Review: Leona Lewis, Birmingham NIA

Leona Lewis doesn't wear dresses made of meat. Nor does she get hitched to Russell Brand for all of five minutes. She doesn't even post Instagram picture after Instagram picture of herself in bikinis smoking suspicious-looking cigarettes.

What she does do however is sing.

A singer who can sing? Remember them?

So let people say what they want about showbiz smoke and mirrors, Leona is peerless when it comes to the all-important voice. No one can reach those soft lows or soaring highs quite like her.

Since winning the X Factor seven or so years ago, she has honed her craft to become one of the greatest pop vocalists in the world. That's no exaggeration. She's been number one in countless countries, shifted more than 20 million records and been envied by everyone from Anastasia to Beyonce. If Queen Bey's got a case of the green-eyed monster, you know you've got some pipes.

And last night's show at Birmingham's NIA showcased Leona's voice in all its glory.

Stripped back from her previous tour, it was just her, her band and a string quartet.

Starting off in a sweeping red coat before moving on to a sleek and sexy black number (ignore the Daily Mail, Leona's never looked better and has some serious va-va-voom curves on her) she performed songs from Spirit and Glassheart with technical aplomb and from-the-soul emotion.

There was a dash of a Rihanna cover and a bit of Bruno Mars but it was her own songs that really captivated the audience.

The final few numbers were the standout ones. Footprints brought tears to people's eyes before The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face received a standing ovation.

Bleeding Love brought confetti from the ceiling and people to their feet. And yes, she can do that amazing warbly bit at the end just as good live.

Her cover of Snow Patrol's Run closed the show, note perfect and flawless, with Leona rushing to the front of the stage to shake hands with her adoring fans.

So why she may not get the gossip columns going like Perry, GaGa and co, she sure could teach them a thing or two when it comes to the most important thing - the voice.

By Elizabeth Joyce

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comments for: "Review: Leona Lewis, Birmingham NIA"


Interesting how the female reporters are always the one's to 'review' these type of gigs and always in such a 'girly' way. In this 'review', we hear about cover versions and then 'her own songs', with no mention of the fact that she has never written a song in her life or the fact that she cant even play an instrument. She is just a manufactured product of Simon Cowell and voices like hers are so common. There is nothing original at all about Leona Lewis. She is so bland.

What's next Elizabeth ? A 'review' of Little Mix perhaps and their ground breaking new album ? Or do you know any nice recipes ??

Elizabeth "I love Little Mix" Joyce

Hi Paul,

I thought I'd take time out from my busy day of baking cookies, painting my nails and daydreaming about kittens to answer your calm and measured comment.

I can only apologise that the Express & Star had the nerve to send a female reporter out to review a concert. In hindsight, this was clearly madness.

I also promise to work on my "girly" writing style. In fact, I've just ordered all of the Top Gear boxsets and the complete back catalogue of Status Quo so I can improve things asap.

Thank you for pointing out the error of my foolish womanly ways. What a silly little thing I am.



Paul, I completely disagree with you, but for sheer entertainment, just keep going! You write with such original thought and unprejudiced reasoning. It's so refreshing and, not to mention, absolutely hilarious.


Paul, if you're going to start complaining about how people report information, i'll do the same, your comment is full of so many inaccuracies it's painful. For the record, Leona Lewis has a number of writing credits across her career, so no, she's not just a manufactured product - and she remains whilst so many have disappeared. Furthermore, as i, like Elizabeth, actually went to the show, we can both tell you that she can and does play an instrument and she does it well. Seeing as you are criticising a woman for talking 'girly' about another woman, i would have to say the only "bland" thing i see is your old fashioned male chauvinism. I take a passionate, professional woman (whether she's on stage singing, or in the audience) over that, any day.

