Close this search box.

Review: Sampha at Factory International is ‘a transcendental, beautiful experience’

Sampha bought the house down at Factory International.

Sampha’s live concert at the newly minted Factory International was a mesmerising journey through his ethereal soundscape and world.

The British singer-songwriter, who has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Solange, effortlessly captivated the audience with his soulful voice, poignant lyrics, and masterful blend of synthetic with organic sounds.

Debuting with Process in 2017, awards quickly followed, scooping the Mercury Prize.

It was the start of something special, followed by Lahai last year, he has cemented himself as one of the most exciting and interesting artists in the UK.

Sampha at Factory International

Pulsating and driving, radiating, from the moment he walked on stage it was time for business.

Emerging from the smoke to David Bowie’s Space Oddysey, there was a palpable sense something special was on its way.

His stage presence was magnetic yet welcoming, drawing the audience in with each note he sang.

Backed by a super-talented band, Sampha’s performance was a seamless fusion of electronic beats and live instrumentation, creating a rich sonic experience.

Sampha’s raw emotion


One of the most remarkable aspects of Sampha’s is his ability to convey raw emotion through his music.

Whether he was belting out powerful anthems or delivering intimate ballads, there was an authenticity to his performance that resonated deeply.

The entire crowd was enthralled from the get-go.

Each song felt like a personal journey, with Sampha inviting the audience to join him on a profound exploration of love, loss, and self-discovery.

His set started and finished with some of the biggest hits, Plastic 100°C rocking the cavernous space at Factory International with a booming bassline and ethereal synths.

Later on, he worked in to Blood On Me, driving and beat-driven, beautiful drums powering the song forward.

An impressive vocal range

Throughout the concert, Sampha showcased his impressive vocal range and versatility as an artist.

From haunting falsettos to soul-stirring melodies, he effortlessly navigated through different musical styles and genres, leaving the audience in awe of his talent.

Sampha played hits from his two albums, which were released six years apart.

Never has it been more evident that good things come to those who wait.

Well worth the wait

Telling you now, that if it takes another six years for his next album, it’ll be worth the wait (his first performance in Manchester for seven years) as last night’s performance showcased how accomplished his music is.

Is it cliche to say it was a “spiritual experience”?

Maybe, but I don’t think anyone could deny what was in the room.

It’s a gig we’ll be thinking about for a few weeks, relieving the power and dynamism that he bought to Factory International.

His reassuring lyrics, emotive and powerful voice, and his elite band made for an unforgettable evening of music.

As Sampha continues to carve out his path in the world of neo-soul and alternative RnB, it’s clear that he is a talent to be reckoned with, and his live performances are not to be missed.

If you get the chance, catch him while you can.

You can find out what’s on at Factory International by checking out our events listing page here

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.