Come Home / Sometimes / She’s A Star / Top Of The World / Say Something / Born Of Frustration / Ring The Bells / Out To Get You / Five-O / Destiny Calling / Waltzing Along / Johnny Yen / Runaground / Laid / Tomorrow / Sit Down / How Was It For You / Sound
Johnathan Trew, Daily Record
Former student favourites James revelled in their new-found sexiness at the Barrowlands.
A sell-out crowd could hardly contain themselves as the Manchester seven- piece ripped through a set covering their 16 years in the business.
And, as lead singer Tim Booth introduced their latest hit Destiny Calling with the words: “This one’s about sexy people in your life”, he got more than he bargained for.
Female fans climbed on to their friends’ shoulders and stripped to their bras. A redhead went a step further, pulling her bra down to flash to Booth. As for the pair of knickers thrown on to the stage, someone must have been a bit chilly on the way home.
All this raunchiness is a step in a new direction for James.
Best-known for their 1991 hit and student anthem Sit Down, James are a band who were always more cuddly teddy bears than hairy- chested sex gods. But the last couple of years have seen a revival of fortunes for James and they seem to have found a new swagger to match their success.
Last year’s Whiplash album cracked the Top 10 and The Best of James, released earlier this month, was only stopped from hitting No 1 by Pulp’s This Is Hard Core.
So James were in the mood to party and it showed. Early songs such as Johnny Yen rubbed shoulders with last year’s She’s A Star.
By the time Booth introduced Born of Frustration, the crowd were in raptures. Never mind Sit Down – this deserved a standing ovation.
Rab Christie, Glasgow Herald
IF you can’t do it when you’re young, when can you do it? asks the T-shirt for support band the audience. It’s a song title which doubles as a marketing slogan for their funky teen chantette Sophie Ellis Bextor and it’s a challenge for the main draw. Can James still “do it” now they’re, er, not quite as young as they once were?
With a chart-topping “best of” in the shops, the night was billed as a celebratory Return of the Mancunian Seven with all big guns blazing. This is the band, remember, that’s been there, done that, and flogged a million T -shirts. The Barrowland is packed with such garments and, as bopping commences to the sizzlingly souped-up strains of opener Come Home, it strikes me that no matter how nuts you go, you couldn’t possibly make dafter whoopy-whoopy noises than vocalist and man of maracas Tim Booth. The Top Jameser has often been portrayed as an icon for the miserable, the disillusioned, and the disaffected and tonight keeps up this image effortlessly by donning the Wim Jansen wig someone kindly tosses on to the stage.
Despite the glorious racket created by tunes like Laid, She’s a Star, and Destiny Calling, I’m never certain whether the lads are revelling in these greatest hits or cursing them.
I wonder just how comfortable James are churning out the songs that made them famous for an audience that’s all too appreciative. A wearily counted intro ushers in an encore stagger-through of sit down.
The sing-along sequence highlights the difference between singer and crowd accents. Indeed, the syllables the locals use loudly to pronounce the word “ridiculous” sounds so ridiculous they even make the band smile.