Sunday 18 December 2011

JAMES McCARTNEY- Live the Barfly, Camden, London December 15th 2011

Review by Ernie Sutton

This low key gig on the upper floor of the Barfly was a joy to be at.

Having seen James at the famous 100 Club in March 2010, where he appeared a little nervous but still gave a good show, this gig showed us how much he has improved, particularly vocally.

The gig had the majority of his new CD “The EP Collection” performed live and far rockier than the CD.

Arriving on stage at 10pm dressed in a cool black and white jacket, with a 4 piece backing band, James introduced the first track “New York Times”.
Playing electric guitar, James ripped into the opening bars and the beat had people dancing straight away. 

His powerful voice added spice to the number, which was just pure rock.

The cheers at the end of the number must have made James feel good. 

“I Only Want to be Alone”, followed, a mellower track beautifully delivered. It was introduced as the single that has been released in the USA, and one of my favourites from the night.

James’s vocal was excellent and at the end of the track I turned to see the audience reaction as there was a lot of cheering from behind, and there was Paul, Stella and Mary literally just feet behind me cheering James all the way. Stella in particular was cheering and dancing away.

James then dedicated the next song to his family, including mum, which was a lovely touch. Having now switched to acoustic “My Friend” was a beautiful ballad and the delivery of the wonderful lyrics clearly shows the love and affection within the McCartney family, Paul looked on and was clearly proud of his son up there on stage.

The second acoustic track was “The Sound of my Voice”, before James switched to piano. Unlike the 100 club gig where there were numerous instrument changes, James just stuck with 2 guitars and piano this time, “Fallen Angel”, another ballad, was followed by the more rocky “Spirit Guides” with a wonderful chorus which was extremely catchy.

By now the place was buzzing and the band was contributing to some wonderful harmonies in the vocals.
Now back on electric guitar the band started to play some rock in the run up to the finale. “Moonstar” followed “Wings of a Lightest Weight”, before James performed the one track of the night that was a cover. “Old Man” was a Neil Young track from the early 1970’s, and James certainly did the song justice, with virtually the whole audience singing along. The final song of the night was announced as the UK single. “Angel” was a perfect closing number and James and the band left the stage to massive cheers and applause, not least from his family who by now had been joined by Paul’s current band mate Rusty Anderson.

Paul was just there to see his son perform, and not get up there with him. This was James’s night and the band returned to the stage to rock out the night with “Else and Else but Dead” and finally the excellent “Mix”.

James then left the stage again and was joined by his family in the side room, before emerging a short while later to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

Whilst still appearing a little shy, James appeared happy with the adulation of the fans. An excellent show and well worth going to see, and the backing band deserve credit too for their contribution to this show, and when James develops his music catalogue we hope we can have a longer show.

If you get the chance go and see him, you will be pleasantly surprised. James has developed his own music which is very pleasing on the ear, and as a performer is improving all the time.

Set List
Intro/New York Times/I Only Want To Be Alone/My Friend/The Sound of my Voice/Fallen Angel/Spirit Guides/Wings of a Lightest Weight/Moonstar/Old Man/Angel/Else and Else but Dead/Mix.

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