CONCERT REVIEW : James Blunt – SEC Armadillo Glasgow 13th February  2022

James Blunt – SEC Armadillo Glasgow 13th February  2022

It was a cold damp Sunday evening in Glasgow, a night that many would be content to remain indoors and feel the heat from a roaring fire, instead they venture out, into the rainy city, to embrace what a great feeling it is to attend a live show, after what we have all been through over the past 18 months, it is indeed a joyous occasion. . A distinct buzz could be felt from the gathering crowd outside the venue, greetings of ‘it’s nice to see you, how are you ‘could be heard from the chattering crowd, eagerly waiting their turn to head into the venue to see, the one and only Mr James Blunt.

As the auditorium lights went down, the three big screens on the stage became active, the count down to the show had now begun, the stage hands were ready and waiting, making sure everything was in place with a visual check list being ticked off one by one. The stage screens became brighter, the opening chords of Breathe from the Moon Landings album could be heard as James Blunt ran out in front of the mighty screens before they were hoisted above the stage to form the visual screens for the show.  James waved to the audience and was greeted with a wall of sound from the waiting Glasgow crowd. The expression on James face said it all, this was going to be a night to remember as he slowly acknowledged the audience assembled before him.

This is ‘The Stars Beneath My Feet Tour ‘, a run of shows that takes in the greatest hits of James Blunt. Some may think there is only one hit by James, but when you listen to the show you will realise that there are many standout songs that hold the same stature, if not more than “Your Beautiful”.  The set list for tonight was a great mix of old and new songs covering five of his albums.

He had the Glasgow audience in full voice as he sang Wisemen from Back to Bedlam album before treating them to Carry me Home off All the lost Souls album. Giving old and new fans a little taste of the past with the present with the excellent Adrenaline. He dedicated the next song to the NHS with a classic from his excellent Once upon a Mind album with The Greatest. James was in great spirits throughout the show, telling stories about his travels and life during the pandemic.

He then moved to the piano, sitting, looking at the crowd, with the spotlight shining through the dry ice that was lingering around the stage, he delighted the Glasgow audience with Goodbye my Lover that had the crowd in full voice, singing back the beautiful lyrics drawing on the heartstrings of some of the fans in the audience.

James said “it was time to bring out the big guns”, after changing his guitar for a ukulele and really having the Glasgow audience in dance mode with the excellent love under Pressure and Postcards. Interlacing the set list from old to new tracks, he played the classic So Long Jimmy from his first album Bad to Bedlam to the delight of the Glasgow crowd. A slight lump could still be heard in his voice as he introduced the next track, the opening cords of the brilliant Monsters could be heard, from the Once Upon a Mind album as he dedicated this to Father who had been ill , the big screens showed family photographs of James and his dad. It was a great tribute to his dad and also showed the type of person James Blunt is.

He really surprised a lot of fans with a cover of Slade classic Coz I Luv You, with little encouragement from James, the Glasgow crowd were in full voice, as he was sat at the piano. It was time now, for what James classed as his only greatest hit,  he laughed as he explained about the planning of the greatest hits tour and how he was only going to play this song 21 times. Introducing You’re Beautiful as the next track the arena was engulfed in a deafening applause from the delighted crowd who willing sang word for word along with James. There had been so many stand out songs so far in the set that you could not pick out one to be better than the other, this was until he played the awesome Stay the Night, a passionate song with a great tempo that had the audience dancing in the aisles . Closing the set with a dance song he said he heard on the Spanish island he calls home, he introduced the song Ok, a cover by Robin Schiuiz, which kept the audience on their feet, dancing along before James and the band left the stage to take a short break.

Returning to the stage to a standing ovation, the delight was evident on each member’s faces, as James and the band treated the fans to a great encore of the excellent Bonfire Heart before closing the show with 1973 before saying his goodbyes to the Glasgow Audience.

This was indeed a night to remember, not just for You’re Beautiful, but a set full of another 19 hits, this Glasgow audience from the young to the old, would take a little something special with them to treasure, from the music and the lyrics from the genius that is the wonderful James Blunt. If you get the chance, go along and witness his show in your town, you will not be disappointed.

Review by Karen Edmond