Gig Review and Photography by Jeremy Carron

John Newman

John Newman is a soul singer, who first gained recognition in 2012, after featuring on Rudimental’s hit “Feel The Love”. This was soon followed by his debut album, “Tribute”, entering the UK Albums Chart at number one and now John Newman is back with sophomore album, “Revolve”. Tonight he is performing at Camden’s historic venue, KOKO, to showcase his latest material to his eagerly awaiting fans!

James Newman

The night started off with support from John Newman’s big brother, James Newman. Having already won a Brit Award as a songwriter, on Rudimental’s “Waiting All Night”, KOKO was definitely in for a treat tonight, with the Newman brothers’ talent! A stripped back set, with just a keyboardist and no other band members, allowed James’s voice to shine through! The highlight of his set would have to be his version of “Lay It On Me”, which James also wrote for Rudimental and Ed Sheeran.

Nina Nesbitt

The second support act to follow was Nina Nesbitt, a pop singer/songwriter from Edinburgh. With her cover of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” and her upbeat set-closer “Chewing Gum”, the sold-out crowd of KOKO were excited and eager for John Newman to finally take the stage.

John Newman

A suspenseful intro kicked things off. The stage was unveiled to reveal the band ready and waiting, while the intro track “Revolve” played, complete with a voice over from Idris Elba. John Newman soon arose from a stage lift, to the cheers of his adoring fans, before breaking out into “All My Heart”. The first thing that becomes pretty obvious early on is, John Newman is without doubt one of the most energetic performers I’ve ever seen on stage! He bounces from one area to the other, while erupting into brief bursts of his ‘John Newman Shuffle’.

John Newman

Cheating” followed next, along with John’s energetic moves, before a brief break for John to ask his London fans how they were all doing, saying it was good to be back! “Losing Sleep” definitely pleased the crowd, as they were all singing along to the hook. John then went on to thank the many people who had helped him work on his latest album, including Idris Elba and Charlie Wilson.

John Newman

Lights Down” was up next, before John warned the people of KOKO, “Here comes the soppy bit…”, when the soulful “I’m Not Your Man” was performed. The pace soon picked up again however, with “Out Of My Head”.

John Newman

Before the crowd pleaser “Tiring Game” was performed, John excused himself for his ripped trousers, apparently all the dancing and shuffling across the stage doesn’t come without a cost! “Trousers are ripped again! That’s two shows in a row, that’s two years in a row!” John bemoaned, before going on to say there was “royalty in the building tonight! The Queen mother,” which turned out to be mother Newman! He then went on to tell the story of how his mother had bought a new blouse especially for the show in case he singled her out, while he was stood on stage in ripped trousers.

John Newman

Tiring Game” started off with a visual of Charlie Wilson, who features on the song, performing on the screen, leading on to the band and John joining in. All the fans were singing along and it was definitely a highlight of the night. A brief instrumental interlude followed, as John vanished off stage. He returned soon after, with a triumphant look on his face, before announcing “…and that is how to change a pair of trousers, mid-set!”

John Newman

Another crowd pleaser “Blame” followed soon after, a song written by the Newman brothers and Calvin Harris, which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. Visuals of Calvin Harris DJing played on the screen in the background, while John Newman and his band did an amazing rendition of it live, complete with glittery confetti raining down on the fans!

John Newman

The fans’ energy flowed into “Come and Get It” with them singing along once again. John then went on to thank his brilliant band, his amazing fans, Nina Nesbitt and finally, he personally thanked his big brother James, for always being there for him. “We All Get Lonely” closed the main set, resulting in the fans chanting the chorus of “Love Me Again” to coax John back on to the stage for the encore! It definitely worked as John stood there on stage, exchanging a look of wonder with his mother.

John Newman

Not Giving In” got the people of KOKO going once again, as their energy reached an all-time high while they sang along. The time was fast approaching for the night to come to an end, but not before John exclaimed “one more song!!” The fans got the chance for one last sing along with “Love Me Again”, which was accompanied by another blast of confetti showering the crowd and had everyone clapping and cheering along by the end of it!

It was evident from the fans’ cheering at the end, that they all knew they had just witnessed an amazing show. John thanked all of the fans in KOKO once more, clearly grateful for all the support and success he has had. The band joined John in taking their final bows, with John even bowing to his band. John Newman is definitely an act that must be experienced live, with tremendous stage presence and performances in which he pours all of his heart and soul into, his shows are definitely not one to miss!

Setlist:

Revolve Intro / All My Heart / Cheating / Losing Sleep / Lights Down / I’m Not Your Man / Out Of My Head / Tiring Game / Gold Dust / Blame / Come and Get It / We All Get Lonely

Encore:

Not Giving In / Love Me Again

Leave a Reply