The nine-piece band, whose lead singer Tim Booth is from Yorkshire, recently stayed at Broughton Hall to meet up for rehearsals for their forthcoming live tour. While at the venue, they made use of the lavish surroundings to film their first full-band video since 1999 for song Getting Myself Into which features on new album All the Colours of You.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post recently, Booth explained that a chance meeting while he and his wife were spending time in Central America led to the band staying at Broughton Hall. Booth and his wife made friends out there with Broughton Hall’s owner Roger Tempest and his partner Paris Ackrill.
“They asked where would we be going when we were in the UK and I said we are going to rehearse in some crappy studio in London,” he said. “Roger said come to my house and it happened to be a rather large manor house outside of Skipton. We were blown away by their generosity. It was an amazing return for us as James and it was so joyful. We were playing in these incredible rooms on a carpet that had been donated to the family by Marie Antoinette and with pictures of relatives on every wall space looking down on us as if to say ‘What have you let these riff-raff in here for?’ We had a blast and did lots of filming. The video was really easy to make.”
“I’ve been a fan of them since, God, the early ’90s,” laughed [Virgin Music Label & Artists Services MD Jim] Chancellor. “We’d tried to work with them in the past actually and never quite managed to get the deal to work ,or things to align. But this time there was something magical about it.”
“They have a drive to better themselves every single time and that’s quite a rarity these days, especially when you’ve got a decent fanbase and you could quite easily just knock the old big tunes out and then take a bow. But they’ve still got the hunger.”
“We’re very bullish, we’ve been reaching for the stars in going to places the band had never been, which is Radio 2, from a radio perspective, and looking to grow their socials and streaming [numbers], everything really. One goal was to try and get them a bit more fixed on the radio in the UK, and we’ve ticked those boxes.”
“They’ve always been a brilliant, brilliant live band,” said Chancellor. “But there’s normally a moment in a band’s career where it all comes together beautifully, then you get that bigger explosion and off they go again. That’s where it feels like it is for James – there’s a renewed vigour, a renewed excitement in them. And that’s what we saw in the demos.”
It’s the alt-rock chart battle if not of all time then at least of all second Fridays in June. This week, indie legends James, fielding their 16th album ‘All The Colours Of You’, face off against future rock titans Wolf Alice and their critical smash ‘Blue Weekend’ in the most nail-biting race for the top since The Snuts vs. Dry Cleaning a couple of weeks ago.
Both acts have repeatedly stalled at Number Two, denied their moments of chart-topping glory by goal hangers such as Adele and Shania Twain, so passions are high. By rights, their interviews should be alight with pre-bout disses and burns flying between the two camps like the inhabitants of Northern Ireland discussing the benefits of Brexit. “I’ve had ayahuasca comedowns more enjoyable than this shit!”, perhaps, or: “Sit down… at least five positions below us!”
Instead: reserved, respectful silence. You’d barely know there was anything exciting happening at all. Because, somewhere over the past 10 years or so, we’ve forgotten the fine art of the indie beef.
James will headline Dreamland Margate this summer.
The band will top the bill at the seaside venue on July 31 as part of its Summer Series, with tickets on general sale at 10am on June 4.
A statement on the show’s poster reads: “This standing show will be fully compliant with up-to-date government covid safety guidelines.”
James are also due to play Kenwood House, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Playground Weekender, Neighbourhood Weekender and the Isle of Wight Festival this summer.
Following that, they’ll head out for a UK and Ireland arena tour in November supported by Happy Mondays, tickets for which are already on sale. They’re hitting the road in support of their new album, ‘All The Colours Of You’, due out on June 4.
Recover marks the third single to be lifted from the band’s upcoming 16th studio album, ‘All The Colours Of You’, due out on June 4 via Virgin Music Label and Artist Services (formerly Caroline International).
Following Beautiful Beaches and the record’s first single and title track, the poignant offering finds the band at their most personal while celebrating a loved one’s life and legacy. Cast across delicate production, lyrically it reflects on the death of vocalist Tim Booth’s father-in-law to COVID-19 in spring 2020. He said “This song is made and dedicated to all those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic or otherwise. It speaks to the waiting, the pain of not being able to be there when they pass and the gift of the love of their life.”
The song arrives with a special video of the band performing Recover in isolation. It opens with an emotional message from Booth.
James will be reissuing their 1993 album Laid and its 1994 companion piece Wah Wah on March 23 in a number of new formats with the Super Deluxe edition featuring a range of previously unreleased tracks. The Laid album contained the hit single of the same name as well as further Top 30 singles Sometimes and Say Something and is regarded by many as their finest work. Wah Wah was released a year later and is a collection of studio jams recorded at the same time as Laid with Brian Eno and features live favourites Jam J and Honest Joe.
