Now they’ve been churning out the hits for fifteen years, they once got 10,000 people to sit down in the middle of a gig, and Morrissey, no other, called them “the best band in the world”. They are James.
And today, they returned to Manchester, the city where they started off, to launch an album of Greatest Hits. Trevor Ward was, of course, on the guest list.
TW : Now if you and me were pop stars, we could probably think of more exotic ways of celebrating fifteen years at the top and the release of our Greatest Hits album than spending a wet Wednesday afternoon on the banks of a Manchester canal.
Tim : I think this today should be a celebration of survival. And you know we wouldn’t have survived without the response we’ve had from the people in Manchester. We were supported in Manchester for seven years by our gigs here to people when we weren’t making any money anywhere else, noone else was listening to us and everyone else was telling us to give up.
First time I came here was, I actually organised a school trip to come and see Iggy Pop play at the Apollo and I got punched out by a bouncer and that was my first liaison with Manchester and it went downhill from there really.
The highlights have been mainly concerts, G-Mex, amazing concerts when we broke through with Sit Down and 10,000 people sat down.
Someone like the Stone Roses or the Mondays and Oasis and The Smiths, they somehow rode a really big wave. I don’t know how to explain this without sounding pretentious. And we never did that. We kind of would do stuff and then pull back. Do stuff and pull back. We paced ourselves in a way that was more for the long-haul, I think. They were more like explosive stars that would last a few years and burn out. You can’t keep that level going. It’s too much pressure, too much intensity and when you’re talking about young people, and there’s all the sex and drugs and rock n roll at your doorstep all the time, most of them can’t keep their heads together.