hmvlive - August 26, 2021

Ed Sheeran performs intimate live show at the hmv Empire, Coventry
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor,

Ed Sheeran performs intimate live show at the hmv Empire, Coventry

Making a triumphant return to the stage ahead of his upcoming album =, announced just one week earlier, Ed Sheeran performed an intimate set at the hmv Empire in Coventry in celebration of hmv's 100th birthday, and we were there to catch all the action...



Ed Sheeran, conquerer of the charts, performing solo and armed with only an acoustic guitar, a loop pedal, and a practically inexhaustible supply of hits.



At the newly-refurbished hmv Empire in Coventry, in front of 700 lucky ticket winners. And also at Coventry's Assembly Festival Garden, where a further 3,000 fans enjoyed a live stream of the performance on a huge screen in the city's recently opened outdoor venue.


Who was supporting?

Maisie Peters, whose debut album arrives in stores this Friday on Sheeran's own Gingerbread Records imprint, did a fine job of warming up the crowd, playing a selection of songs from her upcoming LP and earning herself plenty of new fans in the process.


Was it full? How were the crowd?

By Ed Sheeran's standards, 700 people is a very small crowd, but it sure didn't feel small. They clapped in time, they sang along in full voice and made it feel like a crowd twice as big. The Assembly Festival Garden was packed too, with all 3,000 tickets selling out in less than 30 minutes.


What was the set like? What did he play?

It ended up being quite a career-spanning set, despite the fact he has a new album emerging on the horizon.

Clearly enjoying being back in front of a live audience (“It’s been quite a long time since I’ve played something that has a roof”), a couple of songs in Ed cheerfully announced his intention to abandon his planned setlist and told the crowd he'd recently listened to his debut album + “for the first time in years”, before treating the crowd to a performance of his early breakout hit 'The A Team'.

More recent classics like 'Perfect' and 'Shape of You' also found their way into the set, both of which enrapturing the audience, but the crowd were also treated to some of his new material too, with Sheeran performing several songs from his upcoming album including 'Bad Habits', 'Visiting Hours' and 'Overpass Graffiti', all of which went down a storm.


What was the highlight of the set?

There were plenty of roof-raising moments throughout the set, including a barnstorming rendition of his recent chart-topper 'Bad Habits', but in terms of crowd reaction, we'd probably have to say 'Shape of You' was the night's standout moment. The place went absolutely nuts.


Where can I catch him next?

His next show is scheduled for September 2nd at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, where he'll play his debut album in full. You'll also be able to pick up his brand new album = when it arrives in stores on October 29th.


= (Equals) - Limited Edition White Vinyl
= (Equals) - Limited Edition White Vinyl Ed Sheeran

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