James Concert Review – Cape Town, 24.11.2018

It was a beautiful evening when I arrived at Kirstenbosch Gardens and the enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as the winding queue portrayed.

We entered the venue and managed to find a little spot atop the hill of the venue, with an incredible view of the city and the stage below us.

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Watershed started their set at 19:00 and it is always lovely to be able to watch a local staple perform at Kirstenbosch. It allows us to appreciate our local talent and show our support.

James is an English rock band from Manchester, which was formed in 1982. Lead singer Tim Booth departed from the band in 2001 and the band became inactive. In 2007, the band reunited and went on to produce six more albums.

Tim Booth is a very entertaining frontman, with a ton of energy, but with no tolerance for cellphones. He expressed his desire for the audience to “live in the moment” instead of taking videos/pictures to post on social media later on. He performed two songs amidst the crowd, but didn’t want to spend time with “one-armed people”. Considering the world we found ourselves in, it is refreshing to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around social media.

“Getting Away With It All (All Messed Up)” was a true crowd pleaser as it should be. It is an enigmatic song and one of the band’s most popular tracks.

“Say Something” was another hit with the audience and they were very happy to perform backing vocals to the entire song.

“What’s It All About” is a song from the band’s latest album, “Living in Extraordinary Times”. I love the vibe of this song, it deals with a serious topic, but the melody is extremely catchy.

“Hank” was another track that the band performed from their latest album and the drumming on this song in particular was impressive.

“Leviathan” is a compelling song about two people’s journeys coming together as one.

“Many Faces” closed the band’s set and it was a beautiful experience. As Tim ended off the song slowly, the crowd took over chanting the last verse;

“There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here
There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here”

It was absolutely magical, while the full moon was high up in the sky, the audience came together as one in that single moment.

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I thoroughly enjoyed James’ performance and I can say that for the first time the studio albums don’t do the live performance of the band justice. I have never said that about a band’s material before, but I mean it as a massive compliment.

I will admit that I wasn’t familiar with the band’s material before, but I loved every second of their set. My friend and I were standing the entire time, which locals will know is not the norm for a show at Kirstenbosch Gardens. We were dancing the whole time!

Shout out to We Are Live! for the free tickets!

Thank you to James for a memorable night!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

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