Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Nikki Rodgers

It wasn’t too long ago that ‘September Song’ dominated the radio airwaves, even before its release the soulful melody and catchy tune warmed the hearts of listeners, easily becoming one of the top tunes of summer. A few months prior Cooper had accompanied Jonas Blue on their number 2 smash ‘Perfect Strangers’, 2016 was the year that highlighted the talented British singer-songwriter JP Cooper into the public.

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Birmingham’s Institute is rammed to the rafters, it’s a mix of ages in the 14 plus venue ranging from the mature radio 2 crowd to the youthful Radio 1 Xtra vibe excitingly waiting the man himself to appear.

Support acts Lucas Watts and JC Stewart warmed up the Birmingham crowd on the cold October evening, their upbeat and smooth sounds drying them out having braved the rain outside to make the gig, the yin and yang of the two artists complimented each other as the audience waited eagerly with anticipation.

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Sporting trademark hat and guitar JP appeared to cheers and claps bursting into the beautiful melody of ‘Wait’, his voice flowed through the venue, the acoustic clarity burst through the melody showing the real talent on stage at its best taking centre and no need for flashy lighting or graphics all you need tonight is this voice and this guitar.

Watching grown men cry around me as ‘Closer’ began to play, the lyrics freeing feelings within them as the emotion filled the room, showing how much the Mancunian artist is a hidden gem in the music industry, holding power over the audience and casting a spell to free them from everyday turmoil or trouble, the chilled vibe gave a safe haven for those in it to follow their feelings.

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The audience sang along joyfully with his incredible vocal range, shyly beaming from the stage he looked the epitome of cool, the chemistry between him and the audience mirrored as he performed roof raising renditions of ‘September Song’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’ the audience singing loud and proud to his biggest hits.

His gravelly yet perfect soulful voice is emphasised throughout the night, showing off his true potential, latest offering ‘Sing It With Me’ is a crowd favourite as the audience shuffle from side to side. With such a heart warming and uplifting evening of talented music coming to an end, there is so much more than a couple of hit wonders from JP Cooper, as the stellar performance ended, echoes of ‘Perfect Strangers’ filled the Digbeth air as his fans started an impromptu singalong walking into the second city, I can’t wait to hear what’s next…

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