Life of Live jumps out of sync for this post. Last friday I went to see James play at the Royal Albert Hall complete with full choir and orchestra. It could have been awful self indulgent tosh but it was in fact truly magical.
An all seated affair with the band on promptly at 8 , no support , an interval and only the encore suggesting it was a rock gig (that and the fact that I'd been drinking since 4 and had a kebab before going in)
It started with a slow build as songs were pulled from their complete back catalogue. They tended to be the slow/mid tempo ones and so the start of the set featured songs I'd never thought I'd get to hear live. The band, choir and orchestra fitted together so well and created a real swell of sound that filled a place where many a band I've seen have struggled not to get lost.
After the interval more familiar singles started to appear often given a completely new lease of life by the backing arrangements.
What was a surprise is even songs from the stripped down Stutter worked just as well as the lusher later tracks.
I've posted 4 tracks taken at the concert and hats off to whoever took them as the quality is great and he or she must have spent the whole gig with their phone in the air (normally a pet hate of mine)
Looking at them a few things strike me , not sure why the harpist is wearing a hard hat and keep your eye on the french horn player who looks totally bemused by the whole thing.
First 2 are from early james - Hymn from a Village and Fairground, the 3rd from late james- Bubbles and ending with a version of Sometimes which shows a band totally in control of what they can do - if you only look at one make it that one and tell me you don't wish you were there!