John Barrowman performs his You Raise Me Up Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Sunday 17th May 2015.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

With a career that has seen John Barrowman as an actor, singer, dancer, presenter and co-author, he has now inexplicably found himself with some spare time to do a British tour to promote his latest album, You Raise Me Up.

At The Royal Concert Hall last night he literally bounded onto the stage with his skimpy clad dancers to a rapturous reception. With a twinkle in his eye to match the glitter on his shirt and shoes, he was resplendent with his wiggling hips and massive grin.

In between tracks like Quando, Quando, Quando and I Can Be Your Hero Baby, Barrowman used a giant screen to show a montage of home videos and family pictures to update his fans on just what he has been doing in the four years since he last toured.   There were hilarious stories and saucy innuendoes throughout, which kept this enraptured audience entertained.

Explaining that Cole Porter had been a huge impact upon his life, he did him proud with numbers such as Just One Of Those Things and What Is This Thing Called Love, before upping the tempo with Listen To The Music and Xanadu.

Bringing the first half to an end with a rousing This Is The Moment, there had been a dominating whiff of cruise ship cabaret about the whole thing. But that was fine because a lot of money is spent going on those cruises, and this Nottingham audience had loved every bit of it.

The second half saw Barrowman bring his very proud parents onto the stage and at one point we even got a brief glimpse of his MBE. The music continued with tracks from his new album which he performed with the effortless ease for the fans who had funded it through Pledge Music. Tracks like That’s The Way It Is, Listen To The Music and the title track, You Raise Me Up were all note perfect, bursting with gusto and so sickly sweet that an appointment with the dentist was a must afterwards.

But show business seeps out of every one of John Barrowman’s pores. He is not just a singer but a real entertainer and this audience adored him. Evert time he wiggled his bottom there were screams from the women, which is fascinating considering that on his own admission, he and husband Scott “are the biggest gays in Palm Springs and nothing goes straight in our house”.

Having given it all of the old razzle dazzle on The Royal Concert Hall stage for over two hours, his fans certainly got their money’s worth, but his egotism did begin to grate somewhat as the show went on. But for many, this did not detract from what was a highly enjoyable show. Finishing the night with I Am What I Am, this audience were up on their feet to show their appreciation, and Barrowman for the first time looked humbled.

Whilst one of his greatest gifts is his ability to make his audience feel at home, what is undisputable is that John Barrowman was a man born to be on a stage.