Fresh from a new album release, slick haircut and a new sense of style, James Bay stunned on the Live at the Marquee stage opting for a bold glitter-lined black denim jacket which reflected the flood lighting.
And when I say stunned, I mean quite literally stunned as he announced during the encore of the set that the music video for his new single Just For Tonight was being filmed right there and then.
“I have something important to tell everybody,” he announced arriving back on stage wearing the Irish tricolors around his neck.
“You might have spotted fancy cameras in the crowd tonight. It’s because we are recording a music video for a song.
“We’ve played the song already. This time I want you all to go wild.”
And he need not have said anymore as the crowd erupted in applause and cheer at the thought of little ‘ol us at Live at the Marquee featuring in a music video.
So @JamesBayMusic came back out on stage for the encore & announced that there was a reason behind the "fancy cameras" in the audience.— Breda Graham (@BredaGraham) June 28, 2018
They were shooting the new music video for Just For Tonight @LATMofficial and the audience featured! 🎬#LiveAtTheMarquee #Cork #Summer pic.twitter.com/JAEMGiz0Fd
Just For Tonight was among the new edgy electronic-style material Bay played throughout the unique set which went down a treat in the equally as unique tented venue.
The singer-songwriter’s current tour is arguably one of his most anticipated following the release and success of singles Pink Lemonade and Wild Love from the new album Electric Light, both singles illustrating the change in Bay’s musical direction.
Following on from the lyrically-rich first album Chaos and the Calm, his new material experiments in electronic beats as he expands his range in an attempt to adapt to an electro dominated industry.
And while his new material doesn’t resemble that of the James Bay we all know and love, there is no denying the man’s raw talent and distinctive vocals as even his unfamiliar style captivated the Cork crowd for 90 minutes in a set that couldn’t be criticised.
The set opened with Wait In Line, followed by Pink Lemonade as he then explained that he would play a mixture of his most recent material from the album and his older material.
"How are you doing,” he said greeting the crowd.
“This isn't too hot for us is it? We can do this."
And with that he proved that it wasn't just the 22 degree weather heating up the Marquee venue.
At the first note of the keyboard, the crowd cheered as they recognised one of the favourites, If You Ever Want To Be In Love.
The chorus echoed around the Marquee so much so that Bay repeated the moving lyrics for an additional sing-song with the crowd.
The band, consisting of bass, percussion, and keys supported the man of the hour in his switch up to the contrasting more recent material including Wild Love.
There was however, obvious favourites in performance when it came to the oldies which were delivered by Bay with more passion as he fed off the audience’s reaction.
Ahead of his performance of his new song Us, he said that it was difficult to say he had a favourite song but that this one “could be” one of his favourites.
Bay stood bare, just a man and his guitar which took us back to his older material, the lyrics touching both the still-aching and the now-recovered hearts in the crowd.
That is all he needed, just his strengthened vocals, and his confident stage presence.
Most-loved numbers including Let It Go, We Were On Fire, Need The Sun To Break and Scars were evidently the most favoured by the energetic audience who remained supportive throughout the whole set.
Toward the end of the set, a party broke out during Best Fake Smile and Bay’s very own rendition of Tina Turners’ Simply The Best as young and old in attendance absorbed the electric atmosphere.
The encore consisted of the music video recording and the one that everyone anticipated, the one that blew the roof off in one of the most heartwarming endings to a gig witnessed.
Even the Lee flooded with emotion as Hold Back The River was belted out by every single gig-goer.
His current tour will bring him to Glasgow, then onto Europe and Australia before heading stateside for another 17 gigs in the US and three in Canada.
James gave Cork some Wild Love at the Marquee and we only hope for his return Leeside sooner than later.