Live Zone

Calum Scott, Eventim Apollo London, 12th March 2024…



Being an X Factor or BGT [Britain’s Got Talent] contestant seen by millions and not winning it, may well still have a bit of a stigma attached for many viewers. Is it a fix? Why did that one get sent home and that one have the judge’s vote? They are rubbish! He/she wuz robbed in the final…

But for UK artist Calum Scott, his drink at the BGT fountain in 2015 when he came sixth, was far from a rejection or a propellant to obscurity. Today he is a bonafide global star; a very respected songwriter and a masterful singer.

I’ll go as far as to say, Calum has to be one of the very best male vocalists out there right now, and millions around the world think so too. Currently filling big venues in Asia, he jetted back here to his homeland for a one-off sold out show at London’s famed Eventim Apollo.

Delivering a faultless masterclass of pop vocals to a full house of 3,341 fans of all ages; from youngsters to mums, dads and grandparents. His fanbase is across the age range – and they love him.

Looking like an evangelical preacher dressed from head to toe in white, Calum is accompanied by a three-piece string section, a trio of backing singers and a four-piece band of bass, drums., guitar and keyboards. Calum and his ten musical colleagues gave us a good value 21 songs, [after support act Skinny Living did their thing], and none of the fans left the Hammersmith venue disappointed. Far from it. [Full set list at bottom of the page].

Multi-BRIT nominated, and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Calum Scott’s “The Songbook So Far” tour, and this one night stand at the iconic Apollo, follows his “Bridges World Tour” show late last year at the London Palladium.

He says he has been “pining to be back”. Calum also says he has really grown as a man and as an artist… “A lot has changed for me and that is directly reflected in my music, my performances, but most importantly, my shows.”

Of course, the set included his 2023 smash hit “Whistle” – the Jax Jones collaboration which Calum performed to great acclaim at the BAFTA Film Awards [He also performed with Take That as part of the Coronation concert in the grounds of Windsor castle].

Tonight the fans made their appreciation loudly known for the track’s inclusion. He threw in some snug- fit covers as well as his hits, and a slew of hits from his albums “Only Human” (2018) and his 2022 album “Bridges”.


Greg Holden’s “Boys In The Street” was a welcome cover, as were Kygo’s “Woke Up In Love”, and Calum’s 2021 hit collaboration with Belgium artist Lost Frequencies, “Where are You Now?”

The penultimate song tonight was a showstopper; his 2018 hit collaboration with Leona Lewis, “You Are The Reason”. The final offering in the set, was a guaranteed winner, the Robyn song “Dancing On My Own”, which Calum sang on BGT in 2015 and won Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer.

The music mogul explained why he sent Scott straight to the semi-finals: “I’ve never ever in all the years I’ve done this show heard a guy with the talent you’ve got. Seriously. And the version was sensational, and that shows to me that actually, you’re more than a singer, you’re an artist, and that’s why you got that: (the buzzer).”

Back then, Calum sounded utterly superb on the TV show, but the quality of his voice and his vocal control has got to be 10 times better today, some nine years later. But there is still that underlying vulnerability there. Maybe it’s just he has that star quality; oh what’s the phrase, ahhh, the X Factor!


Calum released his version of Robyn’s hit “Dancing On my Own”, which he first heard by Kings Of Leon, as a single the year after he did BGT, and it peaked at # two on the UK Singles Chart – Britain’s best-selling single of the summer of 2016.

After signing to Capitol Records, Calum released the single, “You Are the Reason”, which was included on his 2018 debut album “Only Human”, which reached # four on the UK Album Chart, and has notched up more than one billion streams. The video of his BGT audition has been viewed more than 378 million times on YouTube.

Alesha Dixon suggested that he could have “success around the world”. She was not wrong! He won the semi-final with 25.6% of the vote, sending him straight through to the final.




I really enjoyed the fourth single from “Only Human” tonight, the song “What I Miss Most”, and his October 2018 single, “What Matters Most”. At the time, he revealed this song was the most personal he had ever written – born from “loneliness, acceptance and the heartbreaking but liberating tale of my coming out experience.

“What I love about this song is that it isn’t just limited to a story of sexual identity, but about the relationship between parent and child and acceptance as a whole. This song didn’t make my debut album because I simply wasn’t ready at that time to give it to the world.” The 35-year-old Yorkshireman seems a heck of lot more relaxed and comfortable in his own skin in 2024 than he did when he first shot to fame almost a decade ago.

Other highpoints of the set in London included “Biblical”, the first single taken from his second album “Bridges”, and two more cuts from that album, “Rise” and “Heaven”. His  summer 2023 top 20 hit “At Your Worst”, was well received too.

As a music critic, or music writer as I prefer to be known, we can be thought of looking for aspects of a live or recorded performance to have a pop at. To be be negative about. To even nitpick. If that were the case with me [and it is not!], I’d be stumped writing this review, because there really wasn’t a single second to criticize. It was a case of perfect pop. The perfect pop star – a fabulous singer with that lovely instrument of his.

The only flat note is the fact this is not part of a tour over here and just a one off. So, Calum: Come back soon from your travels as there are more than 3,000 folk from Tuesday night who think you are Great Scott! See what I did there?

  • [Good news: I have heard he is headlining a music festival in Hull in August 2024. See you there!]


Skinny Living



Photos: Liam Battersby

Words: Emma Ledwell




Set List:

1. If Our Love Is Wrong
2. Rhythm Inside
3. Need to Know
4. Rise
5. Biblical
6. No Matter What
7. Heaven
8. Boys in the Street
9. Flaws
10. Father
11. Half a Man
12. Only You
13. At Your Worst
14. Run With Me
15. Woke Up in Love
16. Where Are You Now
17. Whistle
18. What I Miss Most
19. Lighthouse
20. You Are the Reason
21. Dancing on My Own



Follow us for all the latest news!

This function has been disabled for Music Republic Magazine.