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James - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6/12/2016

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 8 / 2 / 2017

James - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6/12/2016


Dave Goodwin enjoys a mesmerising performance at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall from James as they tour their latest album, 'Girl at the End of the World'

I bought my first James CD in 1990 and have cherished it ever since. My copy of ‘Gold Mother’ is slightly battered now and worse for wear, but the good news is that I still have it. ‘Gold Mother’ was the third full outing by James but their story begins almost a decade earlier. The Mancurians formed in 1982, sporting the initial name Venereal and the Diseases, and they played their first ever show at Eccles British Legion in March of that year. By December they had changed their name to Volume Distortion, supporting good friends The Fall at Manchester Polytechnic’s Cavendish Hall. Although their first three EPs came out on Factory Records, James, however, after they signed to Fontana, had their most successful period during the 1990s when they charted with singles including ‘Come Home’, ‘Sit Down’, ‘She's a Star’ and ‘Laid. Following the departure of lead singer Tim Booth in 2001, they, however, became inactive. Thankfully they reunited in January 2007 for a new album and international tour, and, statistically as of 2010, the band had sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. It is not surprising really because they are for me one of Britain's best indie bands ever. After having to cancel their original date at Nottingham’s Royal Centre, James hit the stage around ten minutes early and to my surprise kicked off with 'To My Surprise' and 'Waking', both of which are taken from their fourteenth and latest album, 'Girl at the End of the World'. Lead singer Tim Booth stood still at first, smiling and looking almost as if he was in awe of his fellow musicians, and then broke out into his trademark dancing as if he was back in the day again. After that he never stopped throughout the set for even the shortest breather, and highlights came and went including great versions of 'I Wanna Go Home' from 2008’s 'Hey Ma' and 'Tomorrow' from 1997’s 'Whiplash'. Later on the crowd erupted when the first few bars of 'Come Home' rang out. Booth all the time whipped the crowd up into a frenzy as he danced on the stage beneath a huge glowing sphere above which referred itself to the new album. The light show was amazing, adding mood and sometimes dark drama. The packed all-seater venue had very few now still seated. When they headed into the encores, the pick of the night came for me just after 'Just Like Fred Astaire' when James blasted into my favourite track, 'Sometimes'. During it, I stood mesmerised, unmoving and in awe of what a band can make people do. For a good five minutes during it the crowd sang back to Booth, after first of all a small corner of the audience spontaneously started singing the chorus lines over and over and over. The whole band at one point, when we wouldn’t shut up, stood just as mesmerised as I had been moments earlier. This was one of those moments you never forget. They finished with 'Nothing but Love' from the new album and 'Sound' from the fourth album 'Seven., James departed as quickly as they had arrived and left a huge smile on all the faces that left the Royal Concert Hall that night. It was a night to remember. Bloody marvellous! Set List: 1. To My Surprise 2. Waking 3. Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) 4. Moving On 5. Five-O 6, I Wanna Go Home 7. Interrogation 8. Move Down South 9. Tomorrow 10. Vervaceous 11. Feet Of Clay 12. She's a Star 13. Dear John 14. Surfer's Song 15. Curse Curse 16. Come Home 17. Attention 18. Just Like Fred Astaire 19. Sometimes 20. Nothing But Love 21. Sound Photographs by Dave Goodwin www.davegoodwinimages.com

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James - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6/12/2016

James - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6/12/2016

James - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6/12/2016

James - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6/12/2016

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