James Bay goes down a storm in Cork's Marquee

With a voice sweet and soulful enough to cut through his shrieking young fans, and with guitaring as crisp as many of his idols, James Bay was cool enough to soften the sweaty air in his first Cork Marquee performance.

James Bay goes down a storm in Cork's Marquee

By Joe Dermody

With a voice sweet and soulful enough to cut through his shrieking young fans, and with guitaring as crisp as many of his idols, James Bay was cool enough to soften the sweaty air in his first Cork Marquee performance.

You could understand all the shrieking; the 27-year-old Hitchen, English-born star is a handsome young man, and likeable to boot.

Howya doing? This isn't too hot for us, we can do this. I want you to sing loud. People tell me this crowd sings louder than anywhere else.

Naturally, we oblige. We are from Cork, gluttons for a bit of flattery.

"That was serious singing. Let's do that chorus again, just me and you."

If You Ever Want To Be In Love: every word was chimed back.

He doesn't seem too fazed by the adulation, diluted none by his dropping the rimmed hats and big Hozier hairdo for an Alex Turner Artic Monkey Brylcream quiff.

The screaming soared when he stripped off the bejazzled black jacket - in this heat, wearing it for even two songs is really suffering for fashion.

Big roar, like it was the first black T-shirt we'd ever seen around these parts. To be fair, he wears it well.

And he seems focused enough on his music not to let the adulation distract him. He's right too.

Having only broken into the charts in 2015, he already been has plenty of good songs worth focusing on.

Hits like Let It Go, Wild Love, Pink Lemonade and If You Ever Want To Be In Love all go down a storm.

Naturally, the beads of sweat went kryptonite for the mega-hit Hold Back The River, but he has far too much good material in the tank to be written off as a one-hit-wonder.

His idols? The Rolling Stones, Sister Rosetta Stone, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell and Beyonce.

Do we hear them coming through in the Marquee? Yes, in places, and always in the best possible way.

A few licks from Keith Richards and Ron Woods, and certainly as vocally sweet as all those iconic soul sisters.

Great roots, great show.

Good also to see Lyra's warmup slot going down so well.

Her 2016 song Emerald is getting new life in the current Guinness advert.

Catchy tune and good to hear somebody singing with a Cork accent. Dowtcha, girl.

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