By Megan Moss
Date / Venue: Wednesday November 9th, 2016 - The Powerstation, Auckland
Holy Hell ! Were you there? If you weren't I'm sorry but you TOTALLY missed out! It's pretty safe to say that James absolutely and categorically brought the Powerstation to its knees last night.
The band known simply as 'James' have been around for quite a long time now, and you can see it and feel it. The Powerstaion was chocka-block full of the happiest people on earth last night (considering Donald Trump had just been announced President of the United States, which lead singer Tim Booth took the time to address his displeasure, to which the crowd roared their approval & displeasure and agreement at this latest turn of events).
But on with the show! Starting the night in dimmed lights the band walked onstage a little late but to a huge applause. Taking it easy on the first song, settling in, the band's very full indie-rocky sound lulled the crowd with the odd whistle. But it was for a moment only before they launched full force into the second song 'To My Surprise' full volume and full crowd participation included. Packed tight like sardines, the audience joined Tim when he danced his trademark dance, sang & clapped & danced along... and it was pretty damn glorious to be amongst that crowd and listening to that amazing band live.
Tim Booth (lead vocals), with his fabulous voice & persona ruled the stage with an air of sophistication and grace, but with a measured dose of chaos added to keep you on your toes - periodically surveying the crowd with a smirk nodding to everyone it seemed, and then he was off in his own world doing his famous trance like dances that fit so perfectly with 'electronica' element of their music... and it sounded really good. The band, also consisting of Andy Diagram (trumpet / backing vocals), David Baynton-Power (drums), Saul Davies (rhythm guitar, violin), Jim Glennie (bass guitar, backing vocals), Adrian Oxaal (lead guitar, keyboard) and Mark Hunter (keyboards / piano) were all on form.
The chemistry in the band onstage is fabulous, outwardly it seemed that they all consciously make an effort to connect repeatedly with each other onstage - if it is a thing... well it works, they sound incredible. They are all amazing performers and I don't believe I saw an unhappy or bored look on a single persons face. We were treated to 20 odd songs spanning a few years, there was a little lull 3/4 of the way through, with the audience still hanging on to every note, and when the crowd were at the right temperament Tim simply stepped right from the stage right over the security / pit area, and was then held up by many adoring fans up on the bar whilst he stood there singing to his fans. Needless to say, the crowd went wild again!
There was an encore, a few more songs than I expected, still the audience hung in there unwilling to move just yet. The band was looking a little weary by this time, but hung in there for their fans and were in turn treated to one of the loudest applauses I have heard at the Powerstion since the 80's (showing my age here). I'm not going to go into a million details... this is how it was...BRILLIANT night out! To the band, thank-you so very much for coming to visit Auckland. It's such a pleasure to have witnessed you play, please don't be strangers!
Wellington, you're next....have you got your ticket?