SetlistDream Thrum / Dust Motes / The Shining / Seven / Just Like Fred Astaire / Space / Hello / Ten Below / Say Something / Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) / Nothing But Love / Magic Bus / Love Make A Fool / Medieval / Beautiful Beaches / Moving On / The Lake / Someone's Got It In For Me / Hymn From A Village / Tomorrow / Sometimes / Sit Down / All The Colours Of You / Many Faces / Born Of Frustration
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“The first time James played Manchester Apollo was in December 1989 when they were on the cusp of their initial breakthrough, about to release Gold Mother and newly expanded to a seven-piece. The ensuing stage invasion during Sit Down, already released as a single on Rough Trade but yet to be the huge hit that shot them right into the public consciousness, was captured by Snub TV. The last time was in April 1998 with The Best Of having reached number one in the album charts. Tonight it feels like James are in similar celebratory mood, as this tour is to commemorate their fortieth anniversary, albeit in more refined mode with the orchestra and choir in tow.
All The Colours Of You and Many Faces complete the written setlist, a reminder of James’ ability to create anthemic monsters still, the segue between the two is a real thing of beauty, transforming from the biting snipes at US politics under the previous president to a message of love, togetherness and union that the crowd sing back to them as the choir stand in a line at the front, the orchestra mouthing the words. At this moment it feels like James have swelled from a nine-piece to a thirty-nine piece by a process of osmosis.
The audience demand more, even from their sitting positions in the stalls, and Born Of Frustration, with the choir singing the “la la la la” section is soaring way to finish the night before they all take their final bows and leave us reflecting on a night that wasn’t as celebratory as the previous show in Liverpool, but equally as full of magic of a different kind created by the audience’s attention and listening.”
Read the full review at EvenTheStars.co.uk