Britain’s Calum Scott had his first New York City concert at Gramercy Theatre, performing popular covers and testing new material
Calum Scott showed up to Gramercy Theatre on Friday, November 11th, as a relative unknown to America. Over in Britain, he first made his mark as a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent in spring 2015. He finished 6th on the show and did not receive a record deal. A year later he released a studio version of Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own,” which he first performed on Britain’s Got Talent, and the cover became a sleeper hit, climbing to #2 on the British singles chart this summer and landing him that elusive record deal with Capitol Records.
@calumscott getting ready for his first ever show in NYC
Nervousness was certainly noticeable in @calumscott as he took the stage for his first New York concert. The opening act, See, provided a lot of commentary between songs, but Scott’s talking was limited to “thank yous” and remarks on how awesome it was to perform live in front of a New York audience. At the same time, his singing delivered – Scott came on with a strong stage presence and his voice sounded better than on YouTube. The bulk of the set, which lasted just under an hour, featured unreleased songs that Scott has been working on for his forthcoming debut album. @calumscott is emerging at a time when Britain’s got a lot of talent delivering powerful ballads – John Newman, Sam Smith, and Ed Sheeran have all made big splashes in America in the last five years and no American male singer had a similar impact in the “male Adele” category.
The moment is right for Calum Scott to go big in America. Not all the unreleased songs were equally catchy, but a few stood out – “Rhythm Inside” was a pleasant Sheeran-like midtempo track, while “Give Me Something” was a dancefloor banger that reminded me of Smith’s “Money On My Mind.” Of course the crowd went crazy for “Dancing On My Own,” which was included in the encore, but Scott’s biggest surprise came mid-set. He acknowledged the passing of great Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen, but instead of delivering a Cohen song, he performed The Beatles‘ “Golden Slumbers.” Scott excelled in imitating Paul McCartney at his gentlest and out of all the music I heard in the week following the American election, @calumscott’s performance delivered the most peaceful moment. The Beatles cover transitioned to Scott’s take on Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and the room suddenly resembled that moment at a wedding when all the couples are invited to the dancefloor.
@calumscott has appeared on Ed Sheeran’s tour and based on his Instagram he is genuinely enjoying his chance to be an international star. It’s quite the change from working office jobs for eight years and here’s hoping that he follows his British brethren to great fame on the global Pop arena.
@calumscott finished his NYC concert with the powerful “Give Me Something”