The two albums are also being released on a two-disc Deluxe Edition featuring both albums as the band originally intended it to be released and, more importantly for fans, on 180g heavy double vinyl, a must for collectors as the original vinyl issues are long since deleted. There are also 500 numbered clear vinyl double LP versions of Laid and Wah Wah available from Universal’s vinyl store.
According to front man Tim Booth, Laid and Wah Wah are “the culmination of playing four or five hours a day four or five days a week in Manchester and the new band adapting to that. It is about the transition of becoming more of a band but with Brian at the helm.” Booth remembers jamming “hundreds of songs that never saw the light of day” and guitarist Larry Gott suggests it might have been “as many as 340 tracks.”
The Super Deluxe edition also contains extensive interviews with the band about the recording of the album as well as a selection of press cuttings from the time that Even The Stars was heavily involved in the compilation of. The package also includes postcards from the time and a selection of badges.
The tracklisting of the Super Deluxe Edition is as follows:
Disc 1 – Laid – Out To Get You, Sometimes, Dream Thrum, One Of The Three, Say Something, Five-O, PS, Everybody Knows, Knuckle Too Far, Low Low Low, Laid, Lullaby, Skindiving
Disc 2 – Wah Wah – Hammer Strings, Pressure’s On, Jam J, Frequency Dip, Lay The Law Down, Burn The Cat, Maria, Low Clouds, Building A Fire, Gospel Oak, DVV, Say Say Something, Rhythmic Dreams, Dead Man, Rain Whistling, Basic Brian, Low Clouds, Bottom Of The Well, Honest Joe, Arabic Agony, Tomorrow, Laughter, Sayonara
Disc 3 – Rehearsals, Outtakes and Jams – Carousel (rehearsal demo of Say Something), Unknown Track 8 (rehearsal demo), Dream Thrum (rehearsal demo), Chicken Goth (rehearsal demo), Jam J (Additional Jam) (rehearsal jam), You Were Born (Take 1) (early version of One of the Three), Bruce Jam 1 (Mix 1)(early version of Knuckle Too Far), Jam D / Rhythmic Dreams alt. (rehearsal jam), Jam E (out-take)(rehearsal jam), Jam 11 (Slow Jam – Grotesque/Angular) (rehearsal jam), Jam 12B (Dreamy Later Singing) (rehearsal jam), Jam P (Fabulous Melody But Unusual Bass) (rehearsal jam), Jam P2 (Later)(rehearsal jam), Jam Q (early version of Honest Joe) (rehearsal jam), Jam R – Beefheart Jam (rehearsal jam), Who Is Gospel Oak? (early version) (rehearsal jam), Falsetto (instrumental version of Skindiving), Jam 13 – Fast Marcus Has Mixed (rehearsal jam)
Disc 4 – America (Live In The U.S. 9/92) (B-side of Sometimes), Building A Charge (B-side of Sometimes), Wah Wah Kits (B-side of Laid), The Lake (B-side of Laid), Seconds Away (B-side of Laid), Say Something (New Version), Assassin (B-side of Say Something/Jam J), Laid (Acoustic 99x, Atlanta 26/2/94), Low Low Low (BBC Session 27/9/93), Sometimes (BBC Session 27/9/93), Tomorrow (BBC Session 27/9/93), Five-O (BBC Session 27/9/93), Jam J (Arena Dub / Amphetamine Pulsate) 12″ remix, Jam J (Sabresonic Tremelo Dub / Spaghetti Steamhammer) 12″ remix
There is also a two-disc deluxe version of Laid available, mixing tracks from disc 3 and 4 as well as two session tracks not on the Super Deluxe.
Disc 1 – Laid – Out To Get You, Sometimes, Dream Thrum, One Of The Three, Say Something, Five-O, PS, Everybody Knows, Knuckle Too Far, Low Low Low, Laid, Lullaby, Skindiving
Disc 2 – America (Live In The U.S. 9/92) (B-side of Sometimes), Building A Charge (B-side of Sometimes), Wah Wah Kits (B-side of Laid), The Lake (B-side of Laid), Seconds Away (B-side of Laid), Say Something (New Version), Jam J, Assassin (New Version), Laid (BBC Session 27/9/93), Five-O (BBC Session 27/9/93), Sometimes (BBC Session 27/9/93), Say Something (BBC Session 27/9/93), Low Low Low Low (BBC Session 27/9/93) (previously unreleased), Tomorrow (BBC Session 27/9/93) (previously unreleased), Dream Thrum (rehearsal demo) (previously unreleased), You Were Born take 1 ( early version of One of the Three) (previously unreleased), Bruce Jam 1 (Mix 1) (early version of Knuckle Too Far) (previously unreleased), Carousel (rehearsal demo of Say Something), Falsetto (instrumental version of Skindiving) (previously unreleased)
The alternative rock band James, originally from Manchester, England, first appeared on the music scene in the 1980’s, found success in the 1990’s and continue to draw sell-out crowds at live performances today. After a few changes of band members, break-ups and a reunion, James is back with their most recent album, “La Petite Mort” (2014). The album reveals the talented band, still at the height of creativity, more personal and mature perhaps, but with all the wit and poetry fans enjoy in their music. Having topped the charts in the U.K., they found the U.S. charts a tougher nut to crack. Their album “Laid” with the provocative title track a huge hit among the college set, reached #3 on the U.K. charts, but only reached #72 on the U.S. charts in 1993.
