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Live review: James Bay - Somerset House Summer Series
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Live review: James Bay - Somerset House Summer Series

Picture of Sophie Hannah Davis
Updated: 12 December 2015
Since hitting the charts, with the infectious ‘Hold Back The River’ in January, James has been at the top of his game after being named the BBC Sound of 2015 winner. James, originally from Hertfordshire, UK, isn’t for everyone but he does manage to keep you entertained simply through his beautiful voice.
James Bay | © Sophie Davis
James Bay | © Sophie Davis

As he began the gig, he said, “I’ve heard good things about this Somerset House gig”, as he greeted the crowd, and he was right. Somerset House is a great venue for a multitude of bands and artists, providing their fans an intimate venue to listen to their favourite artists chosen tracks.

For the most of the set, James carefully worked his way through his debut album ‘Chaos and the Calm’, which went to number one in the album charts upon its release in March. As he did so, he concentrated on his songs with intent and alongside his fedora, and chiselled cheekbones, he made the gig an intimate one for everyone at Somerset House.

Highlights from the gig included ‘Scars’ for which he prefaced with a story about how it took him two years to write! Both singles ‘Move Together’ and, later in the set, James’ new single ‘Let It Go’ also proved popular with the vocal crowd.

James Bay Performing at Glastonbury Festival 2015 | © Tomjhill/Wikicommons
James Bay Performing at Glastonbury Festival 2015 | © Tomjhill/Wikicommons

While he may have a little way to go in terms of stage presence, you can’t help but warm to James Bay and his musky voice beside those guitar strings.

As the night drew in and the lights dimmed, James played his penultimate song – the extended version of Alicia Keys’ ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ cover. The cover was a real highlight of the night, allowing Bay to extend his vocal chords even further. Alicia Keys would have been proud.

The well-known single ‘Hold Back The River’ closed the set at the beautiful Somerset House, and brought a worthy night of music to an end. The majestic location is now a real highlight in London’s summer music calendar.

By Sophie Hannah Davis

Sophie Davis is an International Relations graduate, budding editorial writer and traveller. To see more of her writing and travel insights check out her travel and lifestyle blog Sophie’s Suitcase and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.