JP Cooper – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, UK (25th May 2017)

The O2 in Shepherd’s Bush is quite big as venues go and has been known to get the better of  performers and leave audiences wishing for a little more intimacy. However, on this fine May evening  JP Cooper was immediately able to dazzle his concertgoers with a unique voice – a talented mixture of indie, soul, and blues, and a general bravado that made sure all in attendance felt very ‘at home’.

The set began with ‘What Went Wrong’ from 2014’s ‘Keep The Quiet Out’, and from that point paired old with more recent songs. After the second song, ‘Satellite’, Cooper stopped for a while to reflect on the terrible terrorist attack that took the lives of so many people in Manchester just few days ago. 

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One of the stand-out moments from the show was the artist’s performance of ‘Closer’, a song he wrote for his son and which, he said, he wishes for him to listen to when he grows up. This is a sensitive and deep track that allows the audience to fully appreciate their host’s wealth of talent and his ability to weave lyrics into beautiful stories – “Now don’t you worry about darkness/ Cause you’re carrying the light/And those shadows fall when you’re around.

The set featured other well known songs from an impressive back catalogue such as ‘September Song’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’, where, as an audience member, it was almost impossible not to be moved. JP also gave his fans an incredible scoop, saying he had finished his new album – two of his new songs made their official debut during the gig, ‘Wait’ (a song which he says he wrote in a dark moment, but that is intended to transmit joy and hope); and ‘Change’ – both were well received.

The set ended with ‘Passport Home’, released just few months ago, which as is the case with many of JP’s songs, is inspired by a true life experience.

It was an evening for new fans and old alike and another opportunity to showcase this truly a singular artist, who is as humble as he is impressive.