Gig Review and Photography by Kal Ahmed


A worthy winner of the X Factor ITV show. Having spent 17 of my formative years growing up in Middlesbrough I know how ‘unfairly’ difficult it can be breaking through into any creative area of the arts being a Northerner, and although there has been some controversy surrounding James Arthur it should not detract from the fact that James is an impressive performer.



I thought I had been transported back  in time when he came on as the screams were deafening, reminiscent of the Beatles! It was a shame that the sound engineers took most of the first song to get his vocal mic leveled out correctly. But after that James and the band  were great and the fully packed crowd loved them {more screaming!}.


After several songs the band left the stage and James was left alone with his acoustic guitar, where he seemed to be getting more comfortable with his audience and he let the full extent of his amazing vocal range loose. Again the audience seemed to love it and more importantly him. Personally I was amazed by his vocal talent but not too impressed by the pseudo rap that seemed to be shoved into the middle of a plaintive ‘lost love’ song for no real reason, I thought the song would’ve been better without it. But maybe I’m just not down with the kids!

An enjoyable evening with a very varied array of audience members from youngsters to the more mature! I hope James Arthur continues to make music for a long time he deserves his well earned success. Well done Boro Boy!




8 Responses to “James Arthur @ The Birmingham Institute – 22 May 2015”

  1. Fiona Davies Says:

    Great review which James really deserves, thank you.
    I actually found his rap in that song really sweet, and different. Loved the whole gig (I saw him at Newcastle.)
    Talented, affable, humble guy.

  2. carol from swansea Says:

    I saw James in Birmingham, huge fan, great atmosphere and love his voice.
    He has so many true appreciative fans, loved his performance.

  3. Colin Jarmy Says:

    Thank you for this review. I was at the Newcastle concert and it was terrific.

  4. Gillian Says:

    Great review-you personally may not have liked the rap in the middle of that
    particular song-but it is not”pseudo rap”.
    It is real & from the heart & he’s extremely good at it.Rapping
    is something he’s always done- he can do it all- not just one style of
    music.Glad you enjoyed his performance.

  5. TracyD Says:

    Having travelled over 500 miles to see our Mr James Arthur in Birmingham last friday. It was not a let down he couldn’t let his fans down even if he tried. The guy is a legend and his voice and his rapping is just incredible!!! He had us laughing, crying, screaming, shouting, bouncing the whole time in Birmingham it was so intense and incredible. The guy will never loose his edge. And to top it off the meet and greet just blew my mind he is so grateful and humble to all his fans for their support and such a fantastic guy. We all love you james #longlivetheking #jarmy #love xxx

  6. Wendiwoo Says:

    This is a great review ,yes James is an amazing artist one like him anywhere in the world ..his song writing is genius and the way he can sing any genre of music from rock ,blues n rap makes him in my opinion the greatest artist in decades .Cant wait to see him perform again soon .the crowd get so emotional they cry ! Probably because this amazing talented man had been on a rough journey and he’s come through the other side .

  7. julie harrison Says:

    Brilliant performance from a true artist I knew the first time I heard him he was different and unique I get goose bumps every time he sings. Saw him at very-festival and couldn’t wait for his tour truely amazing. He needs more support here in.England cus we’re missing out on a genius x

  8. Jennifer Wootton Says:

    what a cool Guy! So talented and full of heart and emotion.
    James if you ever come to Vancouver please save me a ticket in the front row.
    You move me.

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