Review: Joshua James
Venue: Fibbers, York, October 28
To paraphrase Jon Landau: on a night when I needed to feel part of something, Joshua James let me belong. This is why I write. I want to capture that euphoric feeling you get when you find an artist you relate to. An artist that makes you forget where you are.
An artist that makes you believe there’s something better out there for you, that makes you believe better times are coming. Joshua James is that artist.
Joshua James and his band walked onto the stage looking like the over-25s category of The Jewish X Factor. A bearded, bespectacled band of brothers with a penchant for a three part harmony, and a heart-breaking lyric.
Joshua James is an awkward front man, he admits talking to the audience isn’t his strong suit. Yet when he plays, he’s completely absorbed in the music. He Jagger-struts about the stage, part-man part-pigeon and I can’t take my eyes off him. I’m smiling now, because it’s this dedication to the craft that lets you relax.
If he can go up there and move like that in front of 40-odd strangers, why the hell can’t I do it down here? And honestly I’m smiling because I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. I wanted to be blown away, but never imagined I would be.
His style is somewhere between The Tallest Man On Earth and Bret Dennen. His songs have a religious undertone, bought on by his upbringing, but are mainly focused around the usual suspects – love, family, politics and self deprecation. A cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here slotted into the middle of the set merely broadens my smile and cements him as a permanent fixture in my record collection.
I arrived with a bad back, a mild hangover, and a longing to be in bed. I left inspired, exhilarated, and excited about what’s still to come from modern music. Good one, Josh.