Elizabeth - love the review. It was a truly special night. Footprints In The Sand will stay with me always, it takes a brave woman to sing so honestly and a talented one to sing so flawlessly. And as one of those 'adoring fans' she held the hand of, i can say i left that show smiling. From one girl to another, i'm glad you loved the show too :)


Paul, how can you even say "with no mention of the fact that she has never written a song in her life or the fact that she cant even play an instrument." I can shoot all of the songs she's written at you until you realize you are so wrong, and too foolish to have posted your comment without even having any background.

Dear Paul, she has been playing instruments since elementary, as said so in her blog. Bleeding Love, may have not written herself alone, but she's one of the three major writers of that song including Ryan Tedder and Jesse McCartney. She has countless songs she's written for you to have a look into.

Also, hell, not original? So common? Her? Well, if you have issues in her belts compared to Mariah or all of the amazing balladirs there, then you just need to know her. And oh, she is not "a manufactured product of Simon," hell, he's already left her behind, for the reason 1D's already rolling worldwide cash.

I say to you, Paul, all of you what you said were just so wrong and so sad. The reason you may have been like this is because of her album Glassheart. I see that most of them were pop. Pop is okay, if it's radio-friendly but the songs were not that powerful, I know. She must've not made the right song choices. So maybe, you are saying these things.

She is making her fourth album, and expected to be released this year. Probably, she's seen what people have said Glassheart was a fail. Now, we just have to wait what she'd bring 'cause obviously, she's redeeming herself now with her new management..


Id just like to point out that actually, leona has written many of her songs herself & can play musical instruments perfectly, which you would witness if you had bothered to go & see the show rather than make false & rude comments that are completely inaccurate you would've seen. Oh & if Leona's voice is so common I would like you to tell me why it is she is such a huge success in so many contries & find me someone who can do the same.

Finally, If you don't like the style of the way this has been written then fair enough but to blame it on the fact that the writer is a women shows just how closed minded and ignorant you are.

In future, get your facts right before you comment & don't take it out on the female population just because you don't like how a review is written.

Personally i think it's a fantastic review on an amazigly talented women & if you can't cope with that then that's your problem, while leona is making millions you'll still be sulking behind your computer making badly informed judgements on something you clearly don't have a clue about. She's beautiful, kind & talented & deserves every success. End of.


It never ceases to amaze me how many people part with big money to watch stuff like this. Dull, dull, dull.

Having said that, if those "crowd" pictures are anything to go by then it looks like here career is on a Spinal Tap-style nosedive.


She can sing, She can play instruments and she has written songs so what are you looking at? Obviously something different because you have it all wrong. I saw Leona Lewis in concert and she was amazing. (She doesn't mime) Dull? If you think that's dull what music do you like? She played the piano and drums so it shows your wrong. Research before saying.

Such nice comments



I hate the fact that people judge just because Simon Cowell signed them up. I can tell you know nothing about Leona Lewis from your comments. Nobody needs to make comments like that so don't waste time by typing it. Keep your nasty and unwanted comments to yourself. As they say, got nothing good to say, don't say anything.

Michael Morse

I went to this concert with my wife with great expectations. Yes, Leonna has a lovely and haunting voice and its a great pity she did not sing more of her well known hits. The set was very disappointing with a net curtain constantly being lowered to project images onto it, which spoilt our view of Leonna singing, especially as she played her piano. A large screen would have made the performance more enjoyable to see Leona's face as she sang instead of just being a blur. Overall a fair performance which could have been made so much better with a few tweeks and better songs.


Leona obviously has an amazing voice but last night she did not do herself justice. It was more like a rehearsal. Im sad to say I was a little but disappointed and it didn't seem like Leona sang to her full potential. The show was a bit flat and there was very little atmosphere. The show looked a bit cheap and that curtain going up and down was pointless. Her backing singers were actually better than her on the night. I am usually a huge Leona Lewis fan and have heard her sing perfectly before. Last night was not a great show :-(


Leona has wrote many of her songs, plus plays instruments... Including the piano & drums which she plays on the Glassheart Tour.