Patrick James live in Sydney


Sydney-based singer/songwriter Patrick James launched his new EP “Broken Lines” last night at Brighton Up Bar. We sent Damon Collum along with his camera and notepad: 

There are a lot of great things about shooting and reviewing bands and live events, but I often wish my good friends could be there to share the moment, especially my gorgeous wife who so generously takes care of our daughter so I can run around town doing what I love. With a great Australian artist up for review and drinks on the house, I spent the day trying to get hold of various friends to come join me, and couldn’t believe how hard it was to pin someone down. Flu season was here and my friends had universally caught every drop.

Patrick James live at Brighton Up BarHeading into town was surreally smooth, no traffic, green lights, a park 100m away from the venue and ten minutes later I was seated with my drink, front of stage and nothing between me and the illusive ‘perfect shot’. The venue had filled quickly, but not in a way that affected the atmosphere. The crowd was perfect, the venue small and intimate and the scene was set for one of the best live performances I have seen in a long time.

I had thrown on some of Patrick’s earlier work whilst I milled about getting ready and, no matter where I jumped along the timeline of his career, every track took me along with it… I saw myself by a log fire, a road trip, at the beach as the sun was setting… these are not cliches, but moments that only  music of a specific calibre can accompany. And this was it.

With high expectations, I sat waiting until the lights went down and the band took the stage. And did they what. Driving home, it was hard not to get overwhelmed with superlatives and over-arching praise for what I had seen, but I don’t think you could describe it many other ways. What transpired was one of my favourite live performances ever. With the same surreal smoothness of my travel to the venue, this live journey through Broken Lines – the latest work from Patrick James, delivered perfectly on so many levels.

When a band plays so well together it is a true pleasure to witness, and Patrick and his band showed that touring together has led them to be tight and cohesive performers. Having had my camera out, I was equally pleased to finally shoot a gig that didn’t drown the performers in red and blue light, or suffer the aural assault from a sound desk that murdered the levels. For such a small venue, the ingredients for the evening were amazingly on track to provide a truly memorable experience.

If you haven’t seen Patrick James play live make sure you put it on your to-do list. Without doubt an artist to keep an eye on.

“Broken Lines” is set for official release on Friday, July 18 in Australia and New Zealand via Create/Control.

Patrick James live in Sydney

Patrick James live review and photos by Damon Collum