James have been around since the early 80’s, hitting their prime time in the early to mid 90’s they took a break and came back again and are continuing to produce new material. Tonight show works to emphasis just how strong contenders they are as showmen as well as survivors of time.
The show began with a show reel of video sound bites from the public… asked what they would do to make the world a better place. This then leads us to what appears to be video footage of front man Tim Booth singing to a camera surrounded by people… which actually turns out to be live footage of him working his way from the back of the auditorium and making his way through the crowd to the front, singing and accompanied by an acoustic. It’s a beautiful introduction to a wonderful evening brimming with the right vibe.
This leads into ‘She’s a Star’ where the rest of the band gets to kick into high gear. The night then takes off and it very rarely loses elevation. It just floats… Hitting some new material along the way, as well as the big staples (Sit Down, Laid). There is a real passion to the playing and best of all is that the band really go to town and extend out some numbers to rousing effects. Booth himself can’t stop dancing and wiggling and manages to remove himself from the stage from time to time to stand atop of the crowd barriers, literally being held up by the crowd as he sings out to them. At the end of the show they even manage to get about 20 people on stage to dance. James know how to put on a show, they know how to play, they know how to make a live show memorable and they know how to sustain a level of peaceful euphoria toward a crowd. Manchester is in for quite a treat when they finish off their tour there.