James Bay delighted a packed audience at the O2 Academy in Leeds.
The show was completely sold out, and had been for months, but then again, why wouldn’t it be? James Bay’s last year has seen him transform from a ‘one to watch’ to an unmissable live act; his album ‘Chaos and the Calm’ went straight to number one while ‘Hold Back The River’ and ‘Let it Go’ have stormed the singles charts.
The gig was a chance to see Bay perform his debut album from, pretty much, start to finish, starting off with ‘Colide’ and finishing with the much loved ‘Hold Back The River’. He managed to throw in a cover of Alicia Keys’ ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ for good measure too.
As a live act, he’s phenomenal. He combines his energetic stage presence with nearly flawless, yet still rough and ready, vocals and a superb backing band. The atmosphere hung on his every word, or lyric, as Bay switched from upbeat rock songs to moving power ballads. James Bay is one of those unique artists who can make an audience forget all their worries and get lost in his performance.
A special mention must also go to his two supporting acts who brought the crowd to life early on. The first was a highly tipped singer by the name of Samm Henshaw. A real crowd pleaser, Sam combined his own records ‘Redemption’ and ‘Better’ with a unique cover of One Direction’s ‘Best Song Ever’ and even threw in a little bit of the Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way’. He later stole a place in the audience’s heart, giving out signed copies of his EP to numerous waiting fans.
The second? Elle King. To say she’s unique would be an understatement; just listening to her warm up the crowd is a show worth paying for in itself. The X-Rated rock and roll up-and-comer didn’t miss a beat as she quickly went through her hits, culminating in a superb performance of ‘Ex’s and Oh’s’.
The night itself was a real treat. The chances of James Bay performing at a intimate venue like the O2 Academy in the foreseeable future are slim.