Support: The Twang
I had always wanted to see James. Unfortunately I only really started to listen to their stuff (other than Sit Down) around 1999 and the Millionaires album. Two years later they had decided to split up and so I thought my chance had gone. Luckily for me (and the legions of James fans) the band decided to reunite in 2006. Would they get on ok? Would they gel? Well yes they did and not only that but they found a whole new creative verve (the year after they released a great album Hey Ma). Getting back together the Laid era line up (six members) was an unexpected bonus especially the retuning Larry Gott on guitar. Later that year, seventh member, Andy Diagram also joined and so the Seven were back again.
The Olympia in Dublin in 2007 was the venue for the band’s first full show in six years (they had played two intimate warm up shows before the tour) and there was no way I was going to miss this. As per usual I dragged along my girlfriend, Lorraine who didn’t know anything about the group apart from the odd song (I had been playing songs endlessly to her in the build-up).
James walked out on stage to a packed theatre and opened with Seven, a fitting way to start the first show on their comeback tour. Lead singer Tim Booth thanked the crowd in his own way (!) and then launched into Destiny Calling which seems more and more relevant as the years go by.
Playing a mix of older and newer songs tonight worked well and Who Are You worked brilliantly in this setting. Personal favourite Getting Away With It is a crowd favourite and had the whole place jumping (including support band The Twang who were in one of the boxes). They followed up with the sublime Say Something which saw the crowd in great voice.
Unfortunately it was around this point that the band had some problems with one of the guitars which meant they couldn’t play old song, Chamelon. Apparently it quite often happens at James gigs but it is always funny and never diminishes the experience (well maybe for them it does). New song Upside, Downside was played tonight and was an excellent addition. Often new songs can see the crowd shuffling their feet and lose interest but this looks like it could be in the set for some time to come (although the lyrics may change as the ones we got tonight had never been sung before).
They followed this up with three classic songs, Come Home, Ring The Bells and Sit Down. By this time the atmosphere was superb and as the band walked off stage the noise level reached new heights.
The encore couldn’t get much better for me. Starting with Gold Mother, Laid, Sometimes and a wonderful She’s A Star I was almost crying with joy. It seems the band shared that feeling as they looked delighted with the response they had gotten and looked moved by the Dublin crowd.
This was to be the start of a love affair with the band. Simply fantastic.
Ticket: April 17th 2007
Ticket Price: €41.20