Liverpool Royal Court – 22nd October 2000

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What Is It Good For, Stand, Senorita, Say Something, Sometimes, How Was It For You, Scratchcard, Getting Away With It (All Messed Up), Coffee & Toast, Someone’s Got It In For Me, Johnny Yen, Give It Away, Gaudi, The Shining, Destiny Calling, She’s A Star, Born Of Frustration, Top Of The World, Laid, Ring The Bells.

Review by OneOfTheThree

The Royal Court may look like it needs a lick of paint and a refit, but it is a favourite venue of the band. It’s built for acoustics and it holds fond memories of celebratory gigs from the late eighties.

From the opening bars of Work It All Out, it was evident that this was going to be a very special James performance. The sound was virtually perfect, Geoff Buckley was on peak form with the lights and the crowd was ready to listen to the new songs. Stand, Stand, Stand was a massive success, a song people had never heard before but which they were singing along to by the end. Senorita saw the band ratch up the level still further, Tim dancing freely from one corner of the stage to the other and Saul encouraging the audience as only he knows how.

Say Something got a rapturous reception as Tim introduced it as written when he and Larry were arguing. Tim took the opportunity to improvise over the end section as the crowd pogoed wildly. This continued through Sometimes and the very welcome return of How Was It For You?

True to their earlier promise of new songs, James then romped through Scratchcard and its unerringly catchy “oh Lordy” refrain, Daniel’s Saving Grace and the “scientific love song” Coffee and Toast.

Tim acknowledged Jerry from Seattle who he had met at the book signing who had flown in specially for the gig. Seattle isn’t actually in Canada, Tim……….

The crowd rapturously received the opening bars of Someone’s Got It In For Me which was every little bit as cathartic as the previous night in Leeds. For Johnny Yen, Tim decamped to the speakers stage right to sit and milk the audience’s frenzied reaction to the old favourite.

First On The Tape, described by Saul as “a pop song”, with Saul on violin instead of guitar, started another trio of new songs followed by Gaudi which Tim told the audience deadpan had been written “last Tuesday” followed by the swirling epic The Shining.

As in Leeds, James went back to the trusty Best Of for the finale – Destiny, Star and Frustration. After holding the mic to the crowd for the “woo woo” opening to Frustration, Tim then leapt over the pit (a fifteen feet drop and about ten feet wide) to join his adoring crowd, climbing onto the barrier and dancing, supported only by a few pairs of hands.

For the encore, James began with the ever-beautiful Top of the World with Jim’s bass sending tingles down the spine like never before. A strangely curtailed Laid followed by which time the crowd was a seething mass. Ring The Bells, with an intro sounding uncannily like What’s The World (well it fooled me), wrapped up the show with Tim centre stage in his own dance-driven world as the band wound the sound up faster and faster. And that was that.

This was a truly amazing show that had everything, a set of new songs with an energy and passion that could not fail to win over the crowd, crystal clear sound, a mesmerising light show and James going back to being old-style, old-ethics James brought smash bang into the 21st Century.

No Sit Down? Who needs it when you can Stand Stand Stand?

Review by Alex Lambert

Having been to James’ Manchester gig last year I was waiting for another chance to see them live. And I was not disappointed. The James concert at Liverpool was a far cry from the “Celebratory gigs” they were touring with until recently. We were lucky enough to be standing at the front – my first time standing at any indoor concert. The support band I thourghly enjoyed, even though I didn’t know of them – But it was the main attraction I was awaiting. When they came on, I soon found the disadvantage of being at the very front – the crush, but this just heightened the experience for me.

They came on with new songs which took me by surprise, but I picked up he songs fairly well and ended up loving them. Nine of the songs they played were new so we were all in only a slightly better state than my friend who knew Sit Down and nothing else. The new songs were well received by the crowd and when the classics came on the crowd were making the most of them. I could not help but jump around as the crowd surged forward forcing me to do exactly as I wanted to.

However, the concert finished all to soon with some wild music which I have come to love from various recordings I have heard (One Man Clapping and other live performances). Our lift was late (Like one hour late 12:30) which in the end was good, as I managed to speak to Tim Booth (Nobody had pens for an autograph). Congratulating him on the new material, and hearing that he was worried that he might have done too much new stuff and alienated the crowd turned a potential disaster into a wonderful highlight.

So, Fantastic show, Wonderful new material, I cannot wait for their new album and singles to come out!!!

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