Review: James Arthur, Ipswich Regent, Sunday, January 5

James Arthur who wowed a sold-out Ipswich Regent earlier tonight

James Arthur who wowed a sold-out Ipswich Regent earlier tonight - Credit: Archant

Dedicating a cover of Let’s Get It On to one of the few men present after his cries of “I love you”, it clearly struck a chord with the women. I thought their collective knee trembling might bring the house down.

The X Factor winner kicked his UK and European tour off in style in front of a sold-out audience.

It’s been an up and down year and a bit for the Middlesbrough singer-songwriter.

Debut single Impossible was the biggest selling X Factor single of all time, earning him a BRIT Award nod, and his debut album charted at number two; albeit to mixed reviews.

Then came accusations of homophobic lyrics - he made a dig about that during the show, the exact words lost amid the teen screams - followed by orders to rest after suffering exhaustion and third single recovery debuting at just number 19 on the UK singles chart.

Arguably still the hit ITV1 show’s most credible winner, there were no signs of tiredness during his energetic Regent performance.

The crowd went wild before he’d even stepped on stage, staying on their feet the whole way through his set; a good advert for his album. Humble throughout, he seemed surprised by their reaction. He shouldn’t be; like him or not, the man can sing.

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You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You, an acoustic version of Recovery and encore finale Impossible got the biggest reactions of the night. It was just a shame it was impossible to hear him singing the latter as the crowd took over, drowning him out. Sing-alongs are a massive bugbear of mine.

Support act Tich deserves a mention. She has a lovely, powerful voice; just as well given the overpowering backing track she had to contend with. I’m not sure this was the right audience for her music though but do check her out on YouTube.

Wayne Savage

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