Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 14/04/2015 | James Bay – O2 ABC, Glasgow

14/04/2015 | James Bay – O2 ABC, Glasgow

Kimberley Manderson


Walking out with his band nonchalantly to the stage, James Bay and band’s entrance was quiet, calm and collected despite the huge number of screams and cheers coming from the audience. No sooner had he appeared on stage had album track Collide begun in a blaze of flashing lights. The bluesy track set the tone for the rest of the evening, by grabbing attention and making the audience move.

Bay blazed through the more upbeat tracks on his debut album Chaos and the Calm, with Craving and When We Were On Fire getting the crowd shimmying and singing simultaneously. It was at this point he announced that he had been suffering from the lurgy – not that you could tell as every note was pitch perfect and captivating as ever.
He insisted on some help from the crowd to get through a couple of tracks, which the audience were only too happy to oblige with. Although he appeared to struggle slightly with latest single Let It Be, Bay still managed to hit every note and had a full backing chorus from the crowd.

This blended into Move Together, which sounds like it could have been crafted by John Mayer about 10 years ago. Mellow and enchanting, the lighters were out and everyone was swaying. The band decided to then take a short break to let Bay tackle Scars by himself. Beautifully haunting, the live acoustic version of the track made use of the venue’s giant disco ball, sending twinkling lights around the room as if under a starry sky.

The set proved short, as you would expect from a man with only one album. Despite this, and the fact the record has only been out for about 2 weeks, the crowd were mesmerised by each track and knew almost every word too. The best was undeniably saved for last, with an encore consisting of album track Incomplete followed by his biggest hit yet, Hold Back the River. Giving a couple of extra choruses, it was clear that neither Bay nor the crowd were ready for the evening to be over, with everyone singing their hearts out. It was a fantastically short evening, leaving Glasgow craving more from James Bay.