Live Review: James (Kendal Calling 30/07/2015)

A band that personify longevity on Thursday delivered an impeccable performance to an entourage of early birds at Kendal Calling. 1992’s Sound began a journey of both reminiscence and admiration for a band that must be one of the best around for reproducing faultless quality time after time, both in the studio and on stages around the world.

Countless bands struggle to uphold energy at a live performance when performing new material but a crowd that largely consisted of those that will have seen the same band at KC back in 2012 were treated to a selection of fresh produce that wouldn’t have been out of place in a set-list touring ‘Seven’. Moving On; the pick of the bunch. I rated it highly upon its’ release but it flooding the amphitheatre of the main stage elevated it to surely their best since their break-up, albeit temporary, in 2001.

Of course, with a band such as James especially, you can’t please everyone. I was critical immediately after their exit on the absence of Destiny Calling (how can they leave it out?!) and Tomorrow, She’s A Star also didn’t make the cut amongst others. However, the adaptation of Sit Down to an acoustic rendition was a master-stroke, still as popular as ever and lyrically crystal clear during such an calm and collected 4 minutes. Come Home the opposite, the screeching sirens that point towards 1989 and the golden era for themselves and Mancunian music as a whole. Some able to reminisce and some just jealous they weren’t a part of it.

Thankfully both Laid and Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) survived, that would’ve been a disaster. Just Like Fred Astaire and Seven were also accounted for and equally appreciated by the Kendal Calling crowd.

As Tim Booth leans into the masses and hangs like a religious figure adored, his shirt being grasped at by girls and grown men alike, there’s a question to be asked about their appointment at the festival when only half of the attendees were there. Thursday night finished somewhat prematurely and maybe a slot on Saturday or Sunday, even before a headliner, might have been more appropriate. A ticket-seller nonetheless, they were undoubtedly one of the picks of the weekend, again.


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