British American singer, Tommy Newport came to perform in the Voodoo Room in the House of Blues on April 6th for an exciting show. The show is the third off a west coast tour to promote his new album, “Glasshead” released back on February 17th. Newport and the band were joined by the opener, Sherwyn, culminating in a fun and outstanding night at the Voodoo Room. Newport, stemming originally from Northern England, before moving to the United States at a young age, has been releasing music since 2018. He would gain traction from his debut 2018 album, “Just to be Ironic” while still a teenager. Since then, his music has been featured in popular TV Shows such as The Sinner and The Search Party, as well as in a documentary from Amy Schumer titled “Expecting Amy”.
Kicking off the night was artist Sherwyn who helped set the mood and get people moving and grooving throughout the crowd. With two guitarists joining him, and a crowd growing anxious for the show to start, Sherwyn started the show off with a bang. He played many of his songs from his latest release, his EP titled “MAKER’S DESIGN” released in October of last year. When speaking with Sherwyn, he spoke on the title of the album, stating, “I wanted to create without any end goal as I would just start songs and kind of just make let them take me where it is”. You could feel that translated through his live performance as he sang more of his popular songs off the album, “THE SEASON (feat. PawPawRod),” and “GODDESS REIGN”.
I honestly wasn’t familiar with Sherwyn’s discography, but the few songs I did know were collaborations with other notable artists on my radar. For example, he had worked with PawPawRod on the previously mentioned song “THE SEASON”. Talking about how that collaboration came to be, he brings up, “I’ve written a lot of stuff with Rodney as well as like, he’s helped me write some of my stuff. So when it came to doing the season, it was like a natural thing”.Not only did he get to work with PawPawRod, but Yung Bae, on Sherwyn’s most notable song, “L.O.V.E.” which also features the likes of EARTHGANG and Jon Batiste.” L.o.v.e.is something that Yung Bae brought to me, and I said if you want to have a hook for it, I’ll do it. And so at first I had a hook. And then I kind of had some verses as well,” Sherwyn said on how
he came in on the dance-pop track.
For an artist I didn’t know too much about to begin the night, I ended the night a fan, and his mix of incorporating r&b of the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, and Bootsy Collins, to a more rock sound inspired by The Talking heads, and The Viagra Boys. Sherwyn got the audience on their feet and encouraged them to get hyped and keep moving. It was a pleasure to meet him and speak
briefly after the show.
With the opener off, anticipation crept as the crowd drew in closer awaiting our main act. I had managed to maintain a spot up front on the right side near the stage, to still be able to see Newport. Taking a look around, the crowd was filled with people of all ages in excitement for our main act from people such as myself, to those who looked to be in their 30s and 40s. All of them reacted the same in woos and claps once he and the band finally came up to the stage and started to play. Newport, appearing in colorful shades and long hair along with a throwback Reebok jacket, welcomes the audience before launching into his set.
My personal listening experience with Newport has been one where his 2018 debut album, “Just to be Ironic” is the one I come back to most. Being the album I found his music from, it’s interesting when I return to the album as I feel like I get something new with each listen. Another EP of his that’s become a favorite of mine is his 2019 album, “Tommy Gun”. The album is jam-packed full of silk pop sounds that make you truly feel like you’re the man around town when listening.
That is the same feeling I got when seeing him perform live on stage, often hyping up the crowd and telling us to get on our feet and move, playing his upbeat energetic songs back to back. He’d play several songs from his latest album, including “Fate” and “Sunset for the Dead” both of which got applause and cheers from the audience. His mic would teeter and totter, raising and falling back down, making Newport hilariously frustrated, but it didn’t stop him from playing from his wide range of tunes. He closed with his most well-known song, “Movie Screen”, one that would gain popularity after performing the song on “A COLORS SHOW”, in 2019 and totaling 1.3 million views on YouTube. During his live performance of the song, he’d take turns singing the song himself and passing it back to the audience to sing the words. After an encore to perform one more song after the lights out performance, he would play another of his bigger tracks, “Mr. Angel” joined by Sherwyn and his band on stage dancing while everyone was singing along to end the show.
Sherwyn and Tommy Newport gave a special performance that showcased why their music reaches so many people, and how both artists aren’t defined by genre. Newport had a stand-out show, bringing energy and a pumped-up crowd singing to his variety of songs. I had a wonderful time seeing both, and I’m excited to see where Newport continues to take his music following his most recent release.
Featured Image by Corrine Davidson