Topic: Shawn James
Wow - can't believe there's no thread for this guy - until now!
Gateshead Sage2 - 05-11-22
So, a busy night last night, and I don't mean the number of fireworks going off, I mean the sheer quantity of quality gigs going off in the area. There must have been at least 10 by my count, however, my choice was made earlier in the year following a tip from an American friend, "JDog" in Dallas (and may his bathroom be forever free of tigers for his recommendation: I headed to The Sage to catch Shawn James. This guy is blessed with a strong, deep, voice, not unlike our own Marcus Bonfanti, but with a dusty, melancholic edge that gives authority to his blend of Country, Blues & Gospel.
The evening started with a quality set from Iona Zajac, a Scotslass with a fine voice and Folk style, he acapella traditional Scots air was spellbinding; you could hear a pin drop at the end. A name to keep an eye out for.
And on to the main part of the show; Shawn took to the stage alone, along with an acoustic guitar and delivered 2 songs that immediately grabbed to crowd. This is where I admit, it was my first time, so excuse me that I can't give all the titles. Then, he was joined on stage for a couple more tracks by his fiddle player and the first track they did was a cover of Audioslave's Like A Stone; and how many can cover Chris Cornell's vocals and carry it off so well? After a 2nd track like this, the bass & Drum guys came on stage (What!?! no lead guitar?) and the momentum of the show kept rolling as we were treated to songs old and new. I did pick up on Through The Valley and Curse of The Fold; Flow and Thief of The Moon.
There was also a track by Nick Shoulders, a friend of Shawn's, who was one of the other bands playing locally - just the other side of the river; makes you wondder if the favour was returned and Nick's set included one of Shawn's songs.
And then, Shawn swopped the acoustic for electric, and we switched up again for the gallop to the all-to-soon end of the evening. Now apparently, Shawn has a couple of "borrowed standards" that longer-term fans expect, Ain't No Sunshine and That's Life, but he explained that he's decided to drop them for this tour; instead, we got a roaring new track from A Place In The Unknown and finally, all the band came to the front of the stage for an acapella John The Revelator.
So, with no frills or fancy, a straight down the line music show; great singer, great band, great songs - what more do you want? Talking post-gig with Shawn, he's been a frequent visitor to Newcastle over the past 10 years; I'll be there next time, I recommend you join me, if you haven't seen this guy before.
Flow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_BHgzmXlnk
Through The Valley - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXcKSLijghs
Give back the lemons. Why were the lemons free? What's wrong with the lemons?
Do Not trust the lemons...