Who do this lot think they are, hanging around in an extremely irresponsible manner? Well, actually they’re a band called James, and Bitz thinks they could be a bunch of yobbos.
“We were a bunch of yobbos when we first met,” says Tim Booth, the singer. Gavan Whelan (the drummer) and Jim Glennie (on bass) were in this nightclub where I was dancing, and I caught them trying to steal my drink! There were too many of them so I backed down quickly. But they asked me to dance in the group (Tim is a bit of a “whirling dervish” when it comes to moving the old feet about). And pretty soon I started singing. Larry Gott, the guitarist, joined about three years ago and we’ve been together ever since.”
James have a new single out called “So Many Ways”, and will soon be releasing an album called “Stutter”. They hope that both will do well because at the moment they all get paid the grand sum of £33 a week each i.e. not exactly a fortunette. They didn’t bother publicising their last single “just as an experiment” says Tim. Sounds like a bit of a silly idea to Bitz. So what happened? “It failed.” Hmm, thought it might.
Amongst other things, James are friends of Morrissey and The Smiths, who they supported on tour last year. Like The Smiths, they are also vegetarians, and can be v. serious.
“Some of our songs have political implications,” explains Tim. “We look at how world leaders are invariably the most screwed-up people in each country, and how countries are in a mess because of the systems that let people like that get to the top. But we also look at what makes people in general so insecure and so ambitious, and how to break that down. Some of the songs are about how to become alive and spontaneous and awake, not just a bundle of habits that we call a “personality”. We try to uplift with our music, not to depress!”
Pheeyeeew!!! So what is Tim’s greatest ambition?
“To become an enlightened person. To know what life is all about and to become fulfilled.”
Cripey o’stripey! James aren’t just a bunch of yobbos after all – they’re a bunch of seriously-thinking yobbos!