What we learned watching James Bay live

Ahead of his UK tour, the singer-songwriter performed an acoustic show at London’s Omeara.

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James Bay is back and is almost unrecognisable. He has swapped his trademark hat and long hair for a shorter cut and a new sound. His new album Electric Light, an amalgamation of different styles has already reached No.2 in the charts in its first week.

To mark the release of the album he is currently on tour around the UK and performing at festivals this summer. Here’s what we learned during his show.

James Bay - Wild Love

Who needs Wembley?

London’s Omeara is the kind of venue where you dream of watching your favourite musicians up close, so this is a rare opportunity to see James in an intimate setting. The 350-capacity, chandelier ornamented venue has a feel of a rustic ballroom, with an archway surrounded stage.

Opening the show with Wild Love from Electric Light he then thanks the audience for being there for this special show, adding that tonight the songs will be “at a sensible acoustic level”. It is clear that he loves small venues like this, declaring that “we don’t need Wembley”.

What a voice!

With a stripped back set this is the perfect place to showcase his talents. His voice has a velvety sound that could melt and break hearts. The power in his vocals, only accompanied by his guitar or a piano demonstrates that he can shine at ease without a big production.

He can captivate an audience

Filling the room with his sound, at moments you can almost hear a pin drop. The memorable moment is during Let It Go, where the crowd are hanging on his every word, going completely silent in the instrumental parts and then softly singing along. There’s a lot of swooning going on, with murmurs about his looks and charisma between tracks.

Still down to earth

Continually thanking his fans it is noticeable that he has remained humble despite his big success, recently dueting with Alicia Keys. He gushes how the support means so much and how he wants to do more intimate shows like this. He promises that there will be many more chapters to come before closing the set with Hold Back the River. This provides a rapturous reception and with no encore, his fans will no doubt be highly anticipating his next show; and we have to agree as this isn’t a show we will forget in a hurry.

James Bay - Hold Back The River


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