Monday, 21 March 2016

That Time John Newman Slayed My Entire Existence...

If it isn't already obvious from my blog, I LOVE going to concerts. Gigs are my happy place and there's nothing I enjoy more than live music. Over the years, I've been to countless gigs and have seen numerous artists perform live, ranging from the bloody brilliant to the damn right dismal.

However, every so often, you are blessed by a performer who is truly remarkable and completely blows your mind - on March 19, John Newman did just that.

bae in action


I have loved John Newman's music for years - from his collaborations with Rudimental and Calvin Harris to his incredible solo material, his voice is so unique and he has become one of my favourite male artists in the industry. However, what I've been lacking in my life is the chance to see him perform live. For one reason or another, it's taken me this long to actually see this incredible man perform. I remember watching him on the BBC Music Awards on TV in 2014 and thinking, 'bloody hell, I need to see this guy live!' - whilst I'd been a fan of his music before then, actually seeing him performing on the television was a turning point for me and subsequently seeing him live became a concert goal of mine.

Fast-forward to 2016, and a StubHub purchase later, I managed to get tickets to see John support Ellie Goulding on her Delirium World Tour in Manchester. Now don't get me wrong, I love Ellie Goulding. I've seen her live a few times as part of T4 on the Beach and Summertime Ball, but I pretty much bought these tickets just to see John and I have no shame in saying so. (Ellie was absolutely phenomenal though and you can read my CelebMix review here).

I don't think I've ever felt so giddy at seeing someone live as I did before seeing John! In the week leading up to the gig, I trawled social media to find video clips, a setlist and comments on what I could expect. He received incredible praise from most of the people that had already been to Ellie's tour, so my standards were high to say the least!

On the night of the gig, I made my way to the merch stand to be suitably equipped for the night. John's merch is so nice, unlike many of the merch I've seen people produce over the years. I proudly wore a Revolve t-shirt and wristband and I fell in love with the most glorious signed vinyl. I have no use for a vinyl but I NEEDED it in my life and spent the rest of the night (and journey home) trying to guard it with my life lol.

standard 'being rude and wearing support act merch at another person's headline gig' selfie

my signed vinyl - officially one of my most glorious possessions ever


After the first support act, it was then time for John and I haven't felt happiness quite like it in a long time. Idris Elba's Revolve speech echoed across the arena and my fangirl heart felt like it was about to burst. Then John came on and opened with 'All My Heart' which is my all-time favourite song of his and I pretty much wasn't okay for the rest of his set haha.

He performed his number one hits, including 'Blame' and 'Love Me Again' which whipped the crowd into the biggest frenzy. He also fully showcased his soulful vocals as he stripped back his set for a gorgeous performance of 'I'm Not Your Man'. He proved to be an extremely powerful performer and you could see that he was incredibly passionate.  He was without doubt the best support act I've ever seen and to be quite honest, he's pretty much up there as one of my all-time favourite performers too.

It's so difficult to put into words how immense John was but he actually slayed my entire existence in a forty minute set. He was everything I'd hoped for and more. In all honesty, it's a travesty to even call him a support act - he owned that stage and could easily have been the headliner that night. His vocals and energy are just unreal - he puts his heart and soul into his performance and is a showman through and through. I am seriously in love, he had me completely hooked for the entire time that he was on stage. I think he's so underrated but seriously, John is a true superstar and I couldn't be any prouder to support such a remarkable talent.

absolute love ♥


My next goal is to see him at his own headline show. The only thing that I didn't enjoy about the evening was the fact that we happened to be sat amongst some of the most miserable people ever (who even stayed sitting when Ellie was on). This keeps happening to us at gigs and it's so annoying - for example, every year at Summertime Ball, we've been the only fans of The Wanted/Nathan Sykes in our block, which makes fangirling a bit awkward. I can't wait to see John at his own gig one day, I will definitely queue to be near the front amongst other people who love and appreciate him as much as I do.

It's also going to haunt me forever that I was too scared to go and meet him last Summer when he was on Sunday Brunch on the same day as Aston Merrygold...but if I get another chance one day, I want to tell him how much his music inspires me. I grew to love him even more after getting his book for Christmas and reading about his life. His work ethic is phenomenal and it clearly pays off when he produces music that evokes so many feelings.

I'm still pretty much mind blown from Saturday night. It's an amazing feeling to see one of your favourite performers for the first time, but it's even more special when they completely smash your expectations out of the park. It's a performance that will stay with me forever! I wish my writing could do him the justice he deserves, but just trust me when I tell you how superb he is.

If you haven't already seen him live, make it a goal of yours to see John Newman. I promise you, you won't regret it.

Hwyl am y tro ✌️