As part of the “Madchester” music scene in the 1980’s, James joined The Smiths on their “Meat is Murder” tour in 1985. By 1989, the band found its stride with seven members- singer Tim Booth, bass guitarist Jim Glennie, guitarist Larry Gott, guitarist/violinist Saul Davies, keyboard player Mark Hunter, drummer David Baynton-Power, and trumpeter/percussionist Andy Diagram. Their unique, multilayered sound and evocative lyrics drew fans to their music and live shows.
Early hits for James, including the single “Come Home” reached #84 on the U.K. charts in 1989 and #32 when it was rereleased in 1990. “Sit Down” only reached #77 in 1989, but subsequently made it to #2 when it was rereleased in 1991, and to #7 when rereleased again in 1998.
In 1993, James toured the U.S. with music legend Neil Young. The acoustic performances brought out another level of creativity in the band and resulted in the recording of two albums, “Laid” and “WahWah.” The hugely successful “Laid” with amazing tracks including the rousing “Sometimes” and soulful “One of the Three” overshadowed the experimental “WahWah” that followed it. In 1997, the band released another successful album, “Whiplash” with its first single “She’s a Star” reaching #9 on the U.K. charts. James’ “The Best Of” compilation album appeared in 1998 and hit #1 in the U.K. From 2001 to 2007, the band was basically on hiatus. Tim Booth pursued solo projects, but returned to James after jamming with his bandmates and penning new songs with them. Performing live reinforced the reformation of the band and James’ fans were thrilled when in 2008 a new album, “Hey Ma” was released.
With his signature, clear tenor voice, lead singer Tim Booth conveys more emotion in a whisper than most singers can with a scream. The band clearly revels in their creative process as a team. James’ “Hey Ma” featured liner notes with detailed description on the making of the album from three band members, Booth, Glennie and Gott. The insights into the creative process are a treat for fans wondering how this talented band works. Their revelations are candid, thoughtful and charming, much like their music. If you’re not already in love with James for their music, you will be after reading the liner notes. Tim reveals in the liner notes that the lyric for the chorus of the song “Hey Ma,” “came in the initial jam” and that “Hey Ma,” “Could have been a great pop song if it weren’t for the lyric.” Inspired by the post-9/11 world, and anti-war sentiment, the line “Hey ma the boys in body bags coming home in pieces” is far too potent an image for a mainstream pop song and indeed it clashes with the upbeat tempo of the music, creating a feeling of dislocation tinged with hope that is profound and quintessentially James.
The seemingly never-ending saga of “The Gathering Sound”, the career-spanning James box-set
Given the hype over the return of their contemporaries from the “Madchester” era, you would think a record label would be falling over themselves to sell us a career-spanning boxset from James, whose upward career trajectory and roots coincided to give them the dubious pleasure of being placed in that music press box.
It would appear not.
Hinted at in interviews around the release of the two mini-albums The Night Before and The Morning After in 2010, there was a great sense of excitement in the James fan community when in the autumn of 2010, Amazon listed a box-set entitled The Gathering Sound for release on November 29.
The Universal trade site for distributors published a tracklisting, including a studio rarities CD of mostly unheard tracks, a live rarities CD, the two mini-albums combined on one CD, a 12” vinyl of demos, the legendary Come Home film from Manchester G-Mex in 1990 on DVD for the first time and booklets containing the band’s history and pieces on the band written by contemporaries, friends and fans.
The crowning point was to be a J-shaped USB stick featuring all the band’s albums in lossless FLAC format and videos with a built in media player.
Release dates were pushed back through December, and then once the Christmas market had been missed, disappeared completely. The band themselves announced nothing officially, a sign that something was amiss, and it transpired during VIP soundcheck questions on the December 2010 tour, that there were issues with making the USB stick actually work.
