Gig preview: James Bay at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

James Bay
James Bay
Have your say

In what seems to be an endless sea of singer songwriters, James Bay has managed to join the ranks of those who’ve managed to breakthrough and get a record deal with a top label, a US tour, and all without having released an album.

Spotted by Republic Records in 2012, this Hitchin born and bred singer-songwriter has been on the up, having released two EPs, with a third entitled ‘Hold Back The River’ on the way on November 23.

All this, yet still no album. “I know, it’s weird that, innit? I’ve been working away at it, so the beginning of next year, I’m gonna release it. I haven’t got a date yet, but I’ve just finised recording it, and it’s gonna come straight after this EP.”

While waiting for early 2015, the EPs are here to represent different shades of Bay, all of which will be presented on his debut album. “You’ll hear every flavour that I love to play and call my sound. It’ll be all the intimate stuff, and all the bigger rock influenced sounds.”

It was during band practice for his UK tour that I managed to have a chat with Bay, about a range of different subjects from the pure phenomenal experience of touring America for six weeks, to a little bite of his musical background.

Raised in Hitchin, excluding the easy access to London, there wasn’t much in the way of music in his home town. Bay, as a kid, was busy learning guitar and “trying to turn Hitchin into the hottest music hub in the world”.

In terms of becoming a singer-songwriter, it just happened as a result of “I’ve always been in bands, but I was never the front man. I always had this cheeky little bit of ego underneath it all, because I’ve always been into solo artists like Bob Dylan and James Taylor”.

Now signed as a solo artist by Republic Records, alongside artists from Nicki Minaj and Lorde, to Chase & Status and James Blake – all who have made a dent in the music world to put it lightly, and with fame seemingly on the horizon, Bay is pretty content with the people that are backing him.

“I think I have a great bunch of fans, they are always coming up and talking to me after shows, and really support my music which is great.”

James Bay plays at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on November 18. For further details visit

The Go! Team

Gig review: The Go! Team at The Wardrobe, Leeds