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Calum Scott O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London live review

The breakout UK pop star put on one hell of a show in London.

Calum Scott
Credit: Frank Ockenfels

Since appearing on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2015, Calum Scott’s life has completely changed. Despite not winning the show, Scott signed a major label deal after independently releasing his version of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own. The track went on to be a global smash and established Scott as one to watch. Back in March Scott released his debut album Only Human, which entered the UK charts at number 4 and picked up plenty of critical acclaim. Continuing to build on his incredible success, Scott is currently on his first headline UK tour and last night he performed at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.

Earlier in the week, Scott dislocated his shoulder but he vowed to press on with his tour in a video posted to his social media accounts. If you hadn’t known about his injury, you certainly wouldn’t have noticed anything on stage last night and Scott gave it his all. Looking every inch the dapper gentleman, Scott kicked off his set with Come Back Home and he was in fine vocal form. Backed by a tight band, Scott’s voice soared and it felt like the night was going to be a moment for the rising star.

The set list covered the majority of Only Human and Scott delivered flawless vocals throughout the night. You Are the Reason, his current single, was warmly received by the crowd who sang every word and it was one of Scott’s best performances of the night. In the middle of the set Scott performed an acoustic section, which included a cover of Bob Dylan’s Not Dark Yet and the gorgeous Hotel Room.

The most emotional moment of the night came next on No Matter What, a song that isn’t featured on Only Human. Lyrically the song is about building up the courage to come out to your parents and by the songs end Scott was overcome with emotion. It was hard not to well up just watching Scott be so vulnerable and honest. It was a special moment and my feeling from the opening moment of the show that this was going to be a memorable evening proved true.

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Elsewhere in the set the uptempo Rhythm Inside got everyone dancing, Won’t Let You Down was dedicated to Scott’s sister Jade, and Give Me Something was as rousing live as it is on the record. For his encore Scott performed the bold and defiant If Our Love is Wrong before getting to his rendition of Robyn’s Dancing On My Own. The latter prompted another crowd sing-a-long moment and it was a triumphant end to a magnificent night of live music.

Scott is one of those artists that’s even better live than he is on record. He has an infectious energy as he swaggers around the stage with a big smile beaming on his face (he even said at one point his face was hurting from smiling so much). In an industry where most artists in pop are pandering after the latest trends, Scott is setting his own agenda and he’s killing it in his own lane. Last night he proved that he more than lives up to the hype and the sky truly is the limit for what he can achieve next.


Set list: 1. Come Back Home 2. Stop Myself (Only Human) 3. Rhythm Inside 4. You Are the Reason 5. Good to You 6. Not Dark Yet (Bob Dylan cover) 7. Hotel Room 8. No Matter What 9. Won’t Let You Down 10. What I Miss Most 11. Give Me Something 12. If Our Love is Wrong 13. Dancing On My Own Performance date: 24th April 2018

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