St. James' Church, London
By performing under his innocuous stage name, these one-man shows by My Morning Jacket front man Jim James often go unnotticed in the listings, but as anyone who has attended one can testify - they are overlooked gems in the My Morning Jacket schedule.
On this occasion lead guitarist Carl Broemel was in tow to provide some back up and the venue was spectacular. Could there be any better setting for James angelic voice than a church? James himself seemed awstruck by the venue and often lost himself in the darkness of the room, with only some low-key lighting picking the stage out of the darkness. Opening with Tonight I Want To Celebrate With You, the venue perfectly projected the bands gentle sound and as the two of them worked through acoustic masterpieces like Golden, the duelling guitars filled the room.
It Beats 4 U got a low-key workout which highlighted the passionate lyrics, while newsongs like Sec Walkin' and Librarian were perfectly suited to the venue - sounding much more part of the catalogue here, out of the context of the eclectic new record. Thank You Too really soared, with great guitar work from James - who often over-shadowed his counterpart Carl Broemel, who's presence sometimes seemed distracting from the otherwise captivating focus of the show. Left truly solo for a spell in the middle of the set, songs like The Bear got a flawless presentation for the front man, as the gentle acostics built up before letting loose into a torrent of guitar usually reserved for a speaker facing three-man jam.
James and Broemel returned for an encore and after a hymnal intro from Sam Cooke's I Thank God, they took on an ambitious rendition of Touch Me I'm Going To Scream (Part 2). The haunting electronics of the Omnichord made for an experience far beyond your average acoustic show, with Broemel's soaring slide guitar this time perfectly complementing the electronic beats and vocals.
As the echoing beats faded away there was time for one more and the drums continued into a great rendition of Anytime, before the eccentric cape-clad front man left the stage again - hiding under his cloak like a victorian sideshow oddity. Outstanding.
23rd May 2008 - Tumblr4.5
The Forum, Kentish Town, London
It Still Moves / Acoustic Citsouca / Z / Okonokos
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