This is a gig review I’ve just about wanted to write my whole life. If you know me, then you know.
I’ve been a fan of James Arthur ever since his first audition on The X Factor. I remember the exact moment I watched it and knowing right then, this was the winner.
From then, I’ve wanted to hear that voice live, in person. But I was in my teens and none of my friends were fans and so wouldn’t tag along.
It’s been nine whole years of waiting, but my moment to see James Arthur finally arrived when he hosted an intimate gig in Pryzm nightclub in London on a Tuesday evening.
It wasn’t meant to be
As I said above, I’ve waited nine years to finally hear him perform live. I had gone my whole life not seeing him perform because I couldn’t find anyone to come with me to his gigs.
So, when I was living in New York, I decided to buy a ticket to his gig in Webster Hall and go by myself. If I can move to New York by myself, I can sure as hell go to a concert by myself.
But, even with all my solo courage and confidence, I didn’t expect a pandemic to happen three weeks before and cancel the concert. And yet, another opportunity to hear James Arthur live was missed.
It just wasn’t meant to be.
I didn’t think ‘see James Arthur perform live’ would be on my bucket list for very long, but it seemed the universe had other plans.
Back in October, James Arthur announced a UK tour for 2022. Here is my chance, I thought.
I was sitting in my kitchen with my work laptop, my own laptop, my phone and my boyfriend’s phone all ready to go to get myself two tickets. Surely, one of those devices would be able to secure two tickets to see James Arthur in the Royal Albert Hall in 2022.
10am, tickets went live and not one was left. I thought it had to be a glitch, but I guess I underestimated just how popular James Arthur is.
But, in swoops the mr. who spots some premium tickets available and buys them for me as a gift. So Cinderella will be going to the ball after all!
A nightclub in Kingston
Around two days later, I was scrolling on Twitter when I saw a tweet from James Arthur saying that he would be playing a small gig in Kingston to celebrate his new album in a few days and here was the link for the tickets.
I jumped on the link, saw it was a London postcode, didn’t Google how far away it was an instantly bought two tickets since they were only £10. A far cry from what the mr. paid for the concert tickets, but hey ho, that’s fate for you.
So after all of the missed gigs, the cancelled New York show, the thought of missing out again at his 2022 tour, I finally got to see James Arthur in a nightclub in Kingston for £10.
An evening I will not forget
That’s the name of a Dermot Kennedy song and this experience definitely reminded me of him. If you’ll take your mind back to pre-covid times in 2019, just like James Arthur, I had been dying to see Dermot Kennedy perform live because – what a voice.
I bought myself a solo ticket for his concert in Radio City Music Hall in March 2020 (where has this confident I-go-to-gigs-solo girl gone since leaving New York??) and the next week, saw a tweet that Dermot would be performing in a record store in Brooklyn in just a few days.
I was too late to see this one and it had already sold out. However, someone messaged me on Twitter that could no longer go and gave me her ticket for free.
I saw one of my favourite artists in the world for the first ever time, perform to a crowd of 100 people in the back of a record store in Brooklyn. And now it was going to be the same with James Arthur.
It’s just always meant to be.
Is this the real life
Not only am I glad that gigs and concerts are back, I’m glad that performances as intimate as this still exist.
I mean, I would want nothing more than to sit in a private audience and just listen and appreciate my favourite artists voices without hearing any screaming fans, but we can’t have things quite as intimate as that.
I don’t know how both of these small gigs have come into my life but I would take one of these over a large crowded arena any day.
James sang songs from his new album (which is amazing by the way) and a couple of old favourites. It was just him and a guy on guitar and it was an experience I will never forget.
Roll on his concert in March next year!