JAMES rocker Saul Davies is planning to sit down and give a geography lesson at the SSE Hydro – because he thinks many Scots don’t know enough about their own country.
Saul, who was born in Oldham but now lives in Lairg, Sutherland, laid into Scots for their lack of knowledge about their homeland.
He said: “One thing I find great about the Scots is that they don’t know where things are beyond Stirling.
“I have been brought up in Scotland and even when I mention Callander to a Scot, they say they think they know where that place is but when you mention Crianlarich to the urban Scot, he scratches his head.”
Saul jokes that he is planning to get a map out to teach fans at the band’s Glasgow gig on
He added: “People know Aberdeen is up there and kind of important but they think it might be in Norway.
“I think at the Hydro we’ll have a whiteboard out and a stick so we can have a geography lesson for the Scots.
“According to most people in the Highlands, Nicola Sturgeon seems like a strange creature who doesn’t know where the Highlands is or what it is or what people do there.
“I am an Englishman but having been brought up most of my life in Scotland I think that gives me the right to pontificate on all things Scottish.”
James, who are No2 in the album charts with Girl at the End of the World, have promised fans will be treated to big hits as well as plenty of surprises.
Saul, who plays guitar, violin and percussion, said: “The 12,000 at the Hydro will be there for some anthems, old and new, and some catalogue surprises because they are songs they haven’t heard since Zeppelins were flying through the air.”
James, fronted by Tim Booth, found fame in the late 80s and are best known for hits such as Come Home, Sit Down, She’s a Star and Laid.
They’ve sold 25million albums in more than three decades together.
Saul said: “When we split up in 2001 we never thought we would ever get back together. We’ve signed a three-album deal with BMG and here we are in our 35th year with a major label and a fan base and sold out gigs.
“How did we get here? If I was a footballer I would have just scored a winner in a cup final at Hampden.”
The new album – which lost out on No1 to Adele’s 25 this week– was made in Scotland before completing the sessions at London’s RAK studios.
Saul said: “We wrote the album in Scotland, in the Tolbooth in Stirling. We set up on the top floor and made a lot of noise and wrote a fair chunk of the songs up there.
“Then we went to Gairloch in Wester Ross and wrote the rest of the album before going to RAK studios in London.
“That’s where we officially recorded but we used a lot of the initial jams and bits of audio from Gairloch and Stirling.”
For the RAK recordings, they enlisted the help of their long-time collaborator Brian Eno as producer.
Saul said: “We respect him and love him to bits. He reframes us a little bit and we apply that to our music.
“Our latest single Nothing But Love is getting a lot of support.
“It’s a big festival tune and we felt we could have fallen into a bit of a trap with the song but he helped to reframe it.
“I make no apologies for James being anthemic. All bands need songs that open doors if they are ambitious.
“Nothing But Love looks like it’s one of those songs that will open doors.”
The band are looking forward to a return to the Hydro, which they last played in 2014.
Saul said: “I like it as a venue. Because we are good on the stage and because we have an amazing catalogue and new stuff to play, this is the end of a process that started with us getting in that room at the Tolbooth.
“We can make people feel that although they are in an arena that they could be in the city’s Oran Mor.”