Live Review: James Bay – Lafayette, London 26.01.2022

Fabian Fernandes

Review and photos by Fabian Fernandes

So for a lot of music fans out there, we have been craving live music and for the unfortunate few our first gig of the year. Fitting, that James Bay’s first song of the night- Craving, opened up the show. The acoustic tour labelled New Song, New Stories, in support of independent music venues was exactly that. James debuted his next (and new) single – Give Me A Reason which was well received.

He went on to explain that some of his songs centered around a disagreement with someone in his life, such as How We Used to Shine, whilst other songs related to when he developed a level of anxiety and the feeling of being lost during the lockdown period as he belted out Everybody Needs Someone. 

James went on to tell a story about him and his partner Lucy finding their forever home, only for them to miss out on the house. “First world problems” he called it, and something I’m sure many can relate to. He then went onto say something “cringe”, his words not mine, that in the end it didn’t matter because he had all he needed, his partner Lucy. Naturally there were alot of “aww’s” from his faithful fans. He performed One life based on this story, a great heartfelt love song and an unreleased single, which you can find on YouTube if you search hard enough. 

Personally my favourite new song of the night was Save Your Love and I can’t wait for it to be released. It seems James is taking his third album to deeper grounds but who can tell for sure after an acoustic gig. Some songs may not make the album, some with a full live band backing him, may sound completely different, only time will tell. 

Talking of acoustic, who said you can’t rock out at an acoustic gig. James played some great renditions of his songs as he strummed his guitar as he improvised with Us, Scars and Best Fake Smile being the standout for me. He also played what he declared his most “steamy” song ever written – Nowhere left to go, with his lyrics “let me lick your lips…. I want to hide in the covers and discover your body slow”. There were alot of whistling as this song played out, so it seemed to get a very arousing reception, pardon the pun. It was a superb acoustic gig, which ended on Hold Back The River, which was only James’ second ever single which reached #2 in the UK charts. Needless to say, the whole set was welcomed by the audience, and left everyone shouting one more song even after James had the left the stage. Bring on the new album! 

I must give a shout out also to artist Tamzene from Scotland. A woman with a beautiful voice who grew up busking James Bay songs only to be supporting him years later. How surreal that must have been. Dreams do come true…

Previous Premiere: The Grogans want to 'Be Your Man' with a garage band buzz. An invitation impossible to refuse. Plus single launch dates announced.
Next Live Review: Howling Bells - 229 The Venue, London 22.01.2022

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