Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Extraordinary Performances

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Extraordinary Performances

Article excerpt

JAMES, Newcastle City Hall Sunday, March 17 THERE'S the conventional way and then there's the James way.

The legendary Mancunian band have been ploughing a lone furrow and going it alone pretty much from the day they formed in the mid-1980s and show no signs of conforming anytime soon.

Not for them the tried and tested 'heritage band' route.

They haven't turned their live gigs into a greatest hits sets and they haven't given up recording new material.

As a result they have maintained a freshness and vibrancy that makes their live shows unmissable and has resulted in albums that are as strong if not, in some cases, stronger than those released in their alleged peak years in the 1990s.

James are certainly playing larger venues than ever and spent the winter entertaining the faithful at huge arenas including enormo-domes in Manchester and Leeds.

Those gigs included a selection of fan favourites such as Sit Down, Laid, She's A Star and Sometimes, but the band's unapologetic policy is to use their current album as the foundation of each set.

Just a few weeks after that last live jaunt James are back out on the road for the Living In Extraordinary Times Tour, visiting Newcastle on Sunday, March 17.

In a novel twist, the band will be supporting themselves by playing an acoustic set before returning to the stage for the main event.

Lead singer Tim Booth says fans should expect some surprises: "We change our set-list every night, usually about an hour before we get on stage.

"We aren't about nostalgia, we're not a heritage band. We play a lot of new songs when we play live and the stuff we're writing now is as good as anything we've ever written - if not better."

The album the tour is named after was released last year to widespread acclaim and it charted in the top 10, just like its predecessor, 2016's Girl At The End Of The World. …

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