James Blake Romances Adelaide

On July 28th, the beautiful Thebarton Theatre proved the perfect setting to showcase both the grungy, electronic style of Mark Pritchard, and the magical voice of London’s James Blake.

Pritchard’s set was rich in the range of styles and genres he displayed, with the audience good-heartedly getting involved. The theatre began slowly filling up as Pritchard’s set became faster and heavier; the excitement mounting leading up to Blake’s entrance.

Blake arrived to huge support but the audience quickly quieted as Blake began with Always, from his newest album The Colour in Anything. Bathed in electric blue light on stage with just his keyboard, microphone, and two fellow band members on drums and guitar, Blake had already captured the entire attention of the audience.

Flawless came next, picking up the tempo of the set, followed by Life Round Here, an obvious crowd pleaser. Blake stopped a couple of times to briefly chat to the audience, proving he is exactly the polite, charming English school boy that his image projects, saying things like “thank you ever so much” in his gorgeous British accent, making all the ladies (and probably the men too) swoon.


The set was comprised mostly of songs from his newest album, with some old favourites thrown in occasionally, moving between more simple acoustic songs that drew focus to his flawless voice, and his heavier electronic songs, enhanced by the insane light show.

The lighting was definitely a huge part of the show, simply on another level, perfectly capturing each song and almost delivering a performance on its own.

Retrograde was performed as the second to last song of the set and the obvious highlight of the show. The audience danced enthusiastically and when the set came to an end, the expected calls of an encore didn’t last long before Blake and his band returned on stage. After Wilhelm Scream, the two band members left and an bare stage with a spotlight on Blake returned.

Blake silenced the audience, began a live loop, adding layer upon layer of his enchanting voice, while it echoed off the walls of the theatre, and with the lights progressively dimming, slipped off stage unnoticed while the song remained playing at a peak. The show was magically unforgettable.

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