Live Review: Gavin James – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

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Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James graced Portsmouth with an intimate gig last week, showing why he is so admired within the acoustic community. Taking to Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms, Gavin had the one support act, a fellow Irishman Craig Gallagher. Craig played a small set playing some of his own songs, with his storytelling becoming one of the greatest comedic performances, taking focus away from the talent he holds within his musical creativity.

Gavin James then took to the small intimate crowd, a disappointing turnout but yet making it more special for the fans who showed up. Gavin performed some of his well-known songs, with Remember Me and Coming Home appearing early on his made up set list. Gavin informed us that he wasn’t actually following the set list he had written. However, Gavin had been struck down with bronchitis but this in itself did not deter him from performing vocally to an exceptional standard.

Bitterpill, one of his most known songs for not necessarily fans, was one of the standout performances of the night. Gavin again decided to show the audience his funny side and inform us that on a previous night he had performed this singing like Kermit the Frog. Again though, Gavin did not disappoint or turn into Kermit and showed the audience how incredible his stage presence is with just his vocals and his exceptional skills on the guitar.

A personal favourite of the audience on the night was the new single Nervous. This song in itself is such a beautiful song telling a story of a man who is nervous around the girl he loves. Gavin lost himself in the moment whilst performing this song and you could hear the audience creating a choir. With such a small crowd this was a beautiful moment, one of which you would only want to be there to witness.

The best moment of the night was when Gavin decided to join the audience and cover Ray Charles’ You Don’t Know Me. Even though his vocals are so different to Ray’s, this turned out to be an amazing acoustic cover and even full of bronchitis Gavin managed to project to the whole room.

Overall, Gavin James delivered an incredible gig. The only disappointment on the night was the lack of audience to witness such a talented singer-songwriter. Now is the time to wait for a new album as Gavin is indeed back in the studios.

Rachel Allman