Amsterdam Fully Embraces Graeme James

Graeme James playing live at Paradiso, Amsterdam ©Sylvia Wijnands

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – New Zealand-based Graeme James has been releasing his music for quite some years. He has a unique take on making music, mixing traditional folk music with contemporary melodies. With the release of his latest album, Play One We All Know, vol III, he has begun his Luminous Times tour.

Although Graeme James has been a lot in the Netherlands, tonight is the first time for a real headline spot in Amsterdam. Even though this was in the small hall of Paradiso, there were still quite some people who came to see the concert. The stage was filled with enough instruments to accommodate an entire band. But don’t be fooled, this is a one-man show.

By sampling his instruments, Graeme James knows how to create his songs in a beautiful layered way. Every instrument, from guitar, bass, and keyboard to violin, is played live and no pre-recorded music was used for the concert. It shows the sheer musical talent it takes to do it this way. It amazed me how he didn’t get confused about the order in which the instruments should be used in each song!

In addition to making outstanding music, Graeme James is also an excellent storyteller. With every song, he had a short story or anecdote. The crowd was having a great time enjoying the music and when asked to sing along to some of the songs they were more than happy to do so.

Even though he has three albums with covers of well-known songs (hence the title Play One We All Know), tonight he mainly played many of his own songs, such as “Found By Love”, “Times Are Changing”, “One+One” and “Alive”. The audience was also treated to a premiere of his latest single “Amsterdam”, which was released at midnight. Of course, it couldn’t be more fitting to premiere a song called “Amsterdam” in Amsterdam.

Unfortunately, the set was short but it still was a fantastic evening. Everyone seemed to have a great time when I looked at the people around me. Hopefully, we can see Graeme James play in bigger venues soon because someone with so much talent deserves to be seen by more people.

Graeme James playing live at Paradiso, Amsterdam. All photos © Sylvia Wijnands.

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Show Date: 04/04/2024