SetlistBlack Hole / If Things Were Perfect / Just Hip / Mosquito / Johnny Yen / Fire So Close / Charlie Dance / So Many Ways / Ya Ho / Riders / Are You Ready? / Hymn From A Village / Summer Song / Really Hard / Chain Mail / Whoops
It was getting slippery onstage too, by the time James got there to dish out samples of their forthcoming album – destined to be another of the year’s best along with those from The Smiths and Woodentops. Apart from Tim’s raving, moving vocals and leg jerks, Jimmy’s pushy, bendy bass and Gavin’s busy and complicated drumming, there was this evening’s outstanding Jamesian element – Larry’s guitar playing. Whenever James play these days a new layer opens up, and this time it was through his fretwork exploration – segments of West African, bits of British folk, and techniques improvised out of nowhere.
James melodies and lyrics inhabit a kind of cultural subconscious, but the power of a Johnny Yen or a So Many Ways is no less real for having said that. Because of it, in fact, James go further to satisfying any hunger for newness – they’re verging on the poetic.