With great anticipation, Elijah James and The Nightmares took the stage to a rapturous and warm applause from an extremely healthy Saturday night crowd at The District. And they weren’t disappointed.
Showcasing the songs from his new album, Elijah James kicked off a blistering nine song set that had the crowd roaring with approval. Having seen Elijah James as a solo act, it was interesting to me how his notable song-writing would benefit – or not – from the additional support of other musicians. All I can say is that the addition of The Nightmares, more heavenly with regard to their collective musicianship, has been an inspired one. They have fleshed out the songs, added nuance, power and subtlety, and connected the musical dots. Special mention should go to James Cudworth, Emily Clare and Rachel Notrahw, amongst the outstanding Nightmares. They provided the intricate weaving within this rich musical tapestry. And they have given Elijah James confidence and creative room to breathe in the live scenario.
The set consisted of nine songs, all instantly accessible, supremely crafted and supported by The Nightmares evident musical chops. The sound at The District can be problematic, but it is of great credit to the band that they sounded great, and that rich baritone voice pervading all areas of the room. They started with the intriguing I Hate It Here, But You Are Here, And I Love You, to the up-tempo joyful classic in the waiting That Girl Of Mine, and finished with Man-made Masquerade, a fitting end to an absorbing set. There was no encore. There was no need. The artistic intent had been delivered. The crowd sated, but left with a sense of anticipation for the forthcoming album.
The evening was a revelation, as it showcased what actually can be achieved when you blend great song-writing, superb singing and top-notch musicianship. The assembled gathering witnessed the arrival of an important and musically significant band within the Merseyside music collective. Elijah James may have previously quietly ploughed his own musical furrow, but with the addition of such a talented band of musical collaborators and conspirators, he will now have to quickly adjust to a new profile. Yes, it was that good. Watch them soar.
Find Elijah James & The Nightmares on Facebook here.