Having the ability to encapsulate loss, love and heartbreak in an effortlessly heart-rending set only magnifies JP Cooper’s skill to take you on a journey of untapped sentiment.
Returning to his home city of Manchester, the Middleton raised singer songwriter entered the stage, with his trusted acoustic guitar and band.
Opening with single When The Darkeness Comes, JP serenaded the Manchester Academy crowd, taking them on a personal story of escaping to finding peace in the night’s calm.
With gospel inflicted vocals, the warm nature of JP’s lyricism shows the dissimilarity between himself and other UK male vocalists topping the charts.
In his rendition of Satellite, also off of his latest EP When The Darkness Comes, JP showered his audience with delicate RnB riffs, amplifying his unassuming soulful dexterity.
On paper, Cooper sits comfortably in the hypothetical music venn diagram of RnB, pop and folk.
Giving nods to predecessors like Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice while sharing a spotlight with the likes of Ben Howard and Hozier, his ability to pen the simplest of songs, while capturing an unrefined emotion as effortlessly as he does sets him apart.
The Middleton born singer’s humility is also apparent throughout the set.
In between the silent moments where he was seen switching guitars, communicating with his band and taking swigs from a Rubicon Mango carton, gave the piece an honest rough touch.
The coyness of his mannerisms as he thanked the crowd for coming also was also endearing.
“I’ve played in this room a lot of times to not a lot of people,” he said as he bashfully tuned his guitar.
“I always used to come to watch a lot of gigs when i was younger and i always used to dream of playing here and now that dream has come true.
“I just want to say thank you to my management for babysitting me a lot of the time and looking after me cheers guys.”
Highlights of the night included Cooper’s rendition of the popular Colour Me in Gold and Closer, a track that was recently given a poignant music video starring actor Nicholas Pinnock, exploring issues of male mental health and loss.
Rounding off the night without the backing of his band, JP stayed true to his original acoustic sound to deliver his song Masterpiece, a dedication to his young son.
The beautifully delicate The Only Reason also had fans transfixed on his effortlessly stunning performance.
Image courtesy of Christian Tierney via YouTube, with thanks.