James Morrison – Symphony Hall Birmingham – 03 November
Start off with a gripe, anyone who has read any of our reviews know how much we hate sit down gigs and concerts, and here we are again, SEATED. Well needs must, James Morrison is here supporting his latest album ‘You’re Stronger Than You Know’ and nearly straight away he committed a cardinal sin, he gave the audience the option to “stand if you want, but don’t feel obliged to” – ouch!
Of course, a lot stayed sitting down, which in my opinion makes it so much harder to get an atmosphere going, and with Morrison the only one really moving around the stage, it would have made things so much better. He obviously has a great relationship with his fans and is in good voice, full of soul. The acoustics of the Symphony Hall really let you hear his voice to its fullest and you can hear the influences of the great soul singers of the past, Otis Redding and Al Green come to mind. Yes, he included all the hits and well known songs like ‘You Give Me Something’, ‘Broken Strings’, ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ and a version of the mega crowd pleaser Beatles classic ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’.
Supported by an excellent, if stationary band and two superb backing singers, the night took its usual step up in atmosphere when towards the end encores most of the seated audience finally got up, and everyone left happy. But I can’t help thinking I would have loved to see him in smaller, more intimate surroundings.
Photos by Geoff Griffe
Review by Jennifer Griffe