In the 9,000 capacity Hammersmith Apollo there was barely room to move as adults, teens and children alike had all gathered to see the ginger phenomenon that is Ed Sheeran perform.
As he walks on stage the room erupted into a wall of sound, that might have put any other performer off, but Sheeran confidently strolled through the start of his set, only breaking stride to tell us that we we’re his gospel choir tonight, before everything then went a bit Queen for a moment with the crowd all singing back at him.
With that done the ginger minstrel took command of the stage once again, and you can just see how comfortable he really is performing to a massive crowd, as he didn’t break a sweat with ‘Give Me Love’, or make a mistake as he concocted the drums (banging on his guitar, and beat boxing the mic.) and backing tracks (just one acoustic guitar) on his loop machine; Yes he really does do it all live himself!
Sheeran has an amazing voice, and every note he sings is as clear as the CD you bought of his. Every note he plays on his guitar rings through clear every single strum and you can’t help but be amazed by his sheer talent, as he makes his set sound infinitely better than anything he’s recorded.
As he launches into ‘U.N.I’ the crowd starts singing right from the opening note, and continues right up until Ed bursts into a little rap, but even if you’re not a fan of the rapping you can’t help but admire how well he showcases his singing.
‘Small Bump’ has to be one of the highlights of the night, as the bank of TV screens behind him flash into a heart beat monitor, and the singer commands an eerie silence over the Apollo, as he sings a perfect and beautiful rendition of the heart-breaking song.
Other highlights from the set include a duet with Passenger of ‘Heart On Fire’, a blistering beat filled ‘Grade 8’ and a searing cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Be My Husband’.
For an encore we’re treated to a heart-stopping, full frontal performance of ‘Red Eyes’, but ‘Traditional Glass’ is so haunting and beautiful that it silences most of the room, right before he launches into what is undisputedly his best song of the night, ‘The A Team‘.
It’s an amazing performance that you can’t fault at all, apart from noting that most of the crowd didn’t seem to appreciate the set in its entirety, and simply wanted a string of radio hits. If you have a chance to catch him on this small UK tour then it’s a must-see.