James Arthur With Charlotte OC
Manchester O2 Apollo
9th October 2019
Words and Photos by Lewis Roberts
After what has seemingly been an absolute whirlwind of a year for X-Factor winner, James Arthur finally returned to Manchester in a sold out show down at the Manchester O2 Apollo as part of his up close and personal UK tour ahead of his third studio album ‘You’ which is soon to be released on the 18th of October. James’ album already boasts such hits as ‘Naked’, ‘Falling like the stars’ and his one of his more recent release from the album ‘Treehouse’ featuring Ty Dolla Sign and UK rapper Shotty Horror. Winning the X-factor UK back in 2012 James instantly skyrocketed to fame as his debut single, a rendition of Shontelle’s ‘Impossible’ debuted at number 1 on the UK chart scene and even recently took home the title of being the best-selling debut single of the decade! His career after the show got off to what can be described as a rocky start with some media controversy and parting ways with his record label before making a triumphant return with his 2nd studio album ‘Back from the edge’.
First to take the stage for the night was the brilliant, Blackburn born singer Charlotte OC. Charlotte was “tipped for success” by the BBC back in 2014 shortly after releasing her first EP ‘Colour my Heart’ in 2013 and after recent performances at the BBC Radio 1’s big weekender in Middlesbrough it is clear they still have faith in the singer and after the performance she put on in Manchester it isn’t hard to see why. Charlotte kicked off the night performing some of her most recent singles including most recent release ‘Better off on my own’, a song which has been stuck in my head all day! She had the crowd quite literally eating out of the palm of her hand throughout the night and most definitely earned herself a few new fans as she poured her heart out to the Mancunian crowd. Charlotte also opened up for fellow UK artist Tom Walker throughout Europe this May and after a few more releases I myself wouldn’t be surprised to see her selling out venues like the Apollo on her own in the very near future.
As the famous Manchester Apollo reached its packed capacity James Arthur burst onto the stage with what felt like a light show for the ages as the huge ‘YOU’ lights lit up the room and greeted the ecstatic fans in attendance, James waltzed onto the stage guitar in hand and could’ve quite literally blew the roof off the place with the energy he brought. He kicked off the night with the title song of his album ‘You’ and followed up throughout the night with more unreleased tracks from the highly anticipated album such as ‘Homicide love’ and ‘If we can get through this’ which left fans craving even more for the release of the album. James sang his praises of thanks to the Manchester crowd plenty of times throughout the night and his love for “Manny” was evident and after coming off the back of two hometown shows back in Middlesbrough to start the tour it was clear that there is nothing more this man loves doing than performing his music to the world. He would go on to play many of his fan favourite songs throughout the night such as ‘Sun Comes up’, ‘Falling like the stars’ and ‘Say you won’t let go’. James returns to Manchester next year as part of his arena tour for the You album and will be playing to an even bigger crowd at the Manchester Arena on the 14th of March and like many of those in attendance, we can’t wait for his return!