Star rating - 7/10
Joshua James is a talented musician from Utah, who, with his band, is on his first UK tour. It was an odd crowd who came out to see them at the Ruby Lounge - it has to be said. Many seemed content to talk in loud voices over the group rather than to listen to their music, and the lack of enthusiasm for an encore was very surprising, verging on rude.
But despite the indifference of a section of the crowd, this was a very affecting and entertaining set from a clearly talented group. Joshua James himself is slight and slender, but his presence on stage is affecting and his songs heartfelt. They covered great tracks from their last CD Build Me This, such as Weeds, and the brilliant and powerful Coal Wars.
James did a beautiful solo acoustic version of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. And they performed tracks from their new CD, out next month - From The Top Of Willamette Mountain - which sounds well worth a listen.
His lyrics are sensitive and his voice clear and strong; his message confident and nuanced. Joshua James is a lot more than just another folkish singer songwriter. And the group of musicians he has assembled were a delight to listen to. Sorry again about the reception - Manchester - so much to answer for...