JAMES – LIVE AT SHEFFIELD O2 ACADEMY
Ever since 1998 when my older brother brought home a copy of The Best Of James, released that day, i’ve loved this band.
The following year, on my 16th birthday, I used money I was given to purchase a special edition of the album, complete with a live CD.
James have always been a band I wanted to see live, but a combination of a 8 year hiatus, and the fact that they never visited Belfast meant that it was an ambition that was always unfulfilled.
Upon the announcement of their 2010 tour, I did start looking at the dates, thinking to myself that either the Edinburgh or Sheffield dates looked tempting (and easier to get to)
I let the idea sit for a while, before booking a trip to the North of England for that weekend, I decided to start my trip a day earlier just so I could get to Sheffield to see them in concert. It turned out to be a decision I wouldn’t regret.
After getting a train from Liverpool and spending the day in Sheffield, I eventually made it to the venue, but was unaware of the layout and ended up queing for the wrong concert, as there are two concert venues at Sheffield Academy.
Even the fact that the audience was making me feel old didn’t give the game away. Having left the queue to see Twenty Twenty (No, I haven’t a clue either) I then parked up into the queue for James, and the audience made me feel young (Not sure if that says more about me or them)
The support band, Unkle Bob, were rather good and well worth checking out.
James caught people out with their entrance to the stage, as Tim Booth, backed only with an acoustic guitar, mingled with fans in the top tier whilst singing an acoustic version of ‘Sit Down’.
It was an almighty sight to see burly security guards reduced to quivering wrecks as Booth climbed over the balcony to view his fans in the bottom tier of the venue.
Not being precious, but there was a rather high quota of cunts intent on moshing into people.
I always make it a rule never to let people like that steal the limelight, and it’s a rule i’m going to uphold for this concert, especially when James were so good.
To give you an idea of how good they were, they got a standing ovation at the end of ‘Tomorrow‘.
Not at the end of a concert, but at the end of a song.
Another highlight of the concert was ‘I Know What I’m Here For‘, which is probably better known as the soundtrack to a sponsors indent during Champions League coverage, as it was sadly not the massive hit should have been.
As ever, with concerts of a a band this good, you could end up being grumpy and complain about the songs they didn’t sing, and this set-list had a gaping ‘She’s A Star‘ shaped hole in it.
The encore was gloriously chaotic, you wouldn’t want it any other way, before a second encore signed off with Laid.
The music of James is like a disease without any cure, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.