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“And that is why I’ve been following him for four f**king years!” Shouts the girl to her friend between rapturous applause. Patrick James may not have released a full album yet, but there’s no doubt he’s got a solid fan base here in Sydney.
Playing a stripped back solo show at the Newtown Social Club things get pretty intimate pretty quickly. Opening with a powerful vocal performance on Wait and Fight With Me off his sophomore EP Broken Lines, he stuns the crowd into absolute silence. Kid can sing.
Next up is an older track Please You, so old in fact that he admits to having to download his own song off iTunes after forgetting the lyrics. James might have star power, but he certainly doesn’t have the ego.
The endearing confessions keep coming; “I was living in St Peters and I was finding all these cool places to record… and I may have recorded the vocal demo for this one in a public toilet.” Bonus points for keeping it real, and regardless of its recording origins, Make Me Stronger is a hauntingly beautiful track.
Having busked and toured his way around Australia for the last seven or so years James is clearly comfortable on stage, even without a band behind him. His new track Covered in Rain gets a very warm response before he nails an ethereal cover of Sarah Blasko’s We Won’t Run.
The slightly more upbeat Bugs is followed by Running Cold, for which Luke Thompson and Scotty Stevens join him on stage for some killer harmonies. His latest dreamy single California Song has the whole room singing along, giving James an adorable case of the #feels.
After a brief break for encore, he returns to the keys for Kings and Queens, hitting some sweet falsetto notes. All About to Change inspires another sing-a-long before he ends the night on Message.
With his husky vocals, self-deprecating charm and story-telling chops Patrick James is one to keep a close eye on this year. When his debut album does arrive, there’s little doubt it’ll be a winner.
Listen: Patrick James – California Song