LIVE REVIEW: John Newman: Forest Live, Dalby Forest

John Newman - we loved him again.
John Newman - we loved him again.
0
Have your say

While most of the nation's eyes were on Adele cursing her way through the mud of Glastonbury, in a quiet corner of North Yorkshire another outdoor musical extravaganza was unfolding.

For in the slightly less boggy surroundings of beautiful Dalby Forest, homegrown soul boy John Newman was back on Yorkshire soil - and here was a man determined to have a riotous homecoming party - even if it was a party with little chance of waking up the neighbours, unless you count the squirrels.

Once again, the latest set of Forest Live gigs were set in the most amazing surroundings you could ever wish for for an outdoor gig - miles from anywhere, great weather (at least on the night we were there) and with everything on hand for good old fashioned family fun.

Sandwiched between Elbow frontman Guy Garvey on the Friday night and the Kaiser Chiefs on Sunday, John was given the task of taking the Saturday night slot - and his slick dance moves and infectious singalong anthems were perfect family fodder, hot enough to create a forest fire!

Arriving on stage via an elevated platform to the ominous strains of actor Idris Elba, the Settle soulster took an audience of all ages on an amazing punch the air and dance till you're dizzy night packed with one fantastic track after another.

Splicing songs from his two albums to date - Tribute and Revolve - John and his full band, fresh from plane-hopping around the festivals of Eastern Europe, admitted that this was the gig they'd been looking forward to - and they didn't disappoint.

All My Heart and current top ten hit Give Me Your Love set the tone for a 110mph charge through one memorable song after another. Only Out Of My Head and plaintive I'm Not Your Man gave Newman time to rest - much needed for all those frenetic dance moves which saw him working up a real sweat.

"Me mum's here tonight," he says, to cheers and Mrs Newman wouldn't have been disappointed with her boy as the party continued with Cheating, Calvin Harris floorfiller Blame and the insanely catchy Come And Get It.

An encore of Not Giving In, one of the Rudimental tracks he first found fame with and of course, closing things off with a hands in the air rendition of Love Me Again send everyone off into the night with a spring in the step, plenty of songs in their heart - and some slightly muddy boots.

One thing is for sure, Yorkshire loves John Newman and John Newman loves Yorkshire - and hopefully it won't be long before he returns to God's Own County.

Dalby Forest offers miles of biking trails.

Dalby Forest offers miles of biking trails.

But it wasn't all just about the music.

Dalby Forest, perched on the slopes of the North York Moors National Park, as well as being a great concert venue, has much more to offer - especially for families looking for a chance to get away from it all in serene surroundings.

There's miles of pathways, ideal for hiking and biking and under the management of the Forestry Commission, it has become a magnet for wildlife lovers too with scores of birds to spot in among the trees as well as badgers, deer, insects and of course, lots of trees and plant life species.

If that wasn't enough there's a 'forest drive' and a Go Ape high-ropes climbing centre - ideal for the kids to burn off more energy - as well as a cafe deep in the heart of the woodland.

Dalby Forest is an ideal spot for youngsters to play and enjoy the great outdoors.

Dalby Forest is an ideal spot for youngsters to play and enjoy the great outdoors.

And further still, there's a chance to jump on board a Segway, adventure play areas, activities and events throughout the year and much more to discover. Visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/dalbyforest for details

But its those gigs that help give Dalby that edge - perfect as a taster for festival going and outdoor music for youngsters with all you'd need (bars, food, stalls) to provide a perfect evening of family friendly partying.

We can't wait for next year's line-up.