James Bay review: Grammy nominee uses Norwich gig to tease new music

James Bay performing at the Norwich Arts Centre

James Bay performing at the Norwich Arts Centre - Credit: Lee Harper

Fans packed into the Norwich Arts Centre last weekend to hear the latest offerings from Grammy-nominated singer songwriter James Bay.

The sold out show on Saturday night saw the Hitchin-born talent return to the Fine City as part of Independent Venue Week.

He followed the classic trio of of man, guitar and spotlight and honestly, it worked.

James Bay pictured in Norwich

James Bay pictured in Norwich - Credit: Lee Harper

Bay is a performer whose folk rock-style vocals sound infinitely better live and uncomplicated. 

The “churchy” (his word, not mine) acoustics of the venue lent themselves to his performance as there’s a depth to his voice that a streaming service can’t fully replicate. 

Lyrics have always been Bay’s talent - as per the success of platinum single 'Hold Back the River' and a raft of awards including two shiny Brit trophies.

It looks like his next album won’t disappoint on this front - with a handful of tracks added during the pandemic.

James Bay performing in Norwich at the weekend

James Bay performing in Norwich at the weekend - Credit: Lee Harper

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Listeners can expect Bay’s most “cheerful” and “deep” lyrics to date upon its release. 

A solid single comes in the form of a song written to himself - reminding him of the love he deserves.

So it appears since his second studio album, Electric Love, James’s romantic endeavours aren’t going quite to plan. 

But despite that the hope and optimism purveyed in his other tracks didn’t allow the mood to drop. 

So ahead of Valentine’s Day, James Bay is the chap to go to if you’re searching for the spark.

Unfortunately for me, I took my mum to the gig.