Sam Bailey, with special guests Faith Tucker and Nikki Loy, performing her Sing My Heart Out Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 3rd March 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

X Factor winner Sam Bailey took to the stage at the Royal Concert Hall last night to display her powerhouse vocals. Playing to a disappointingly small audience, she opened with a raucous cover of Jocelyn Brown’s Somebody Else’s Guy.

But the evening had begun sedately as Nottingham competition winner, classically trained Faith Tucker gracefully took to the stage and bravely treated an appreciative audience to a wonderful version of Granada followed by I Dream A Dream and a goose bump inducing You’ll Never Walk Alone. Finishing with Nessun Dorma it is clear that this 16 year old has a great career ahead of her.

Up next was special guest Nikki Loy with just her acoustic guitar to keep her company. Promoting her album Pivotel she delivered a stunning set of really delightful songs. Starting with an up tempo Tongue Tied, she won the audience over with her lovely delivery of Under The Lightning before finishing with her current single, Hold Me Now. She too is a lady with tremendous talent and she grasped the opportunity to show why it will not be too long before she is headlining shows of her own.

Bailey followed her opener with Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me as her personal tribute to the late George Michael. Also promoting her new album, Sing My Heart Out, she gave new songs Echo and No Tomorrow an outing. With Sun Above The Clouds she played the guitar in classic rock chic style, and took a turn on the drums which surprisingly she can play.

But the highlight song of the night was without doubt Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry as she showed that she is more than a power singer. With her impressive self effacing personality and her between song banter which translated into a genuine likability, it was a shame that her voice was sometimes exposed.

Going off for a costume change the same as her backing singers, it was their turn to shine. With them at the front of the stage to sing Labi Siffri’s (Something Inside) So Strong which went down a treat before the Community Choir, Musical Village was brought on the stage for an excellent version of Mike + The Mechanics’ The Living Years.

With her between song banter distracting somewhat from the singing, she did say that you can take the girl out of the council estate, but you can’t take the council estate out of the girl. And that is why Sam Bailey humbly received her standing ovation before taking her leave with the title track of her latest album, Sing My Heart Out.