Last week, Punch Records took over five cities (Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, London, Cardiff) touring with the best of new generation UK artist. This venture was the first ever ‘Welcome To My City Tour’. Setting out to showcase the best sound of the new generation of artists from around the UK, each event was hosted in the artist’s hometown.

The ‘Welcome To My City’ tour started off in Liverpool on Monday 8th May with headliner act Sub Blue before making its way to Birmingham on Tuesday 9th May.

Now Birmingham is a place that has plenty of talented individuals but they haven’t been given much attention yet. But last Tuesday, Birmingham opened its doors and welcomed Punch Records ‘Welcome To My City Tour’ at the Sunflower Lounge. The night was headlined by Birmingham’s rising singer-songwriter Gambimi.

 Having headlined Liverpool, the previous night, Sub Blue took the stage once more with his captivating opening set as he played his fourth coming single and new record ‘Suburban View’ before taking the audience down a familiar road with his very own rendition of the late Aaliyah – Are You Somebody and Craig David – Can You Feel Me. Sub Blue’s beautiful guitar melodies and vocal performance got the show off to a great start.

Before passing the mic over to Cardiff’s very own Kizzy Crowford who dived straight in with opening track ‘Dive’ grabbing the audience’s attention as she amazingly showed off her skills on the guitar and keyboard. Closing her set with title track ‘Golden Brown’ addressing her younger self. Golden Brown carried a positive message about beauty asking us to ’be proud of the colour of your skin’  Kizzy had a very cool, funky and groovy voice that reminded me of Erika Badu.

 Nipah kept the ambience going with her soulfully sweet and superb vocals. Coming from London, Tuesday was the first time she had set foot in Birmingham and the crowd made sure it was a night to remember. Starting her set off with ‘The One’ before moving on to the Kojey radical featured track ‘Peace Of Mind’ which led to her crowd engaging track ‘Get This Far’.

The night went on with another rising talent gracing the stage at The Sunflower Lounge. Manchester’s favourite Tobi Sunmola; now; Tobi isn’t any ordinary artist he has character, energy and a tone of voice that will send shivers through your spine. Catching the crowd by surprise with his unique style of rap and singing almost sounding like Kanye meets Travis Scott. Performing brand-new single ‘100 Miles’ before heading into the crowd-pleasing track ‘Run Free’. His set was lit, Tobi Sunmola is a name you should all familiarise yourself with.

After all these amazing acts, Birmingham’s headliner act Gambimi took to the stage with his ladies-pleasing acoustic set. Kicking off with his rendition of Rae Sremmurd –Black Beatles followed by the crowds favourite Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You.

If this wasn’t enough, Gambimi took us back to some of his old classics tracks such as ‘Waters’ and a track called ‘Should’ve Known’ which he wrote in 2015 from the perspective of him looking evaluating himself. He was definitely the biggest highlight and definitely the ladies favourites. As he shut down The Sunflower Lounge with ‘Soul Searching’ which was the first song he ever wrote and the audience couldn’t get enough of it as they cheered and requested a wheel up.

This was a night to remember and hats off to Punch Records for an amazing experience and show. The artist was phenomenal – looking forward to the next ‘Welcome To My City Tour’. Having not heard of most of the artist before, I can guarantee you that I will be keeping my eyes peeled on Sub Blue, Kizzy Crowford, Nipah, Tobi Sunmola and Gambimi because these talented individuals deserve to be on your ‘ones to watch list’.

(images from Instagram. Account holders names in top right hand corner)

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