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St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Sat 18 Mar

The Phoenix that is James Arthur has most definitely risen from the ashes that became of his career in 2014. Performing in Cardiff last Saturday, he proved that he is flying higher than before, to an audience that clearly loved and understood him.

With a strong sense of faith, pain, regret and the need for redemption running through his lyrics, the theme was as palpable as it was audible. It is not just the lyrics of his songs which are so obviously written from a place deep within James’ soul, but it’s the tone of his voice and his stage presence and demeanour which make him raw, believable and motivational.

Opening with an offstage verse from Back From The Edge, James instantly had the audience’s support. Asking everyone to get up from their seats, he went on to perform the songs from his current album. In a performance reminiscent of Eminem’s Lose Yourself in 8 Mile, the audience were asked to wave their hands in the air to the beat of Sermon, and willingly did. James couldn’t have been more clear in the message he was sending out: “These are my words, this is my voice, that is my sermon”; likewise, “Sometimes you have to face the darkness / To see the light again.”

James shared with us that a year ago he had thought about “jacking it all in because everyone wrote him off”. He said he was sure that others had been in a place where they had thought about giving up – but you have to keep going. He wrote Train Wreck when he was in that place – since then, he’s undoubtedly pulled his career out of the train wreck, and he did unbreak the broken in St David’s Hall.


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  • Angela Wood

    Lucky to have got tickets for this show as all the dates sold out so quick.He most definitely is Back From The Edge. Amazing show,great atmosphere loved every minute. Can’t wait to see him again <3