James Bay (The BIC, Bournemouth – 06/10/15) ★★★★☆

By: editor

James Bay has the ability to have you jumping around like a loon one minute, to producing tears the next. His talent is undeniable, and after winning The Critics Choice Award earlier this year, he was certainly someone I needed to see. He donned his signature black hat, skin tight jeans and took to the stage with his guitar in hand.

The small venue was the perfect setting, as he went through tracks from his debut album Chaos and the Calm, such as Let it Go and Scars, where he performed a vocal masterclass. I feel like the intimacy with his audience is key, and in a bigger space his voice may have got a bit lost and not felt so connected.

The duration of the set was increased with the inclusion of new unheard tracks and guitar solos, which for me all lasted a bit long. I’m all for listening to new songs but it didn’t seem to get the crowd going. I think on his next visit to Bournemouth the set as a whole will be a lot stronger! I’d of also liked some of the songs to be more raw with just him and his guitar. All seemed a bit too produced and rehersed.

James surprised us all with a rendition of I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys which he sang amazingly. He also included a killer guitar solo during this, which made this my favourite moment of the night.

Not only did the man from Hitchin impress us with his raspy vocals, he showed that he’s not too bad on the guitar either. The sex faces and rolling of the hips definitely didn’t leave much to the imagination, as he jammed on stage.

He finished the night with the song everyone was waiting for, Hold Back The River, which certainly was the perfect end to a great set.




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