James Bay at the Slaughtered Lamb
As part of Communion’s tenth birthday celebrations, James Bay returned to the venue where it all started for him. It was 25th November 2013 when Communion took a chance on the singer and offered him his first headline slot in London, and from that point onwards things have been on a constant rise for Bay, and the label.
The venue was filling up in time for the support act, which was the lead singer of Port Isla, William Bloomfield. He played stripped-back versions of his bands’ tracks – with the highlight being Volcano.
After a quick trip to the bar, everybody was eagerly awaiting the main act. Sporting a Beyoncé T-shirt and his trademark hat, James Bay climbed through the crowd in the basement of the Slaughtered Lamb to take centre stage.
His set list for the evening was a carbon copy of that day three years ago, meaning it was a rare opportunity for his fans to hear old B-Sides like Clocks Go Forward, which no longer get played on his tours, in such an intimate way.
As expected, the musician also rifled through his selection of hits from his debut album The Chaos and the Calm, with the crowd singing every word with him during favourites such as Scars, Let It Go and Move Together. The emotion that Bay displays in his performances is impressive, and was enhanced even further in this low key setting.
Following an impromptu crowd sing-a-long to The Beatles’s Something, as Bay tuned up his guitar before closing the set with his mega-hit Hold Back the River. the singer-songwriter finished the night stating, “I’m going to disappear for a while to work on the second album, but I promise I will be back as quick as I can”.
The concert was enough evidence that, whilst everything was the same as 2013 – the songs, the artist, the sold out venue – when the musician does come back with his second studio release, it will certainly be a much bigger affair than last night. This was a special showcase of what James Bay has to offer, but also a timely reminder that he has so much more to give. Expect his ascent to continue.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about James Bay and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Hold Back the River here: