her voice, unique style and vocal range are massively impressive and to be honest her performance from the word go was ‘simply mesmerising’. ‘Only You’ a song from her soon to be released album ‘From the Roots Up’ was next on the play list and demonstrated all of the qualities that the singer possessed, going down a storm with her eclectic fan base.


“Who wants a song from mix tape?” enquired the singer referring to her ‘2-4am Mixtape’, much to the delight of the audience.

Moving to the keys, she demonstrated that she was an accomplished pianist too. It was here that you saw a different side to the singer – more vulnerable, but equally as powerful – as she went into songs about her Mom written when she was 14 (Cinababy) and a heart wrenching number about her father who had sadly passed away. It was indeed emotional.

Delilah has a thoroughly beautiful voice – so powerful, yet so controlled. A performer with a massive vocal range which was demonstrated in ‘Everything I do’.

Apologising to her Nan who was in the audience for the naughty words, she launched in to a cover of ‘2 People’ by John Jacques Smoothie which not surprisingly was excellently executed.


Chatting with the audience she seems like a genuinely lovely girl without any hints of arrogance who appreciates the situation she is in. ‘Shades of Grey’ another tune off new album, was up next and even included a request (which obviously was granted) to turn on the lights so she could see the audience. Nice touch.

Finishing off with her brand new single, the oh so catchy ‘Breathe’ followed by the splendid ‘Go’ combined with the obligatory audience participation. She left the stage to rapturous applause and concluded a night that all who were there will, I’m sure, never forget and thank their lucky stars that they attended.

Gig Review by Zak Edwards
Gig Photos by Bianca Barrett

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