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James Bay - Scala, London - November 25 2014 (Live Review)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 Written by Katie Territt

It’s been a crazy few months for James Bay. For starters, there have been huge support slots, lashings of radio support and a brief stay atop the iTunes chart with his ‘Hold Back The River’ EP.

And, with a sold out show at Camden’s KOKO already in the pipeline for February next year and a full tour announced for April, including a stop at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Bay stepped from the shadow of his packed diary to wrap up his current run with a sold out show at the Scala.

In what is becoming a rare occurrence, the crowd was packed into the venue in time for the support act, Port Isla. The band were certainly a big hit, particularly charismatic lead singer William Bloomfield, and their Kodaline-esque tunes and harmonies were a perfect fit.

But, from the moment Bay took to the stage, it was impossible to take your eyes off him. He is charming and endearing, but it’s that voice that is pushing his music into the mainstream.

When We Were On Fire and Need The Sun To Break encouraged plenty of crowd participation, but it was a stunning Move Together that really got the goosebumps going. His cover of Alt J’s Left Hand Free, unearthed during a recent session for Transmitter, received an outing, while a romantic story led to a heartfelt Scars.

The first song of the encore, Clocks Go Forward, provided the evening’s biggest hush. The capacity crowd fell silent as Bay’s soulful, gritty voice  washed over them. The crowd was soon back in full voice as Hold Back The River began, wrapping a bow on an amazing set. See him now, because he’s going to be big.

James Bay Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu February 12 2015 - LONDON KOKO
Tue April 07 2015 - PORTSMOUTH Portsmouth Pyramids
Wed April 08 2015 - LONDON O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
Sat April 11 2015 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Sun April 12 2015 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Newcastle University
Tue April 14 2015 - GLASGOW O2 ABC
Wed April 15 2015 - EDINBURGH Queens Hall Edinburgh
Thu April 16 2015 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Sat April 18 2015 - BIRMINGHAM Institute
Sun April 19 2015 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Mon April 20 2015 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol

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