Photo credit: http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/an-evening-with-james
Yesterday I went to An Evening with James, with the Orchestra of the Swan & The Manchester Consort Choir at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham. I am DESPERATE to write about it so here goes!
James are one of my top three favourite bands - the others being Underworld and (embarassingly!) Wet Wet Wet. I have seen James live between 15-20 times over the years - they are truly outstanding live.
Why do I like them? They are exceptionally talented musicians and I love their musicianship and their musicality. I love Tim Booth's soulful, lyrical and melodic voice. Tim's movement and dancing is very hard to describe - it has to be seen to be believed! It is clear that he feels the music very deeply in his soul.
Most people know James because of their seminal hit "Sit Down". My favourite James album of all time is actually an unusual one to choose - it is one of their most recent ones, "Hey Ma". It is crammed to the brim with anti-war songs. James never put up and shut up. They always speak up through their music. Whilst I love their love songs, such as "Just like Fred Astaire", I also adore their political songs. They inspired me to finally publish my very personal statement.
This was a totally different James concert. They took their already outstanding product and took it to the next level by appearing on stage with a full orchestra and a choir. It was mind-blowing.
James are innovative and they think outside the box. They push the boundaries. They take risks. They do not stand still. They are always doing something different and trying something new. They are always thinking about how to improve their product, and make it bigger and better. That is what makes them special. That is why I love them.
They pulled this one off big style!
My personal highlight was when they played "Just like Fred Astaire". This is one of my favourite James tracks of all time, but they very rarely play it live. Tim Booth got down off the stage and did a walkabout around the audience, singing to various female audience members. It was a bewitching and a very special moment. I loved it!
I want a CD with a live recording of one of these concerts on sale and in the shops in time for Christmas!
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