Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 71/2/10
For many, St. Patricks Day, usually with the celebrations spread over a long weekend, is the chance to party for the first time in the year. Nobody would blame a single person for wanting to get rid of the worst winter blues and weather hangover for perhaps decades by going out on the town and taking in the Saturday night shindigs and social gatherings.
In the Zanzibar Club, something was unfolding as James Michael, a previous X-Factor contestant, made his way to the stage and gave a great account of himself with some well written tunes and some inspired lyrics.
There is no doubting that James Michael has a great voice, he sings like the lark on the early morning hunt for sunrise, his guitar playing also is good watch, it is an interesting package when placed together and if not for one brief thing it would be yet another pleasure found in a city full of hidden treasures. Sometimes you can do too much on stage; there are times when you just need to resonate with the audience the power of your voice, the smart, beautiful lyrics, in which James Michael has by the bucket load, and the instrument of your choice as the perfect partner. The effects though can in part be left alone, some artists don’t need to spoil or indulge the moment by adding influences that don’t appear naturally, especially if it detracts from the rather lovely message the artist is singing and relaying to the audience.
It is always going to be a matter of choice but when you look around a venue and see the same expression on many of the faces then you know the musician needs just to bring it back slightly and they can really become something unique and golden. With tracks such as I Don’t Blame You, My Little Girl, How Can I Love You and Do You Hear Me Crying? In his set, James Michael already has the arsenal, he doesn’t need further weapons.
For all this, James Michael has something that the entire world cannot afford to buy and that is determination and guts. It will stand the young man well in the years to come and there is always that thought in the back of the head of any audience member when they see something stirring in the artist’s eye that makes them think, “They have something, I might not get it yet but I know I will.”
Ian D. Hall