James Arthur performing his You Tour at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 25th October 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

With accusations of homophobia and racism as well as his mental health issues, it was not surprising that Simon Cowell’s record label Syco dropped James Arthur. But his epic 2017 comeback continues to roll on and now in the midst of a sold out UK tour which included a visit to the Royal Concert Hall last night, he showed that he is certainly back on form.

Touring to promote only his third studio album, You, he took to a stage which was simply adorned with revolving screens which either reflected the crowd or a huge neon You sign. Opening the show with the title song of the album, the crowd were on their feet for that and another new song, I Am, which saw Arthur pounding on his guitar accompanied brilliantly by his four piece band.

Delivering a set list that was a mixture of tracks from the self titled James Arthur and the very successful Back From The Edge, the high energy numbers were all there but much of the show was filled with his familiar emotionally charge ballads.

Breathe was a standout moment as was Sermon, a ballad that flowered into a hip hop track. And with the likes of Unconditionally, Naked and Recovery, this crowd not only listened to Arthur’s music, they physically felt it.

The beautiful Rewrite The Stars, a song from The Greatest Showman, which Arthur admitted he fell asleep watching, was accompanied by the audience’s mobile phone torches to create a magical moment. And when the million plus selling X Factor winner’s single, Impossible, brought the main set to an end, there was only room for fans favourite Rudimental collaboration, Sun Comes Up and the obvious highlight of the night, Say You Won’t Let Go for the encore.

With his undeniably beautiful voice only hampered by some minor sound problems, and a tour that sold out within minutes, there is no doubt that the next time Arthur comes to town, it will be to play the Arena.