JOE McElderry chose to launch his much-anticipated fourth album in the heart of his native Tyneside. And he couldn’t have been given a warmer reception.
Released on Monday, Here’s What I Believe offers a collection of self-penned ballads and classic love songs.
Looking ultra smart in a brown fitted blazer and tight-fitting maroon jeans, while sporting a distinctive side parting, The 2010 winner of The X Factor and 2011 champion of Popstar to Operastar couldn’t have looked happier or more at home.
Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s stripped-back performance couldn’t have been further removed from the bells and whistles production of his X Factor days.
This concert was all about keeping it simple ... it was just Joe, his band and a rafter-skimming audience.
Fans of all ages, families, couples and friends, travelled from as far afield as Canada to see the special launch gig.
Songs like When I Need You, Skyscraper and Something’s Gotten Hold of my Heart allowed Joe’s powerful voice to shine.
But he wasn’t afraid to up the tempo with a cover of Part of Me and classic tracks The Climb and Ambitions.
A four-song encore was the only polite way to service the demanding cheers and applause and was suitably rounded off with his new single, Here’s What I Believe.
Naturally, his fans were ecstatic.
Loraine Villiger, 65, travelled from Ayrshire in Scotland for the gig. She said: “I’ve been up since 5am this morning. It took four trains to get me here. He was fabulous.”
Hayley Downes, 23, a receptionist from London, boasted that she went to every one of Joe’s last tour dates and was proud to say Joe knows her name. So does his mum, apparently.
“I also went to three of the X Factor gigs, two in London, one in Newcastle,” she said.
For Joe’s part, speaking after the triumphant homecoming, he said it was “absolutely brilliant to be back home. The gig was amazing.”