James Blunt & Julian Perretta – Impressive show in Oberhausen
text: Silvia Deurwaarder
photo: Claudia Podkanski & WAZ FotoPool.
He is touring around the world to promote his new masterpiece ‘Some Kind Of Trouble.’ Every night an other city, five thousand fans or more. Touring for thirteen months in a row: an impressive record that not many artists from his caliber can equalise!
Julian Perretta is a rising star in Europe. His debut album ‘ Stitch Me Up’ is a dynamic mixture of styles. Single ‘Wonder Why’ entered the Dutch Top 50 last week ! He has an impressive résumé for such a young musician, although he is making music since sixteen years old.
He toured with Beyoncé and his own tour became a huge success in France. Now it is time that Europe get to know him better as support for James Blunt: a dynamic and good duo on stage.
Julian Perretta is above all a very talented singer and it is a shame that so many people are looking for their seats when the curly, tall singer enters the stage accompanied by his band.
Perretta manages to create a very energetic atmosphere with his uptempo and catchy pop songs. The audience immidiatly likes him and he gets a lot feedback during the show. ‘1986’ has a groovy intro with arrangements of Matt Bramhall on keyboards, framed by Julian’s deep, warm voice.
He easily switches from a soul feeling to a more rap style, as well successful in high and low parts: this musician is able to do everything he wants! Besides his perfect voice, the strength of the band is the combination of different styles, what makes is all very easy to listen to.
After a catchy bass intermezzo by Nathaneal Adamson and drummer Daniel Bingham , the soul feeling is set. Perretta easily interacts with the audience, and they like it!
The music has some influences from Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5 in a very good way, with uptempo, groovy guitars of Ricky Ahir and Jack Duxbury.
On ‘ Cooler Than Me’ an acoustic guitar sets in, to let it grow into a very light melody filled with uptempo drum beats, high guitars and cynical lyrics.
“Hope the girls in Oberhausen like this” is a little joke from Julian. Suddenly high screams are confirming that he has won the audience: the adrenaline grows when he closes the set with the summerhit ‘ Wonder Why’ light hearted and warm!
A perfect show and excellent performance! Julian Perretta can be proud: even suffering from flue he convinces everyone and proves to be a very talented singer surrounded by excellent musicians!
British superstar James Blunt is touring around Europe for a month, when he makes his entrance in Oberhausen.
A hardworking musician: each night another city to perform, what means a high pressure on his voice and a strict traveling schedule.
On his third album ‘ Somekind Of Trouble’ he presents a totally different sound with a more positive, energetic vibe and electric guitars. In compare with his debut ‘Back To Bedlam’ it shows a more mature musical path.
For the first time seats are filling the huge Arena, comfortable for the diverse audience: families with children, grandparents, couples and of course many ladies in the front.
They all love the sensitive voice of this British musician. It’s a surprise when he shows up in the back of the venue, running to the front while shaking hands on the intro of ‘ So Far Gone.’ Groovy guitars from Ben Castle, together with an adrenaline rising drumbeat of Karl Brazil set the tone for the evening!
The stage entourage is minimalistic: many levels for the drumkit and organ, on the sides video screens and lot’s of light. No cages, costumes, swimming pools or pyros.
James Blunt (vocals, guitar, piano) is so natural, enjoying every second to the fullest, knowing what he wants and on top of that the sound is simply perfect.
When the melodic organ tones by Paul Beard sets in, it’s time for an uptempo hit ‘ Billy.’ Accompanied by Malcolm Moore on piano – switching between guitars, piano and tambourine the whole evening – the crowd is rising from their seats, clapping and singing along.
James Blunt’s voice sounds a bit raw; suffering from touring that much, so he is grabbing a mug of tea (and water) now and then. Still he reaches the extreme high parts in the songs, respect!
A self-confident Blunt jokes with the audience: “Normally at this time at the concert I look out and everyone is sitting down, but in Oberhausen you are all stranding up! If you are doing that the whole concert, I don’t know what I will do… Paul will take all his clothes off.“
‘Carry You Home’ is a sensitive ensemble of Blunt’s acoustic guitar and his fragile voice getting under your skin.
Such a contradiction on ‘These Are The Words’ where a well-balanced band shows all their energy: swinging bass parts from John Garrison, uprising guitars and a catchy melody.
All men are participating in the backing vocals, what brings an extra dimension to the show. Especially when the voice of the front man breaks a bit, what makes him even more charming.
James Blunt is not only an excellent entertainer; he puts a lot of effort and energy in his show. Like on ‘ I’ll Take Everything’ when he kicks away his piano-stool, showing almost aggression in his words and hands. It’s an open door to his emotions and it is beautiful to be an eyewitness of that.
The climax is reached during the more melancholic part of the set. When the deep, dark piano on ‘ Time Is All I Have’ sets in, for the first time Blunt stands there without an instrument, his hands fold around the microphone and his eyes closed.
‘Superstar’ fades away the sad emotions with James Blunt on electric guitar, bringing back the energy! The whole band is giving two hundred percent on stage; a crystal clear sound and lot’s of interaction!
That you can see very well during the middle part of ‘So Long Jimmy’: a strong ensemble of the Hammond organ, guitars, bass and drums are bringing the show to an other level.
When finally the stage get’s dark, a loud ovation of clapping and screaming fans are the best prove that James Blunt and his men have overwhelmed the audience. After ‘ Into The Dark’ and ‘ 1973’ the curtain falls.
James Blunt earned a lot of respect with his performance, but also convinced everyone that with every step he’ll take it get’s more and more interesting. He leaves you silent behind; this emotional, intense, dynamic, outstanding show is over!