The rising British band, comprising of George, Blake and Reece, announced their first headline world tour, the “Love Again World Tour”, in May this year. They have been support acts for The Vamps on many UK tours and Sabrina Carpenter on her De-Tour of the USA and Canada, so this headline tour is a big step forward for them. They are playing in smaller venues on this tour, but I think that’s a good thing for their first headline tour because they can interact with their fans more. The UK leg of the tour is actually the final leg of the tour, they went to Asia first, then Europe and then the USA.
Side note: the Bristol O2 Academy had the best accessible seating area I’ve ever been in. We were so close to the stage!
New Hope Club’s support acts were very young. This is probably because the boys wanted to give young artists the same opportunity that The Vamps gave them. The first support act was Denis Coleman, a 16 year old American pop singer. It sounded like he was trying to be the next Jacob Sartorius (that is not a compliment). For me, he relied too heavily on the backing track; at times, he was letting the backing track sing for him. Also, he was doing a lot of jumping around the stage, which made him seem even younger than he is. When an artist doesn’t have an instrument, it is weird if they just stand still, especially if their songs are upbeat, but it’s almost worse if they jump around with no purpose. I would suggest that Coleman learnt some simple dance moves. Coleman certainly showed promise, he had great vocals and most of the crowd seemed to enjoy his set.
The second support act were a band called The Tyne, made up of Daniel, Ryan and Cooper. The band was only formed two months ago; I would imagine they came together not long after their GCSEs. All three boys played guitars and for such a new band, they had good chemistry. They played three songs in total – two covers and an original. I can’t for the life of me remember what their original song was called, but it was rather good as were their covers of “If You Wanna” by The Vaccines and “Alright” by Supergrass. This band has bags of talent and a bright future.
New Hope Club started their set with an energy that they would keep up for the entirety of it as they played “Medicine” – a dynamic song about not needing your ex anymore. They then played a newer song called “Paycheck”, which is my least favourite song of theirs. Something about it just doesn’t ring true: they’re pop-stars, they’re not waiting around anxiously for their paychecks, at least not like normal families do. Some families have to wait until pay day to do the food shopping and hope that they can make do until then; New Hope Club probably don’t even do their own food shopping. I’m sure it was meant to be relatable, but it came off as patronising.
However, their live rendition of “Karma” was incredible, I could tell how much it meant to them. It was the first song that they wrote and produced entirely by themselves. The studio version is great, but there was so much more energy in the live version, I think they fed off the crowd singing their words back to them. The stage was small, but they used the space well for the most part. I especially liked it when all three boys came together in the middle of the stage with their guitars during their cover of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. New Hope Club have said in multiple interviews that The Beatles are their idols. In their first headline show at Sheperd’s Bush, it seemed like they were trying to imitate The Beatles during their mashup, whereas this performance felt like they were honouring them. It also allowed George’s angel voice and amazing guitar skills to shine.
After that, they played “Know Me Too Well” from their upcoming album. Their most recent release features Danna Paola, a singer and actress from Mexico. It was their first collaboration with another singer and I absolutely love it. Reece and Danna’s voices together blended so well in the chorus and I adore the latin influences. Their live version, without Danna, was almost as good and I am glad that none of the boys attempted to sing Danna’s Spanish verse because it could have been another Justin Bieber “Despacito” debacle. One thing I want to hear on their album is a slower song because that was the one thing this concert lacked. A completely acoustic song or a piano-based one would be perfect, please.
Their interaction with the crowd was great; it wasn’t too repetitive, it was funny and honest. For example, during their hydration break about halfway through the show, Blake said “It’s starting to get really sweaty now”. Because the venue was small, they could reads the signs that fans had made and read out a couple. My favourite was “Blake you bit my finger during Permission in Oxford”. They were clearly shocked that so many people had come to see them. When they supported other artists, some fans will have gone mainly for New Hope Club but it would have been hard for them to know that. They put on an incredible show for their fans and I don’t think they will go back to being a support act.
Featured image via @joshuafphotos