These days I have to say you`re not really sure what to expect at a James gig. They have recently toured a live version of the new double album `Be Opened By The Wonderful` with a forty-piece orchestra in celebration of their 40th Anniversary. Tonight, though was just the band, which runs to a total of nine people so a straight up show, well as straight as any James events can be.

The band walk on stage with little fuss or musical fanfare and share the quirky `Jonny Yen` and `Five-O` which seems to stun and mesmerise this packed audience with singer Tim Booth limbering up with his usual jerky dance moves. The bouncy `Waltzing Along` really ignites this crowd before Tim says they`re going to play `What For` which he`s forgotten to print the lyrics to so may need help.

The deep `Love Make a Fool` a newly written track for the recent orchestrated album sounds like it`s always been around. `I Know What I’m Here For` ending with a trumpet blast and `Interrogation` are well received but it`s `Sit Down` that sends the crowd into a frenzy of dancing, arm waving and singing along.

`All Good Boys` is introduced as one of the best peace songs even written before `Say Something`, `Hymn From a Village` and `Ring the Bells` break the spell and have everybody moving again.

The anthemic `Come Home`, wonderful `Beautiful Beaches` a favourite of mine from the last studio album `All The Colours Of You` and `Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)` end tonight`s show.

I wasn`t expecting the band to return but they do and offer the introspective `Out to Get You`, the pounding `All the Colours of You` before sending us all home with `Laid` which broke the band in America and is for me the definitive James number to close out on.

Well tonight`s James happening was as unpredictable as expected with numbers that I never thought would be shared but that`s the beauty of this band. They are in Bristol on Friday and i`m sure there will be a couple of staples but who knows what else which is a joy for those die-hard fans who follow the band.

This evening was almost a stadium show in a smaller venue where there was something for everybody and we all felt included. For me, at the end of the day that`s all you can ask of a band.

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