Sit Down / Out To Get You / Tell Her I Said So / Say Something / Ring The Bells / Seven / It’s Hot / Hymn From A Village / Born of Frustration / I Wanna Go Home / Dust Motes / Ten Below / Stutter / Jam J / Laid / Sound / Tomorrow / Sometimes / Gold Mother
review by BRD
Tonight’s show at the Showbox at the Market in rain drenched Seattle appeared rather typical of the other performances on this 2010 James North American tour. Pretty well the same list and running order of the majority of shows, though it was nice to hear Hymn From A Village and Born Of Frustration mid-set, both of which have only been done once or twice so far. However from the opening moments there was a different feel for those of us who have had the pleasure of seeing a number of shows from coast to coast this year. Tim and Larry started an acoustic take of Sit Down at the back of the room, walking through the room, with the rest of James joining in mid-song. This got the audience going though it didn’t seem to have the same drive tonight as it had on other nights. This was quickly followed by the slow and intense Out To Get You, with its great slide guitar work by Larry and audience invigorating violin solo by Saul. This one usually turns up during the last half of the set. Once it comes to a close Tim notes that it is odd starting with the end and goes on to explain that his Mum just had a stroke a few hours before the show As he introduces Tell Her I Said So, a song about dying old in an old folks home which he cowrote with his Mum, he dedicates it to her.
Perhaps one just has a tendency to see ghosts in shadows, but the night seems to continue in an introspective and reflective manner. The usual set highlights of Say Something, Ring The Bells, Wanna Go Home, 10 Below and set closer Sound, where Tim invokes his late father’s spirit, seem to have an additional dimension within the context Tim has provided for the night. This evening there are also very few pauses between songs ie no talk all song. This works particularly well with the trio of Stutter, and its thundering three drummer close, Jam J, which features Jim’s bass work, and Laid which starts off slowly tonight. This evening James are more error prone, for instance staggering through the start of Hymn From A Village and Tim’s vocals go off from time to time. Everything gets pulled together by the end of the night as James lead the audience through the Sometimes singalong. Tim then invites ten or so “great dancers” onto stage to dance along to the night closer Gold Mother, which he dedicates to his Mum. Both a joyous and sombre end to the night; contrary and pure James.
And an end to my portion of this James tour, consisting of seven great shows from Boston to Seattle and assorted venues in between these two points. My thanks to all seven of James, one of the greatest and most spontaneous live bands of all time, for many truly wonderful nights and memorable moments.