Martin and James – Luxor Live, Arnhem; March 8th, 2012
So the original plan for the night had been to see Melissa Etheridge in Cologne, but then Martin and James announced gigs in the Netherlands for the same day and on the one weekend I had a family visit planned. So what’s was I to do? I thought about it for some time and then knew that while I would enjoy Melissa I would miss the guys terribly, so I changed plans and made the track to Arnhem. Since there was an Anouk gig on the same date, there was no affordable hotel in Arnhem, but I was lucky enough to have A. pick me up and drive me back to Nijmegen. 🙂
We got there after the doors opened, but had no problems getting to front row. The venue was nice and small and quite well filled with people. I had feared only few people would come, but I didn’t need to worry. They were many and a good audience too. Attentive, knowing the songs and apparently enjoying the music.
Martin and James were a little late but that was just fine, because they played a full set anyway. This time Lucas didn’t support them on bass. After the gig they asked us if we had been missing him – I have to admit I hadn’t even realized that someone wasn’t there. 😉
The setlist was the same as for the February tour, but they mixed up the order of songs a little bit. ‘Maybe it’s time’ was the opener and I must say it worked quite well. The response from the audience was polite if a bit quiet. With ‘Turn it up’ it got better and they were more into it. Still, they never got really wild and loud like at some other concerts. Yet they were listening attentively and that fit well with the atmosphere of the club.
They continued with ‘She’s light guiding’ and ‘Wrong Directions’ which was sung along by many, then played ‘One Way forward’. Here A. and I seemed to be the only people who knew the new songs, but everyone else was listening and they liked them too. For ‘You’re a Window’ James asked everyone to participate and it worked. I just love this arrangement of the song.
Martin was unusually talkative that night, telling us all sorts of stuff and they both seemed very relaxed. The break after the tour seemed to have done them good. It was very funny when a woman from the audience randomly asked them who their musical influences were. She mentioned a few and Martin just responded “All of them, then said he’d get back to her after the concert, because he was trying to remember lyrics”. James mentioned his dad being a musician “So I’m gonna be real cheesy and just say my dad.” “My dad’s an accountant”, Martin deadpanned, “definitely an idol though.” 😀
‘Bad Dream’ also got a good reaction and ‘I was blind’ and ‘Live Wires’ brought two more tracks from their first album that most of the audience knew. Then came the block with all the new songs. In-between all this, Martin told a story how they were stopped by boarder patrol and asked if they had ever taken any drugs. They also mentioned how they didn’t remember being in Arnhem before until they recognized the Subway where they’d had dinner the last time. I’m not sure how much that says about the city. 😉 For the new songs they mentioned again how they wrote in Nashville and James explained that ‘Life’s a Show’ is about life as a musician. It would be interesting to hear some more about the inspiration for some of the other songs, but so far they’ve kept quiet about that. They did tell us they’ve been writing more songs though and mentioned they new album they are working on. Happy news.
After the new songs ‘Little bits of Light’ and ‘All over the News’ brought us back to familiar territory and they ended the main set with a great ‘Crashing into Love’. Some time during the gig, James talked about just having toured in Germany and pointing at us said “You were there, I saw you!” with a big smile. A. and I just looked at each other, shaking our heads, smiling as well.
We clapped them back to the stage for encores and got ‘I have to fall’ and finally ‘Somebody’. I had been hoping to hear ‘Broken Sword’ for once that had been on the setlist as an alternative to ‘Somebody’ for the entire February tour, but was never played. It didn’t matter, it was a beautiful gig just as it was.
Afterwards we waited until everyone was gone and had a nice chat with the guys. They took their time with everyone and since we were last they spoke to us until we were kicked out. Especially James talked a lot, it was really nice. When we had to leave, we both got hugs from him. A nice ending to a nice night. Absolutely worth the trip.
Maybe it’s time
Turn it up
She’s light guiding
One Way forward
You’re a Window
I was blind
Love’s not a Fight
Hard to cry
Life’s a Show
Little bits of Light
All over the News
Crashing into Love
I have to fall