James Bay delivers a performance to remember at Electric Picnic

James Bay delivers a performance to remember at Electric Picnic

With a grin that never wavered, felt-hatted chart hero James Bay shrugged off the threat of rain and delivered an ardent and upbeat evening set on the Electric Picnic main stage, writes Ed Power.

Bay has taken a lot of flack over his alleged matinee idol looks and the suspicion he was created in a record company laboratory by scientists determined to replicate the success of Ed Sheeran.

Yet though his debut album, Chaos and the Calm, doesn’t lack for drippy moments, in the flesh Bay is far more of a rocker than his hearthrob image might suggest.

He seemed at pains to reinforce his credentials as a serious artist at Electric Picnic as he rollicked his way through the Kings Of Leon-go-pop When We Were On Fire

That set the tempo for what was to follow. Back by a muscular band, the 26-year-old alternately crooned and snarled through Need The Sun To Break and the hard-punching Best Fake Smile.

Bay will never be beloved by critics – he’s far too eager to please, with the sort of sunny demeanour the music press considers fundamentally objectionable. But for the faithful - and there were many at Electric Picnic – this will have been performance to remember, despite the weather’s best attempts to ruin it.

More on this topic

Early bird Electric Picnic tickets sell out in under an hourEarly bird Electric Picnic tickets sell out in under an hour

Gardaí investigating sexual crime at EP festival; more than 450 drug offences detectedGardaí investigating sexual crime at EP festival; more than 450 drug offences detected

Here’s when tickets for Electric Picnic 2020 will go on saleHere’s when tickets for Electric Picnic 2020 will go on sale

Six things we learned at Electric PicnicSix things we learned at Electric Picnic

More in this Section

EastEnders star Zack Morris: I was called N-wordEastEnders star Zack Morris: I was called N-word

Lady Gaga falls off stage while dancing with fanLady Gaga falls off stage while dancing with fan

Caroline Flack defends new surgery show against criticism from Jameela JamilCaroline Flack defends new surgery show against criticism from Jameela Jamil

Daniel Craig to become longest-serving James BondDaniel Craig to become longest-serving James Bond


Lifestyle

It never ceases to stop me in my tracks when I hear my husband intone to our children one of the oft overused phrases from my stockpile of, “Can you just not?” categories.Lindsay Woods: If my children feel I’m doing it wrong then I must be doing it right

In honour of our Made in Munster special edition, Joe McNamee creates a four-course meal showcasing the best produce from the province. And there’s a lot to celebrate.The Menu's Made in Munster six course dinner - One from each county

More From The Irish Examiner