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John Newman Goes Back To His Roots In Leeds
Graham Clark, Features Writer
John Newman
If you were told that John Newman was to play the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds you might think someone was sharing a joke with you. Whatever next Ed Sheeran playing Hebden Bridge Trades Club?

The fact is though it actually is true, in what must be one of the most bizarre yet intriguing tours of the year so far, John Newman and his four piece band are touring the country in a camper van playing venues that you would expect to discover the next up and coming act.

Etham himself is indeed an artist to watch out for. Armed with only an acoustic guitar he has some good songs, such as Before I Loose My Mind. Unfortunately a small minority of the Leeds audience decided to talk loudly whilst Etham performed. As a master stroke though the amplification was cut leaving only Ethan's voice to perform his last number, I Wish It Was Me, acapella.The talking heads finally shut up, you could hear a pin drop and his best song won over the disbelievers. An artist to watch out for.

Etham
The last time John Newman played Leeds he was supporting Ellie Goulding at Leeds Arena to over 10,000 people, tonight's audience is a minuscule of that.

The first thing that becomes clear is that he seems far happier and more relaxed than in the past, the smile on his face as he walks on to the stage is wider than the Hull estuary.

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It's not your regular gig though as he shares stories in-between songs about his career to date; earlier in the day he had been back to his old school in Settle. At times it felt like he was talking to friends that he had known a long time. The pressure of success appears to have been lifted from his shoulders and he seems to be in a far better place.

Come and Get It is stripped down before he performs the Kings of Leon hit, Use Somebody, a song which has a deep, emotional meaning for him as it takes him back to the time when he lost 2 of his best friends. It is only until this tour that he could hear the track, let alone sing it. Being such an intimate venue you could actually see the sadness and emotion in his eyes as he sang the track. You wouldn't experience this at Leeds Arena.

There are some new songs of his own to share: he is very close to his mum, Mama recalls his growing up in Settle and listening to his mum playing the Motown songs, the acoustic style seems to be the direction that he is going in now.

Blame had the audience in the palm of his hand whilst the track that brought him worldwide fame, Love Me Again showed why we have missed him so much. Stand By Me provides the perfect encore "We'll Be singing this together when we get to Wembley stadium" he teases the audience.

With what seems a new beginning for him and his hunger still intact, that Wembley date might not seem as unbelievable as playing the Brudenell Social Club. Pure class.

John Newman Goes Back To His Roots In Leeds, 10th July 2019, 22:35 PM