Review: Lemar at the Glasshouse International Centre for Music

*we received complimentary tickets in return for an honest review*

Me and Lemar go way back. I’ve been a fan of him since his Fame Academy days, he’s one of the early breakout stars of reality TV if you think about it, and his first album Dedicated was on heavy rotation in my sony discman in the early 00s; his version of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together was very nearly our first dance song at our wedding in 2013, his 2004 single Another Day is one of the most beautifully simple, classy ballads I’ve ever heard he collaborated with my favourite rapper on earth; Sway on the song Saturday Night Hustle in 2008 and his collaboration with Jamelia singing Robert Palmers Addicted to Love in 2005 is the most underrated BRITS performance of all time. Phew! Get the picture?

Fresh off his stint on The Masked Singer (where I was convinced he was Simon Webbe for the first few weeks) Lemar kicked off his Closer tour at the Glasshouse International Centre of Music in Newcastle and we were treated to 90 minutes of pure soul and pop perfection.

All hits were present an correct; Dance With You, Lullaby and If There’s any Justice, and of course ultimate mega bop 50/50. He also did a very good rendition of As It Was by Harry Styles which he performed on the afore mentioned Masked Singer and I was pleased to see him leaning into that experience. Some people get annoyingly coy about taking part in reality TV but if nothing else it served as a reminder to what an absolutely incredible singer his is without getting side tracked by those gorgeous eyes of his.

Absent from the setlist sadly was his version of Let’s Stay Together and Another Day, nor did he bring Jamelia out as a surprise guest to recreate that icon BRITS performance but I concede that is probably a bit of a niche request which would satisfy only me so will let him off on that one.

My personal preferences aside he had the audience in the palm of his hand the whole show and along with his complete live band, he created a real party atmosphere. I took my bestie Ang along, being a fellow Lemar concert frequenter in the early 00s with me an we sang and danced along to it all like we were in our 20s again. I don’t think you particularly need to be a massive Lemar fan to enjoy a show, just a fan of good music performed by talented musicians really, and he comes across as just a genuinely lovely bloke too!

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