It’s quite ironic that the new album from James is called Millionaires, because these days they probably are. After all, James have been one of the most successful groups of the nineties, not just here but in America and all over the world.
What a lot of people don’t know is the hell that the Manchester band went through to get where they are today.
It’s all very well going on about working your fingers to the bone but as Saul Davies, the Scottish-based guitarist, explains that would have been easy in comparison. It was really tough at the beginning.
He recalls: “The problem was that we didn’t have any money, we needed to get cash together for rehearsals and equipment and had no finance whatsoever.”
“Eventually things got so bad that we had to go to hospitals and offer our services as guinea pigs trying out various medications and what have you to raise money for the band”.
Extreme measures indeed, but it did, depending on what way you look at it, pay off. By 1991, the UK was awash with people wearing James T shirts, most of whom probably hadn’t even heard the band, but once they released the anthem Sit Down they became household names.
Now we are eight years on with a new album, Millionaires, out next month and Saul says he’s never felt more confident. “Normally I’m the one who gets really nervous about our career”, he says. “I always expect the worst even after all this time, for instance, last year when our Best Of came out I didn’t think anyone would buy it but they did. It has sold over 800,000 copies and now because of that, I have a new found confidence”.
“We’ve never had a number 1 but I’ll stick my neck out and say our next single Fred Astaire will change all that, I firmly believe that both the single and the album will top the charts.”
The guys will be going on tour towards the end of the year to play all the big sheds up and down the country including a December date at the SECC which is a kind of homecoming for Saul.
“Scotland is my home now, I’ve lived here in Dollar for 12 years. I spend a lot of time in London running around like a maniac doing nonsense so when I get time off I like to chill out and relax, so I moved up here and I love it.