James at the NIA, 22/11/2014

The initial draft of this post merely said “:D”. Suffice to say, I had a good time.

The band James have been touring promoting their new album, La Petit Mort. On Saturday, they played the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and had StarSailor supporting them. My girlfriend and I were in the audience, her birthday gift to me!

I wasn’t familiar with StarSailor’s work before I saw them here, a fact my girlfriend finds incredible, but on the strength of their set here I will be seeking out their music. That isn’t something I often say about support acts so make of that what you will!

James then came on opening with Sound. Tim Booth apologised for missing the high notes in the song but he sounded perfect to me! They played the bulk of the songs from their new album saying that Walk Like You was their favourite of them and going by that performance I can see why. He went crowdsurfing during the performance of Frozen Britain begging the audience to look after him. They played some of the old favourites during the set such as Laid, Out to Get You, Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)Hymn From a Village and Come Home. For the last song of the main set, Tim Booth invited some members of the audience who he had seen dancing up on the stage and asked them to dance saying that the definition of good dancing was being able to lose yourself in the music. They then played Gone Baby Gone from the new album and they all danced around like maniacs!

During the encore, they played Born of Frustration, Interrogation from the new album and closed with Sometimes. During Born of Frustration Tim Booth and Andy Diagram went up to the upper tiers of the hall and walked, played and sung with the people in the seats. He went crowdsurfing again during Sometimes and when the band finished the song, the crowd didn’t and continued signing the chorus. Eventually the band played the song out again and Tim Booth said that couldn’t be topped and the set ended.

I’ll admit that I’m completely biased because James are one of my favourite bands but it was a fantastic gig and I would go to see them again in a heartbeat. The only slight disappointment of the night was that they didn’t play Sit Down but you can’t have everything I suppose!

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