|Dates connected with James:||1989-1992, 2007+|
|Contribution/Role/Speciality:||Trumpet, Backing Vocals, Percussion|
Andy Diagram, born in London, had a history in the music business before he came to James in 1989. He had been the trumpet player and percussionist in bands such as Dislocation Dance, The Diagram Brothers and Mick Head’s (of Shack) Pale Fountains. Ironically, Dislocation Dance once gave James a lift back from an Orange Juice gig in Sheffield in 1982.
Out of work after the dissolution of Dislocation Dance and living in the same house as the guy who was printing James t-shirts, he went along to the sessions for the Gold Mother album with his friend, saxophone player, Vinnie Corrigan. Whilst the sax didn’t fit in with the sound James were creating, they were intrigued by Andy’s trumpet playing and percussion and asked him to join them on a couple of live dates.
The shows went well and Andy was offered a place in the band on a retainer. He joined primarily for financial rather than artistic reasons as he was developing an interest in free-form jazz at that stage.
The trumpet however added a new element to James sound. With percussion and backing vocals to boot, Andy’s sonic contributions were a central point of the band’s sound in the Gold Mother and Seven era. He appeared at several live shows on crutches having broken his leg.
Andy’s contribution to Seven was highly criticised in some areas of the music press, NME describing songs as “another bloody three-minute trumpet arcadia”. He was looking personally at pursuing other musical interests and in the summer of 1992 he left James just as they were departing on their acoustic tour of the US. Parting on good terms, The Spaceheads were asked to support James on the short UK acoustic tour in December 1992 and Andy did make a guest appearance at the Manchester G-Mex show in December 1993.
The Spaceheads are still around as a band, ironically playing Manchester’s Night and Day Cafe the day James played the nearby MEN Arena in December 1999.
Andy has also played on several albums with David Thomas and the Two Pale Boys and completed a three month stint as the musical element of the Shockheaded Peter goth musical at London’s Albany Theatre.