gig reviews

James Kelly - Lost

By Laura Geary Griffin

James Kelly

I’m going to try my hardest not to be biased here, as James Kelly is a dear friend of mine and I love his music and style. I had heard a lot of these tracks in some form at his gigs around Manchester, so it’s lovely to have an album of the finished tracks. James’ style is truly original; he plays an acoustic guitar with a classical Spanish element to it. I was informed by the man himself that he modified his guitar case with wood in order to use as a drum; he carries a bass drum peddle around with him wherever he goes. The style of music is reminiscent of Rodrigo Y Gabriela, quick wristed guitar strumming with beautiful finger picking solos woven in between. He plays with effortless ease and has confidence in his own ability hidden just beneath his humble gratitude to the audience.

The opening track ‘No More Swimming Pools of Money in the Back for You’ grabs you from the start and doesn’t let up, the fast paced style glides through the fast paced lyrics of ‘Punch Drunk Love’ until you hit track three, ‘Let it Go’: a delicate number and one of my all time favourites on the album. Actually, I reserve the right to retract that statement; this is one of those albums where you’re constantly saying ‘no this is my fave! Oh I forgot about this track! This one is definitely my favourite!’ Every track is packed with great lyrics and hooks, ‘Not Tired’ has one of the most beautiful guitar melodies I’ve heard in a while, it’s incredibly peaceful and James’ vocals work perfectly alongside it being extremely soft and gentle in contrast to the more raw tracks at the beginning of the album. Its tracks like this which give way to hints of Gomez’s mellow tracks.

Another diverse track on the album is ‘So...’ a short Desperado style instrumental piece which is followed by the final track on the album ‘Lost’ a track which is loved by everyone, well known throughout the gig slots and open mic nights around the North. There’s a catchy guitar riff which is mirrored by the lyrics “Na na na na naaaa” you can’t help but sing along. So, yes James, it was well worth the wait.

This is truly an eclectic album by an exceptionally talented musician, I beseech you, don’t miss out on this.

James is coming to the south in the late autumn with Gaz Brookfield and has promised a couple of dates in Bristol so don’t worry, I’m holding him to it! Make sure you catch him while he’s here!

Until then, purchase his brilliant debut album at his online store:

James Kelly Website

Check out his website for videos and keep up to date with his gigging shenanigans here:

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