Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
8:20 PM 16th May 2024

Teddy Swims: Rides The Wave On Tour

Photos: Graham Clark
Photos: Graham Clark
A year ago, Teddy Swims was virtually unknown. Within the last twelve months, the soulful singer from Atlanta, Georgia, has scored a Number One album with I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part One), with the single Loose Control becoming a worldwide hit.

Teddy Swims, one of the hottest acts around, has virtually sold out his current UK tour, as evidenced by a commendable performance at the Manchester Apollo.
With a raspy and dark voice that lies somewhere in-between James Morrison and Terence Trent Darby, Swims has an arsenal of songs that are as striking and imposing as he is. The heavily tattooed singer arrived with a message that he was reliant on throughout the evening: to respect one another, look after your friends and family, and, in the sultry heat of a May evening, to keep hydrated. As soon as Swims arrived on stage, his audience's respect for him became evident—if he wasn't signing posters handed to him, he was taking a selfie for a lucky fan.

His confidence and stage presence gave the impression that you were enjoying a seasoned performer, not one whose journey on the road to stardom had just begun.

Photos: Graham Clark
Photos: Graham Clark
His version of blue-eyed soul ran throughout his repertoire; Goodbye’s Been Good To You felt more like a huge greeting as he arrived on stage than a sad parting. The timeless quality of his songs makes it possible to record What More Can I Say at any point over the past thirty years.

Sometimes less is more; when the rest of the band took a back seat, leaving behind only a striking piano refrain to accompany Swims on Some Things I’ll Never Know, the atmosphere was restrained and respectful, allowing the emotion in his voice to shine through like a knife cutting through butter. If there had been one memory to take away from tonight, this superlative performance of this ballad would have been the one.

His interpretation of Shania Twain’s You’re Still the One might have earned him millions of online streams, but compared to the rest of his own songs, his take on the song seemed to lack the intensity and emotion of the original Shania Twain version.

Contrastingly, Lose Control brought the atmosphere to fever pitch; the song will still be remembered years from now when many of his peers have faded into obscurity. In parting, Swims had successfully concluded a night that had been swimming with emotion, soul integrity, and his highly distinctive voice.

The tour continues with further dates in the north:
23rd May - Liverpool Olympia
24th May - Leeds o2 Academy
25th May - Newcastle o2 City Hall
1st June - Manchester o2 Apollo