On the day they James announce new album, ‘Living in Extraordinary Times’ the band take to the stage of the Warrington Parr Hall.
A sold out crowd packed the long-standing, 19th century, listed building and were pleasured to a huge 22 setlist mixed with a fine array of new material, songs from the bands 1986 debut album, Stutter and of course the classics.
There can’t be many people left in the world who’s not been to a James gig now, surly? I think this was my 6th time, and there’s many of you that’ll be reading this thinking yeah, I’m well in to double digits however I’m sure you’ll agree that and the shows just get better!
With a tremendous back catalog you’re never disappointed with what’s performed and you’re almost guaranteed to hear something you’ve not heard before. That said, in a good way, some things never change and can be predictable, but still leave you guessing… “To which will Tim go crowd-surf?” “Where will he appear in the audience?” and still…. “How the hell does he do that dance? (everytime)”.
James Live Review Parr Hall
Kicking off tonights proceedings, the band walk on stage to an immense round of almost tribal style of drums, straight in into brand new tracks ‘Hank’ and ‘Coming Home Part 2’ – a song written about missing special occasions with his son. A touching number and immediately had fans engaged.
At this point it’s worth mentioning a new member to the James family in the form of new percussionist Deborah Knox-Hewson. The Charlie XCX drummer slotted into the bands line-up seamlessly and one could even go as far as saying that she looked like a long standing member – even only after 2 shows. Visually brilliant and a fantastic addition which adds yet another layer to the bands live performance.
‘Gone Baby Gone’ follows and straight in to the spine tingling anthem ‘Moving On’. A fan favorite to which is met by the loudest sing along of the night thus far. The video for ‘Moving On’ is like nothing never seen. Simply sensational (As below) A James classic for sure…
As the band continue to mix the night with old and new the room starts to heat up… jackets become tied around waists and the Parr Hall floor receives the inexorable sticky treatment.
One thing that predictable at James shows is the inevitable chance of bumping into a familiar face or two. It was nice to bump in to Dave from Even the Stars and equally nice to see the Slow Readers frontman, Aaron Starkies wife showing her support while her other half played in Wolverhampton – looks like James won that one then… haha 🙂
An encore is always a favourite part of the night – time to unleash the belters and tap in to the excitement of the crowd even more so… ‘Sometimes’ and future classic ‘Nothing But Love’ kicked off encore proceedings and wrapping things up with ‘Getting Away With It’ and a very, very cool rendition of ‘Laid’ which started off nice and slow, on acoustic building up to a mass sing a long. Those drums!!!! – you know the ones!
There is something in the ‘James songwriting’ recipe book where the mechanisms all align and simply bring people together. With goosebumps as I write this, the morning after the night before I’d still go out and buy a ticket for another show, and probably will do for as long as they are playing! Long live James…
With the new album on its way – more shows are to be expected so make sure you are there for the next one!
Tonight was a night of from behind the lens to please forgive the shity photo!
Full Set List
Coming Home Part 2
Gone Baby Gone
Ring the Bells
Better Than That
How Was It for You
Born of Frustration
Sometimes (Lester Piggott)
Nothing But Love
Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)