Review: James, Live at Colston Hall, Bristol, Monday 2nd May

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Last Monday marked the first gig of James’ album tour ‘Girl at the End of the World’, kicking off with a bang at Bristol’s Colston Hall. The album itself very nearly knocked Adele’s 2015 Album ‘25’ off of the top UK Album Charts, reaching number two in the charts within its first week of release – as you can imagine, the hype was pretty intense for the start of the tour.

For the size of the venue, James’ gave an incredibly intimate performance. At numerous points during the gig, frontman Tim Booth came down to the front of the stage to hold hands with the adoring audience gathered there below and actually clambered down into the crowd to sing face-to-face with his standing fans.

James are renowned for the special relationship that they share with their fanbase which they demonstrated before the gig even began. Upon learning that a fan outside was busking for a ticket they immediately took to social media to offer the busker a complementary one (it turns out that some kind soul had given him her spare), which only added to the already warm atmosphere of the gig itself.

They played a number of songs from their new album during their pre-encore set, but none stood out more than their lively performance of ‘Girl at the End of the World’, the new album’s namesake. A few older songs from ‘La Petit Mort’ made an appearance as well as their classic 1993 single ‘Sometimes’.

James’ encore set consisted of a stripped-back rendition of ‘Sit Down’, which added a bit of calm to a consistently lively set – everyone sang together in unison, both die-hard fans and newcomers alike over the solo mandolin accompaniment. They then went on to play ‘Moving On’ which moved many to tears (myself included), and finished with possibly the most acclaimed song on the new album: ‘Nothing But Love’. As always, James never fail to fill their audience with optimism with their humble yet spectacular performance style – and remind us all of what is truly important.

 

Special shout-out to the support act ‘The Slow Readers Club’ whose brooding indie sound earned them one new big fan!
Check out the venues for the rest of the tour at http://www.wearejames.com/live/

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