I think London is very lucky to have so many amazing live music venues still standing and Shepherd’s Bush Empire is one of those. Stepping onto the balcony and looking down onto a fully engaged crowd, we had full aerial view of the elegantly simple staging, white LED lighting providing both aesthetics alongside a really classy setting.
A communicator, a storyteller and a songwriter, Calum Scott took to centre stage and essentially poured out his heart to the crowd. Dedicating the show to his fans, “You are the reason I am standing here”.
Which lead on nicely to his next track “You Are The Reason“. Although Calum’s tracks are hugely emotive and nothing short of a few heartfelt lyrics, the combination of a talented full band creating the beating heart of the show, and the powerful production, gave the show an uplifting and energetic feel. The drummer providing groove and the rest creating a warming atmosphere.
Drawing the intimacy of his lyrics in further and bringing it back to where his songwriting began, Calum introduced an acoustic set. Calum spoke a lot through his set, with a mix of humour and personal encounters.
“I’m never going to write a song like Bob, so I might as well cover him” as he lead on to perform the legend’s very own “Not Dark Yet“. With a raspy undertone in his vocals combined with a glistening silky overlay he transitioned into his own track “Hotel Room” as a warm pink blasted the stage.
As the song closed in on its most intimate parts, you could see the crowd having their own personal moments as they hung on to every lyric. There was a balance between light and shade, he knew when to bring it close and when to pour it out.
“No Matter What” set the waterfalls off among the crowd, including myself, it was very easy to see that his fans were fully invested in both him and his music, and the way it made them feel. It was not just a song it was an account, an experience that he owed to himself. It felt like it was the only way he could have ever shared his message and he utilised his platform positively to do just that.
An if it wasn’t heartfelt enough, someone only went and proposed in the audience to one of his songs, I’m sure a magical moment for them and gig memory that will last a lifetime. There was definitely a real sprinkling of soul dusted over his next track “Give Me Something“.
Many of his verses are very simple, easy listening that evolve into a pulsing chorus, and with an energetic and committed crowd, you can really see the likeability towards Calum, an overall timeless and enlightening performer.
Finishing up with the track that broke his career and to quote “changed my life”, the whole crowd were singing along, and of course I found myself belting out the words to “Dancing On My Own“. An emotional rollercoaster of a show for everyone involved, and someone who gives everything to his crowd, I came out feeling uplifted over any other emotion.
Calum Scott is a relatable and humble guy doing a job he loves, representing everyone who wants to and should aspire to dream a little bigger and let go of any fear in doing so. Isn’t that what we all wish we had the courage to do?
Words by Jodie Brunning // Concert Photographed by Nicky Kelvin