Gig review: James at Scarborough Open Air Theatre

It was 1982 when James were signed up by Factory Records and went on to produce a series of massive hit singles while building a huge, loyal and fanatical fanbase.

Tim Booth of James onstage at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Picture: Cuffe and Taylor

Almost four decades on, the legendary Manchester indie rockers are still producing brilliant new music and still performing to massive crowds.

Thursday’s stunning near two-hour set was a mix of the new and old which featured many of their classics and had thousands of adoring fans, young and old, roaring their approval.

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Scarborough Open Air Theatre is a perfect venue for gig-goers.

James onstage at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Picture: Cuffe and Taylor

The queues for food and drinks are never too long and the atmosphere is absolutely electric, in the standing area and the huge grandstand.

As frontman Tim Booth, who originally hails from the White Rose County, summed it up when he told the crowd: “We love coming here, the sound system is always so good.”

James’ visit to the Yorkshire coast was not quite full to capacity, but it wasn’t too far off.

Plenty of the band’s followers soaked up the late summer sun on the Scarborough seafront before heading to the North Bay where the Open Air Theatre is neatly situated next to Peasholm Park.

James onstage at Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Picture: Cuffe and Taylor

After excellent support from Scarborough band The Feens band north-west outfit The K’s, James came on stage at about 8.45pm.

They kicked off with All the Colours of You, the lead single from their latest studio album by the same name released earlier this year.

Other tracks from this album were played and interspersed with more well-known classics such as Come Home, Born of Frustration, Sit Down, She’s a Star and Getting Away With It.

It was a potent mix of their newer material and the more well-established tracks which many of their fans had come to hear.

At one point, the crowd were soaked by the pouring rain but no-one seemed to care.

Booth’s effervescence, incredible energy and sheer love for what he does kept everyone singing and dancing along before a stunning encore which included Sometimes, Tomorrow and the all-time favourite of many, Laid.

It was brilliant stuff from start to finish which left many of the band’s followers already planning their next James gig.