James Bay - SWG3 14th July 2022

17 Jul 2022

James Bay - SWG3 14th July 2022

James Bay Returns To Glasgow

James walks onto the stage a big roar from the audience without any introduction he goes straight into the first song of the new album ‘Give me the reason’ No gimmicks, 1 or 2 spotlights, Bay and his guitar filling the room with an electrifying vocal. ‘After this comes to an end he talks about the release of the new album ‘Leap’ it’s finally out and said how he plans to perform songs from the album but also some old songs. The audience give a cheer. Keeping on the track of the new album he says to the audience ‘if you know the words feel free to sing very loud and if you don’t know the words, sing whatever you want. Itll be great!’ James went on to talk about ‘Everybody needs someone’ that at the time of writing this song he was going through some weird stuff which was a mental/emotional down and sadness but that was in 2019 pre pandemic. He then went on to say Sad songs come naturally, he had a mountain of sad songs just sitting, but he chose 2 or 3 of them which still felt like there was some silver lining. This one, he knew it was going to be for album 3 and he loves it and does a beautiful stripped back version, if you want a bit more of an upbeat vibe, you’ll find this on the album which is equally as stunning.

James takes a pause from the songs to ask a potentially awkward question, did anyone buy the album, did anyone stream it, does anyone know why they’re hear or not know why they are here? Which got the crowd laughing and cheering and went onto thank everyone in whatever way they have listened to the album and shared it. James was told he’s almost at the top of the charts this week, but a couple of guys are flying to the top as well that being Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran, the crowd have a giggle and Bay states ‘We can do it, we can get there’.

The audience are warmed up when it comes to a classic ‘If you ever want to be in love’ the audience singing back every word of the song. Introducing another song Bay states that if you’re someone who really loves music and loves the traditional side of how it’s all created, you’ll hate this, we sat on our laptops using internet and zoom attempting to write a song which was difficult because he didn’t believe in it. He went on to say that he had to adapt and for that he’s very proud of the song as it feels real, that’s all that I’m chasing however we get it done and it’s called ‘Save your love’. Hearing this song on the album is absolutely one which is turned up to full volume and hearing it live at a small intimate gig gave me goosebumps it’s hard to believe that musicians such as James had to write songs adapting to technology when all they’ve known in pen to paper, but it blows my mind and really shows the talent behind the singer. The lyrics really are beautiful and give a realness to life. In the song he hits some high notes which are so delicate and fade out the song almost coming to a point at the end where you could hear a pin drop.

Bay leads into ‘Let it go’ which is always a crowd pleaser. You know instantly with the guitar intro that it’s this song and what comes next, showing the talent from James he doesn’t just play a song as how we hear on the album he’ll stop and shouts ‘Let me hear you’ during the performance whilst he improvises on the guitar letting the crowd lead the song singing the words. Watching James play the guitar alone is something special which the audience seem to understand every time by giving a big cheer.

The atmosphere is buzzing and is kept going with his new song ‘One Life’. This came somewhere in the middle and made Bay realise what the album needed to be and was going to be. The song refers to the silver lining. James said ‘As an emo guy it’s scary to approach those themes and continued to say that we all love a sad song but there’s a place in between and this song is one of the best examples. James talks about being lucky to have incredible friends but has one special person in his life, his partner Lucy and shared the news that they had a baby 9 months ago, the crowd gave a cheer and applause. James realised that he was struggling and for things that he’d chase or try to achieve its that someone in his life that was more important that anything. The lyric came to his mind ‘I’ve only got one life and I want you in it’ Bay stated it was a very direct line and felt he had to follow it so he wrote ‘One Life’ and says to the crowd ‘If you have that special someone congrats but if you don’t, you will find someone, I promise’. This is another song that I love from the album and couldn’t wait to hear it live, the lyrics to the song build up to the chorus where James shows of his beautiful falsetto runs, throughout the song I see James smiling away enjoying the moment and quite rightly, this song has a good feeling vibe and makes me want to keep it on repeat all the time.
Ending the evening of another moment where James speaks to the audience to thank everyone for all the support. Leaving the crowd in high spirits with ‘If you ever want to be in love’

Having this small intimate gig really captures the moment for many fans because on every song the acoustics for the performance were outstanding, this gig was all about the talented man on the stage and only him Just when you think James has written one magical song or album, he brings out another and it makes you fall even more in love with his vocal. Overall, the performance was sensational, you got what you paid for and more.

Review and photography by Laura Somerville.


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Review - James Bay - SWG3 14th July 2022 - Glasgowmusic.co.uk