James may not be a band of a generation like their Manchester peers The Stone Roses but over the years they have certainly proved a more consistent proposition – yet still something of a law unto themselves, judging by this occasionally bloody-minded show which began by inviting the crowd to come to them but culminated by bringing the show out into the audience.
James | Hydro, Glasgow | Rating ***
There were no obvious concessions to the size of the arena, as they opened with gentle country pop-flavoured ballad Out To Get You. In fact, the entire set drew heavily on the low-key material from new album The Girl At The End of the World - the best of which was the hypnotic electro incantation Dear John - with a smattering of anthems threaded throughout.
Frontman Tim Booth’s crowd-surfing exploits and the mass celebration of Sometimes gave a lift to proceedings. A couple of beloved oldies were re-arranged for acoustic guitar and cello, but Come Home was delivered in all its baggy finery, the shuffling drums, house piano and wah-wah guitar, so in fashion a quarter of a century ago, dating this track like no other in the set.
They bowed out on another anti-climactic new song, Attention, but all was forgiven when Booth re-emerged for the encore in the balcony and went walkabout during an acoustic rendition of Sit Down which galvanised the room and demonstrated the quiet power of a simple anthem.