Careful What You Say / Discover / Down To The Sea / Five-O / Wave Hello / Eh Mamma / Sometimes / Love Hard / Dance Of The Bad Angel / Bone / Butterfly’s Dream / Monkey God / Fall In Love
review by Shooting My Mouth Off
“James may be dead but Tim is live & kicking. Long live Tim”
The last time Tim Booth set foot on stage in Liverpool both he and the members of James were greeted by an adoring crowd of 5,000 at the “Summer Pops” Festival at the impressive Kings Dock Venue. Those in the know that night knew that they might be witnessing the end of an era. Their last single, “Getting away with it (all messed up)” had just crashed out of the top 50. What proved to be their final album “Pleased to meet you”, which Tim considered to be their finest work since “Laid”, had failed to make the coveted top 10. Reasons to sulk and under-perform ? Not likely – the performance James put on that night was truly a revelation and left many a diehard fan (including this author) quite literally in tears
Tonight, a much smaller (300?) but no less appreciative Liverpool crowd, witnessed something just as special. Tim Booth making his first tentative steps, together with his new band, back onto the music scene. He’s been swimming with dolphins and holding alternative dance classes during his two and half year sabbatical from the live stage. Within seconds, however, it doesn’t even feel like he’s been away. “Look, do us a favour and don’t be the first stupid fucker to ask for Sit Down”, pleads Tim as he walks on stage. “Tim, do Sit Down” retorts some wag from the front of the crowd. “Typical fuckin scousers” replies Tim. And with that the tone is set.
Totally at ease, in spite of this being just their 4th gig together, we are treated to a quite stunning performance. The set, not surprisingly, mainly features tracks from his soon to be released album “Bone”. What is amazing is, in spite of these being totally unheard of tracks, just how well the audience receives them. Perhaps this is testimony to the quality of the songs and the superb musicians Tim has put together in his new band. “I’m gonna call them The Individuals” Tim tells us . “‘cos they’re so fuckin good at doin their own thing”
Personal highlights of the new stuff have to be “Careful what you say” which opens the set, “eh Mamma”, “Bone” and an absolutely stunning “Monkey God” which closes the main set. Add to this truly breathtaking versions of “Five-O” and “Sometimes” from the James catalogue, as well as “Dance of the Bad Angel” and “Butterfly’s Dream” from his first solo venture. On returning for his encore, Tim request that he needs the crowd to “..shut the fuck up for this one” and proceeds to serenade us with an awesome rendition of “Fall in Love”.
“These are just the warm up gigs”, Tim informs us halfway through the show. “If you like what you hear, we’ll be back for more in the summer. After you’ve bought the CD of course!”
I for one cannot wait to get hold of the CD. Judging by the crowds reaction tonight, I am not the only one. Tim Booth will always find a welcome in Liverpool, especially after performances like this. James may be dead, but Tim lives on !