Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Time was a new album or E.P. launch would be held in the frosted glaze of cameras and a hundred scribes finding a novel way to describe the happiness and pride in the room, the management pouring out champagne and the band assured a million dollar comeback; it was all colourful, it was cynical and it was never truly real. Under the façade of a thousand camera lenses lays one of the truths of life, that nothing is truly what is seems unless you witness it in all its beauty of the humble and quietly talented leaving a bigger mark on the audience than a extravaganza could ever achieve.
For Elijah James and the Nightmares, the very fact that their humility speaks volumes is enough to view their E.P. launch at Studio 2 on a rampant Friday night in Liverpool as more than a success, it is the very heart of the real, this is the 21st Century realism, of a truth of performance, that it has to be played and capture the imagination of the crowd, rather than being a sterile, accountant pound catching and calculating cynicism piece of lets’ pretend and smile for the cameras.
There is much to admire in Elijah James and the band, honesty is a huge part of that admiration, a man with such a great voice that goose pimples have a hard time not developing their own emotions and suffering from their own self induced horripilation.
The sound is to be expected by anyone who caught Mr. James when he plying his trade as a solo artist, now what seems such a long time ago when he played to a rapt and beautifully stunned audience in the Zanzibar Club. The sound may well be expected but it still has the depth and absolute charm in which to send a shiver or two down the spine; it has grown, along with the man himself and by being surrounded by a band of incredibly talented musicians, it has evolved, sparked into life and become an art to swoon over. Nothing less should be expected when it comes down to it.
The Friday night crowd with their anticipation keenly heightened were to be seen in a state of almost hypnotised grace, cheering, dancing and singing without impunity, a sense of grace to which the interested bystander cannot but help appreciate and take note of for future gigs.
In the songs Movie In Your Eyes, On A Stage, That Girl of Mine and Man-Made Masquerade, the E.P. stood proud, passionate and cool. With other songs such as Spirits and Ghosts, To Sue, Too Soon, Talisman and There’s Everything Else, and Then There’s You, Elijah James and the Nightmares had the evening in the palm of their hands, they were all you could want from a night in Liverpool.
Ian D. Hall