This was my 4th time seeing James, in a 4th different country, having previously seen them in Sheffield, Glasgow and Belfast.
You know what to expect by now, but you still turn up expecting the unexpected, because that’s what James live shows are like.
The event itself was Groove Festival, on the grounds of Killruddery Estate in Bray, in it’s 2nd year having launched in 2013.
There was plenty of activities on offer while waiting for the music to come on such as zorbing, and a rocket display.
I arrived at 5pm(ish) and was greeted by a dance band called King Kong Company doing a version of the Doctor Who theme, complete with kids in a field dancing to it.
The support act that came on before James was Cathy Davey. I’d never heard of her before, but she was rather good.
As the crowd waited for James, the rain started lashing. James are a band worth getting soaked for.
Eventually, they came on, no grand entry. Tim Booth, wearing a coat, which soon disappeared a couple of songs in.
The setlist was dominated by new material, focusing on their current album La Petite Mort. On the songs i’ve heard so far, it’s rather good, with recent single Moving On set to become a fan favourite.
While James were mid song, I heard a voice beside me screaming “Daddy” – turn out it was guitarist Saul Davies daughter. A fan let her piggyback on her to get a better view. He did a double take when seeing his daughter being piggybacked by a stranger (In case you’re wondering, her mum was with her all the time)
There wasn’t many of their classic hits on the setlist, only Sometimes.
As they finished Moving On, they had a change of plan. The original plan of Laid was changed as in Tim Booth’s words, it didn’t feel right, so they played Sit Down instead, with a piano led version, before jumping in to the version we all know and love.
Just when it looked like a James gig without Tim Booth jumping into the crowd, that was rectified during Sit Down. The crowd at the front, as ever, loved it.
It wasn’t as good as my previous James concerts, but it was still an enjoyable evening.