Sam Smith @ O2 ABC Glasgow for Banter Magazine

Here is a copy of my Sam Smith review for Banter Magazine, published today!

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If you haven’t heard of Sam Smith you must have been hiding under a rock for the past year. After collaborating with Disclosure on ‘Latch’ and Naughty Boy on ‘La La La’, two of the biggest songs of 2013, Sam went on to win the 2014 BRIT Critics’ Choice Award and the BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll.

His debut album ‘In the Lonely Hour’ debuted at number 1 in the UK and number 2 in the US. Sam Smith is quickly taking over the world. It was a surprise to hear he was playing the O2 ABC, surely a guy of his statue could be selling out the SSE Hydro?! Nevertheless, the ABC was a perfect choice because the fans who had managed to secure a ticket to the sold out gig experienced an intimate, powerful and perfect performance from the man himself.

Opening the show was the YouTube sensation Tori Kelly. The Canadian singer songwriter won over the crowd with her acoustic set and it was apparent she already had some Scottish fans as they were already requesting songs from her 2013 EP ‘Foreword’. 

It wasn’t long until it was time for Mr. Smith himself. Walking onto the stage surrounded in a flurry of white smoke, the crowd were left guessing his whereabouts as it was impossible to see him. Belting out the lyrics to the title track of his 2013 EP ‘Nirvana’, it was clear Sam was up front and centre stage in front of his five piece band and three backing singers.

Despite Glasgow being the first stop on the UK tour, Sam showed no sign of nerves as he sang hits ‘Leave Your Lover’ and the chart topper, ‘I’m Not the Only One’. He also showed no signs of tiredness as he thanked the crowd for voting for him at the MOBO Award’s which were held the night before. He won four gongs including ‘Best Song’ and ‘Best Album’. Unstoppable.

Next up was ‘I’ve Told You Now’ which Sam said was written when he was extremely hung over and paved the way for his honesty on the album. Answering what probably every member of the crowd was dying to ask him, he said: ‘Everyone thinks the record is about one person. It’s not; it’s about more than one.’ The male Adele perhaps? It seems heartbreak paves the way for bestselling song writing.

As expected, the cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘How Will I Know’ was stripped down and flawless. His vocals are stellar and it’s easy to see why he’s one of the biggest acts in the world right now.

‘Lay Me Down’ showed off Sam’s vocal skills to perfection and debut single from the record ‘Money On My Mind’ had everyone dancing and having a right good ol’ party.

Sam definitely kept the best till last. The encore included an acoustic version of his breakout track ‘Latch’ and the upbeat ‘Make It to Me’ from the deluxe version of the album. But finishing with his biggest track to date, the one that had every person in the room singing their hearts out, was of course ’Stay With Me’.

Taking pictures and signing autographs for fans after the show? It’s not often the breakout star of the year does this. Sam Smith remains ever so humble and down to earth and this will make him one of the most honest and successful men in music.

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