Review: James at Utilita Arena Newcastle

Review: James at Utilita Arena Newcastle

This week we were lucky to be invited to see James at the Utilita Arena supported by Razorlight. I grew up with these bands but hadn’t seen either live, so was quite excited.

The day before I went for a walk and banged on James latest album Yummy. By the end of it I knew that this gig was going to be memorable. For me there’s not a person on earth who hasn’t come across James, even if unknowingly. The hit song Sit Down will have ring through your eardrums at some point in life as it is a true classic of a song. Even now generations on! 

In we stepped, the Utilita Arena with a standing floor for this gig. I was delighted to see this as I often wonder what bands think playing to a seated audience sometimes but no fear as tonight the standing floor brought a proper concert feel. Packed as much as it could have been the fans were out in force.

Razorlight performed admirably as you would expect. Jonny Borrell even after twenty years hasn’t changed and was confident throughout. America, Golden Touch, ViceI Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Gotwere all belted out to great reception. It must be a great feeling to have an audience sing back to you in unison as we all did for the classic Somewhere Else. It’s not often you get a headline band supporting ans Raorlight show there’s plenty of fuel in their tank.

Credit: Adam Kennedy

Released in April, James’ new album Yummy reached #1 in the UK Album Chart and was their first ever studio #1 album which was a surprise for me to hear. Here there are undertaking a short Arena Tour to showcae a variety of songs across the many past albums All the Colours of You, Whiplash, Laid, Pleased to meet you and Gold Mother as well as new album Yummy. 

She’s A Star and Waltzing Along kicked off the set and set the tone for the night. It wasn’t long either until Tim frontman Tim Booth was immersing himself amongst this audience providing a close up experience as he made his way into the pits and later running around the arena and even crowd surfing. 

Booth was keen to ensure people lived in the moment and not through their phones. There was happiness, joy and a feeling of community, people just coming together under one roof for the same common reason. 

Credit: Adam Kennedy

Booth along with a 13 piece band (inclusive of 4 back singers) played this set as good as any he’s ever played and we loved every single minute of it. If before James were a band that I just knew of, coming out of the gig they just gained a huge fan that will certainly attend a future gig. 

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