A catch up with Calum.
Last night we were lucky enough to catch up with Calum Scott before his gig in Glasgow. Being a huge fan, I was nervous all day in the lead up. We met in a wee, badly lit dressing room. We caught him as he was trying out a new suit - fitted jacket and cropped trousers, this boy could wear anything and he’d look great. Immediately he was gracious and friendly. Throughout our chat you could tell that this was a lad who appreciated every bit of support his fans had afforded him - and he deserves it, he’s worked constantly since BGT and has delivered an album which has been universally praised.
Your opening night was in Dublin, how was the first night, anything go wrong?
The first night was unreal, I even said to the audience when I was there; I’ve supported Emeli Sandé, Jamie Lawson, but I’ve never done a tour of my own. So when I went out, I was kind of still expecting the headline act to come out on stage. It felt amazing, I went out and everybody knew all of the songs, I could hear them singing even beyond my earphones - it was insane. Nothing went wrong, however before the gig, on social media, I said I’d go to the merch stand afterwards and sign some stuff - there was a bit of chaos if I’m honest, I was there until everybody left so I feel that by the end of the tour I’m gonna have no voice left.
What can people expect from Calum Scott on this tour, all your own material or lots of covers?
A little mix of both. Obviously this is my Only Human tour and this is the Only Human album, I haven’t done all the songs off the album, but we are mix and matching in different cities. It’s the majority of the album, so mostly original songs with a couple of covers in there. I think people are going to know what’s coming, but in the same vane they’ve never been to a Calum Scott show before so it’ll be quite unique.
So, a billion streams of Only Human. One song on the album “If Our Love is Wrong” resonates with our readers, tell us about it...
Yea a billion - it’s CRAZY!! If Our Love is Wrong is basically the song I used to come out to the world. I think as gay people you come out for the rest of your life, you come out to your family, then your friends, you come out to work colleagues, and everytime you meet somebody new you come out. You’ve gotta kind of go through a process. I’ve come out to my mum, I’ve come out to my family, and my school friends kind of knew, but getting into a 9-5 job for the last eight years was tough because nobody really knew I was gay. I’d told my friends when I was a youngster that I might be gay and I got abondend for it, so it was kind of one of those things where I associated coming out as loosing friends and loosing support - so I suppressed it for a long time. And then songwriting came along and kind of opened my eyes to using songwriting sessions as a kind of therapy. If Our Love is Wrong was that debate I was having in my mind at the time about whether I should go to press and say, FYI I’m gay. People were assuming I was straight - wrongly obviously. I just didn’t know how to do it, I was terrified I’d loose my fans, so that was the argument I was having in my head. I basically went into a songwriting session, cried my eyes out, told them what was going on, and we got that song. So it’s become a bit of an anthem for the LGBT community, and it’s done exactly what I wanted it to do which is to be used as a medicine, to heal.
You released “You are the Reason” twice, firstly as a solo track and then as a duet with Leona Lewis, what happened there?
We were introduced really organically on email by a songwriter we worked with before. It was like, aww you should work together, and it was a quickly as that really. I originally recorded You are the Reason a year ago and Leona’s was much more recent, it just brings a whole new magic to the song.
What’s in store for after the tour?
Straight back into promo. You are the Reason is having a big moment in America so I’ve been confirmed to do some big big TV shows over there. I’ve got a show in Vegas, then I go over to Australia to do some more work over there - my feet won’t touch the ground basically.
Our review of the show…
The set was simple, there was no need for flashy pyrotechnics or huge structures. Calum Scott was going to impress with the one thing that’s gotten him this far - his voice. Opening the show he performed Come Back Home and immediately had the audience in the palm of his hands. Moving on to the ti
tle track of his album, Only Human featured an electric guitar solo reminding me of something you’d expect from a Queen tour (ask your mum), buzzing the crowd into a frenzy. While we were all manic Calum moved straight into his dance floor favourite “Rhythm Inside” - literally everyone in the venue was dancing, and this gig attracted a mixed bag when it came to audience, from teens to grandparents - everyone was loving the moment. Slowing the tempo down “You are the Reason” came next and his voice took on a life of it’s own - soulful and honest. This part of the show was completed with “Good To You”.
Breaking up the show with a paired back acoustic set he performed an old Bob Dylan track - Not Dark Yet, then an album track “Hotel Room” followed. But what set this section apart was his performance of a self written but unreleased song called “No Matter What”. A beautiful track about coming out first to his mum who assured him she loved him no matter what, then coming out to his friends who abandoned him, but finally coming out to his dad who told him that his family would always be there for him no matter what. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house, Calum himself even shed a tear towards the end of that track.
Finishing off the show Calum performed a few more album tracks; Won’t Let You Down, What I Miss Most, and Give Me Something. Hearing these tracks live, performed by a guy who was literally on the second date of his first ever tour was just amazing. For his encore he sang Dancing On My Own, and to be honest I hadn’t even realised that it hadn’t been included in the show up until then - his own tracks were strong enough in their own right. Of course it was great to see and here though - everyone sang every word along with him.
Throughout the show you could see in Calum’s eyes that he was slightly awe struck, humble and grateful for the reaction to him and his music - this is a beautiful trait to see in someone who could so easily have been carried away on the “celebrity” bandwagon since his days on BGT. This was probably the best gig I’ve reviewed in a long time, defiantly one to get along to. Check out www.calumscott.com for tour dates and info.