Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno

Los Angeles Times OCTOBER 30, 1993 - by Steve Appleford

JAMES A POTENTIAL U.S. HIT

Back in its native England, the folkadelic-rock band James is huge. Not so in the United States, but the sextet's performance Thursday at the Roxy indicates James has the goods for a stateside breakthrough.

Part of the musical strategy now for James involves a moody ambience introduced by producer Brian Eno on the band's new Laid album, much as he did in the past for U2, Talking Heads and David Bowie. On stage the languid sonic sheen did little to subdue the anthemic crash of choppy guitars, violin, keyboard and drums from James. If anything, in such new songs as Out To Get You it merely underlined a soulfulness sometimes reminiscent of the Waterboys.

James performed most of the nearly two-hour set beneath a murky lighting scheme designed to match the band's new musical direction, with singer Tim Booth left to lead the band mostly in silhouette. Drummer David Baynton-Power kept the rock sounds eminently danceable.

Despite the low-key element of much of the new material and the staging, the energy of Booth's performance and the dynamics of many of the songs have the potential to connect with a larger U.S. audience.


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