Supportn/a - Festival
At the end of October 2017 James announced a special one-off intimate concert to benefit the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund with the following message “Very happy to announce this benefit gig that we have been trying to make happen since the atrocity took place. Please excuse our tardiness. We intend to make a memorable night of this intimate gig. With love, James.” The tickets for the 2,000 capacity Manchester Albert Hall sold out in minutes.
The gig itself was opened by an acoustic set by special guests The Slow Readers Club, who had supported them throughout the Girl At The End Of The World tour.
James then played a first set of new songs, acoustic arrangements and Q&A, including a 9-minuted improvisation to showcase how the band developed new material. The acoustic songs, arranged by Joe Duddell, featured a string quartet.
Glasvegas singer and songwriter James Allan played a solo keyboard and guitar set.
James returned for their main set. At the end James bid farewell to regular touring member Ron Yeadon.
Specific merchandise was produced for the gig, including a hoodie, t-shirt and Mancsy print, with all net-profits going to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
Tonight James were soul music, healing the heart of a city that was devastated by an attack on the gig culture that is at the very core of what makes Manchester one of, if not the principal music city of the world.
They deliver it as ever with a cleverness that means momentum is never lost and Tim’s out amongst us on Curse Curse, bending almost contorted over the front rows as well as ignoring all health and safety rules and a fair bit of self-preservation by clambering up onto the balcony and dangling precariously over us for the main set closer Come Home, showing that their intent is not just to connect emotionally but also physically with us.
Read the full review at EvenTheStars.co.uk.
The Hope and Glory Festival was an operational disaster. Poor planning, organisation and management by the operator led to excessive queueing and long delays in getting in and around the venue. This had a knock-on effect to the event causing support Charlotte Church to be cancelled and on-the-fly setlist reductions being forced onto the bands. Then Sunday’s festival was cancelled at short notice.
The bands and fans were clearly not amused – and the event promoter even started a public Twitter spat with James’ after Tim Booth tweeted how unhappy he was for fans.
“Booth performed with real energy, dancing around on stage like a spinning top. The music covered a range of emotions, but the primary feeling was one of anthemic celebration.” EastLife.co.uk
“A faultless performance.” – East Anglian Daily Times
James were supported by Peter Hook And The Light. James’s Tim and Jim turned up on stage to play Love Will Tear Us Apart during Hooky’s set.
“With the release of remastered versions of Stutter and Strip-mine this week, it’s wholly appropriate that Johnny Yen gets played and it feels like welcoming back an old friend, but one that’s changed since you last met. It should have been a single way back in 1986 and it could have been a game changer, yet thirty one years on it feels as fresh as if it were a new song.”