Irish singer-songwriter, Gavin James, began his UK tour in Manchester on Friday 31st March. He performed a sold out show at Gorilla in the city-centre alongside Freya Ridings and James TW. 

The venue was filling up early and as James TW took to the stage it was already close to capacity. His performance got the crowd’s vocal chords working with a cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’ before playing on their heartstrings; reminiscing how he had to break the news to a 10year old child that his parents were splitting up and performed a moving rendition of ‘When you love someone’.

Gavin James entered the stage to a rapturous applause and cheers from fans who had already been serenaded by the opening two acts. James had a slightly bad start as he seemed nervous and struggled to get his words out when greeting the crowd, however this soon settled as he began his first song. James’ incredible voice filled the room and was received by swaying hands and video camera held aloft from beginning to end.

Performing tracks from his debut album Bitter Pill, Gavin James encapsulated the audience with his mind-blowing vocals. His excellent voice was echoed around the venue from the audience as they sang along to ‘Nervous’ and ‘The Book of Love’. During his songs James’ had everybody’s attention, although when interacting between songs he seemed to be drowned out by mumbling from the crowd – whether this was down to people exclaiming how beautiful his singing was or the struggle of having a strong Irish and trying to be understood in Manchester. He soon changed this as he finished part one of his performance with an incredible of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’.

Gavin James returned for the second part of his performance and asked everybody to remain silent. He stepped down from the stage and stood in the middle of the venue, just him and his acoustic guitar. This intimate performance was beautiful end to the evening and people circled around him and the spotlights shown down. He rotated around, looking at each member of the audience and singing as if he was directing it to them personally.

Possessing such an incredible voice Gavin James is certain to continue his upward spiral in success and will soon be headlining venues where he can’t join the audience for an intimate performance like he had the opportunity to in Manchester.

Words: Stuart Daley