SetlistWhat Is It Good For / Stand / Senorita / Gaudi / Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) / Say Something / Just Like Fred Astaire / Sometimes / Johnny Yen / Someone's Got It In For Me / English Beefcake / Pleased To Meet You / The Shining / Destiny Calling / She's A Star / How Was It For You / Top Of The World / Laid / Ring The Bells
Due to a ticket cock-up, we started this show up in the grand circle, allowing us to sit back and take in the first five new songs – Work It All Out, Stand Stand Stand, Senorita, Gaudi and Daniel’s Saving Grace. The seated crowd responded probably better than any crowd so far on this tour to the onslaught of new material, but the atmosphere was virtually non-existent save for the power created by the music.
Tim took the initiative during the opening bars of Say Something and jumped into the crowd, climbing across the seats to about two-thirds of the way back in the stalls where he stood on a seat with a single light focused on him. The whole venue was now on its feet and the ice broken.
The band launched into Fred Astaire and I launched myself out of the circle, down the stairs and through to the stalls where a couple of bouncers were negotitated during Sometimes to get to the front row by the time the band started Johnny Yen which received its now traditional roar of recognition from James gig veterans for a song old enough to be the parents of some of the new ones, this sounding as fresh and vibrant as ever.
Someone’s Got It In For Me was equally well received from its opening bars. It seems as if everyone at these shows must have bought (or taped) Millionaires given the reception this has been given.
Another trio of new songs followed – English Beefcake is making a late play for being my favourite of the newies with Tim’s quickfire verses merging into a plaintive chorus of “we are born, we are slaves, we must find our own way” before the song mutates into Tim and Kulas almost chanting “it’s all my fault, I get in the way, unable to break obsession”.
Pleased To Meet You starts out as a lament to a “boy out of touch with his feelings” and has a simple chorus of “pleased to meet you, where are you from and what’s your name?” It has a beautifully slow pace until 2 1/2 minutes when the guitars kick in and Mike yells himself hoarse into his megaphone and the guitars are cranked up – a song with two halves.
The Shining is almost messed up as the band seem to start out of synch and they pull it through despite Saul’s guitar sounding awfully out of tune. Epic and with a lyric about Nazis and Jews, this is a great song and may raise controversy at some stage at the future.
Destiny, Star (dedicated by Tim, Barry White style, to the women) and How Was It For You? close the set. Being now stood stage centre and being able to dance freely was a strange but enjoyable experience with which to close the show.
The encore opened with Top Of The World, the emotion punctured by five dickheads stood at the front trying to drown Tim out by talking about how much beer they’d drunk or how small their penises are. Tim told them at the end of the song to go and stand somewhere else if they wanted to talk rather than listen. Saul got it spot on “in other words, shut the fuck up!”
Laid and Ring The Bells brought the show to a close, the crowd still on their feet and dancing in the aisles.
This was a very strange gig – I can’t remember the last time I saw James play an electric set in the UK in a seated venue. Tim valiantly tried to create an atmosphere and was successful to an extent. But you can’t beat an elbow in the back and the air being squeezed out of your lungs. Please don’t play seated venues again.