Live Review: James Bay

9 February 2015 | 10:15 am | Milly Mead

James Bay melted hearts in Sydney

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A distressed-looking woman on the verge of tears exited The Basement on Monday night after she’d been turned away, advised that the venue was at maximum capacity. It was a sold out show.

British singer-songwriter James Bay’s arrival on stage was accompanied by the cheers and wolf whistles of a crowd predominantly represented by swooning women. The venue itself had been transformed from a live music space into a stifling sauna. “Is it hot in here or is it just me?” Bay laughed from on stage. “It’s definitely you!” the crowd responded.

With that hair, his signature hat and, more importantly, a voice that rasps like gravel and melts like honey, it’s no surprise that Bay has garnered so much attention in the past year.

The 23-year-old took the crowd through tracks from his EPs, each song truly a standalone performance in itself. He took the time to explain some of the heartache and motivation behind the lyrics before ripping into tracks like Scars and Move Together with such passion and conviction the audience was simply left standing with giddy grins plastered from ear to ear.

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Bay’s style of indie-rock-infused soul music is delivered with killer dynamics from the man himself and a beautiful, crooning voice that’s going to set him up for big things in the future. It was his first show over this side of the world but there’s no doubt he’ll be making an appearance in Australia again if the loved-up crowd from Monday night has anything say about it.