Christina Perri @ HMV Institute Birmingham, 20th January 2012


Waiting in the day and recording at night, Christina Perri is the unlikely star to entertain the temple at the HMV institute tonight. The Philadelphian singer-songwriter shot to fame in 2010 with piano ballad “Jar Of Hearts.” Once used on “So You Think You Can Dance” it saw more than 100 000 downloads in just 2 weeks. Perri owes her success to this record and provided a heartfelt rendition of the song for her doting followers.


2011 brought impressive debut album “Love Strong.” Things seemed dubious for the 25 year old, could Perri really fill an album. The album is ballads galore but not just the “Jar Of Hearts” ballads, songs like “Mine” contained bouncy piano riffs and sturdy guitar solos, maybe with a hint of inspiration from her brother Nick Perri who previously played the guitar for bands like “Shine Down.” Bluebird” is another prevalent piece from the album. Christina can thank her ex for what he’s done because “If he were that special she wouldn’t have this song.”

Marcus Foster started the show, there are many male singer songwriters out there from the likes of Ed Sheeran to Michael Kiwanuka but Marcus would be filed with Ben Howard. It’s apparent that his influences come from Dylan and Van Morrison but maybe Foster trying to be too soulful is stopping him from achieving mainstream success. Cheer up and sing songs less like “I was broken” would be my advice to Foster. Marcus is an easy listening Maverick Sabre with plenty of talent.


Perri was looking for the “goose bump” effect with every ballad on the set list , she wanted the fans to feel the emotion, but unfortunately this emotion cannot make a song a decent tune. Her band already looked established and poised with a copious amount of talent yet lacked real depth. The show was mainly made up of ordinary songs trying to capture the effect “Jar Of Hearts” has like “The Lonely” but balanced out by bulky ballads like “Arms”. Perri is definitely not a one hit wonder, she is a female Bruno Mars but with tattoos and a drummer called Elmo. My personal pick of the night is the whole hearted “A Thousand Years: used on the Twilight soundtrack, (which I’m sure had nothing to do with support act Marcus Foster being good mates with Robert Pattison.) This boasted the singer’s compelling prowess.

Perri has proven that she has the talent and stage presence to sing rock and ballads. Christina was relaxed and really enjoying herself. Her success will continue as long as her songs keep on coming, it will be interesting to see if she can write anything else now she’s over he boyfriend. Hopefully the sappy piano ballads will disappear and we will see a different side to Christina.


Christina wasn’t foretelling with her set, the audience were jolting around until close. Christina returned for her encore to perform “Jar Of Hearts.” This was a wonderful way to end a momentous night. Lets see what Christina Perri can do with 2012, I look forward to her return.

Review – John Kirby
Photos – Ian Dunn

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