Laid / Eh Mamma / Into Darkness / Bone / Five-O / Dance Of The Bad Angel / Love Hard / Sometimes / Down To The Sea / Wave Hello / Butterfly’s Dream / Monkey God / Ring The Bells / Fall In Love
Moving onto Leeds the following night, the venue itself, City Varieties must be one of the most unusual Tim has ever played in. All-seated with boxes upstairs at the sides, it used to hold Victorian and Elizabethan musical evenings which Tim told us he attended as a child with his Mum who was in the audience. At one point during the show, he climbed onto the speaker stack to the box where she was sat and held her hand whilst singing one of the songs.
The seated environment meant that the show and the audience was much more subdued than in Glasgow but this worked wonderfully. The stripped-back Laid was performed without the audience singing along making it almost eerie. Watching the faster songs played to a seated audience was an extraordinary experience, but really focused the crowd’s attention on the quality of the musicians on show. Tim always referred to the abilities of the rest of the band when in James and I really doubt he would have ventured back into music without at least similar calibre people around him. Lisa holds the crowd’s attention with every vocal input, particularly Dance of the Bad Angel, Down To The Sea and Love Hard, where she almost steals the show from Tim and her dancing during Butterfly’s Dream. Lee’s guitar playing is adding even more to the faster songs as they are played live more. Wave Hello merits particular mention as this was the highlight of the set for me. Robin’s excellence on bass, guitar and sax brings new life and colour to the recorded versions of Bone tracks from which he was absent. Milo’s energy and power in the faster songs has been noted before, but there’s a new subtlety to the slower moments that almost goes unnoticed.
The crowd reaction to the set was ecstatic. Naturally the James tracks get the most recognition and applause but the Bone tracks either convinced those who already knew them or converted those that didn’t. A glorious Butterfly’s Dream and a frenetic impassioned Monkey God brought the crowd to their feet towards the end. The final Fall In Love was performed to almost silence from the crowd, just how Tim wanted it.
Leeds was a great night in an unfamiliar venue with the probably the best and most attentive audience of the tour.