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LIVE: James w/ Happy Mondays // Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

There’s nothing quite like watching a band you saw taking over the British airwaves during your prime time - that was certainly the case at the Motorpoint when Happy Mondays and James took to stage for the majority of the crowd. Waves of original tour shirts, Gallagher-esque doos, and the odd kid either being dragged along by their superfan parents (we’ve all been there, right?) or ones of culture. Opening the night with their enthusiasm and school-boy antics were Manchester crew Happy Mondays - who did a superb job in warming up the crowd after queuing in the freezing cold with their 1990 single ‘Kinky Afro’. At one point during the show, I had this sudden realisation that they were in fact not headlining that evening - but their performance said otherwise. Along with Rowetta’s stunning vocals, Shaun’s ‘banter’ and Bez’s incredible energy that I wish I had an ounce of, the band had no trouble setting us up for the rest of the night.

Then came the indie sensations everybody had been waiting for. James took to stage with the most graceful swagger possible to ‘Zero’, taken from their latest album ‘All the Colours of You’. For some it was their tenth time seeing James, and for many it was their first time experiencing what was sure to be a good night. Along with a collection of live renditions of their latest music taken from their summer album 'All the Colours of You', James made it very clear that their older hits still live up to the hype - with fans swaying back and forth, and singing along to classics such as 'Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)' and 'Gold Mother'. By far the highlight of the night was their stunning performance of 'Miss America'; stood behind a white curtain draped above the stage we're nine musicians who clearly embrace themselves in their craft, creating this beautifully atmospheric moment throughout the venue. To finish the evening, of course, was 'Sit Down' - a very familiar track if you're used to sitting in your local with all the fans who were there the first time 'round and the youngsters who still dream of growing up in the eighties and nineties.

Words: Tate Powell

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