Fast forward eight months and a pre-sale on the Universal website was announced for August 16, 2011, which included 500 copies containing a print signed by the band. Hopes rose that the stick issue had been fixed as a release date of October 17th had been set.
12 track promos featuring eight songs from the albums, the early demo Willow, Whiplash outtake Hedex and two songs from the live disc were circulated in preparation for the anticipated release. The presale itself was beset by problems with people being unable to order despite being logged in, people being charged using cards immediately when told they wouldn’t be, leaving many disappointed punters and fury being directed towards Universal, and consequently the band. Three demo tracks of songs from The Morning After, supposedly an extra incentive to purchase from the Universal Boxset Store, ended up being available to anyone who typed in an email address on the website.
October came and went and no communication from Universal. It wasn’t until December 9, when an email was sent out to all customers informing them of a delay to February 2012.
At this point, the band made a statement via their website expressing their upset and disappointment at the continuing delays, probably with fingers crossed and gaffer tape across their mouths. Rumours abounded that content could be deleted, testing had only been done on PCs and the USBs were incompatible with Macs and that files were missing from supposed production samples.
Whilst maintaining a dignified public silence, probably not wanting to inflame the probably heated arguments going on behind the scenes, the band had informed fans during soundcheck Q+As on the October 2011 tour that production samples had again failed to work properly.
Fast forward to February 2012 and that Amazon link is now showing a release date of April 2, 2012, which suggests that there still is no fix in place. The Universal information machine was still telling people as late as the last week in January that the boxset would be released in early February and that Universal was actually waiting for the artist and manufacturer to release it to them to ship, as if the band were going to throw their legacy away on a piece of plastic that didn’t work.
In this time, USB products have been released by Universal, including a special Queen set just before Christmas. You have to feel for the band, and their management. Firstly, it’s their legacy, no one else’s that is being tainted here. And secondly, they’re in a no win situation -œ announce each and every Universal release date and they’re seen as complicit in the USB fiasco, or say nothing and be accused of not keeping their fans up-to-date.
Perhaps The Gathering Dust, as coined on one of the James forums, is a more appropriate title for the boxset.
By Sarah Walters and Neal Keeling, © 2011 Manchester Evening News
James star in death threats ordeal
“Stalker told me: I’ll kick your wobbly head in”
- James singer reveals email and poster taunts
- Police informed as band perform city gigs
JAMES star Tim Booth has spoken of his ordeal at the hands of a stalker who has threatened to kill him. Police were alerted after posters went up in Manchester saying the singer would be attacked.
Booth, 51, revealed he was being targeted during a James concert at the Bridgewater Hall – after security had been stepped up as a direct result of the threats. The posters appeared ahead of the band’s two concerts at the Manchester venue on Monday and last night. Booth, who joined James while he was a Manchester University student in the 1980s, told the M.E.N: “I’ve been getting some strange emails from someone for about a year-and-a-half that have been getting weirder and weirder, which could be from the same person [as put up the posters] but we don’t know.
”The posters were put up over James posters at the Bridgewater Hall and someone was also handing out fly-posters.
“Someone’s gone to a bit of effort. They detail what they’re going to do to me when they get hold of me.
“It wasn’t a problem for me. I go walk-about in the audience and so that was a bit difficult. I felt it better to announce it to the audience and also if anyone sees someone handing posters out to report it to the police. We have told the police. We reported it here and in Nottingham – you have to report it in the place you’re in. Originally that was Nottingham.
“I’m assuming they’re going to be at one of the shows, that’s why I’m talking to the audience. In Liverpool, people were coming on stage and were grabbing me and security get really nervous obviously. I just felt like I was going to come out and make light of it as well, just inform the audience so they know what’s going on. I’m hoping we can flush him out at a show because he’ll be in an environment where I can deal with him.”
Security staff set up tables outside the Bridgewater Hall to check fans’ bags.
The box office was also screened off from the main foyer so no one could enter without going through security checks.
Security staff were also inside the hall during the show.
Four songs into Monday’s show, Booth produced an A3 poster, handwritten in black ink. He said a stalker was threatening to ‘kick his wobbly head in’ before joking that if he wandered into the audience everyone he approached should put their hands in the air to prove they weren’t ‘concealing any weapons’.
Then he said: “Seriously, if anyone sees anyone putting up the posters, I’d appreciate it if you’d contact the police.”
Yesterday Booth and the rest of the band unveiled a plaque to commemorate their first gig at the Hacienda club in Manchester 30 years ago.
James have announced their UK tour for later this year.
The rock band, who formed in Manchester in 1982, will play all over the country throughout October and November, performing alongside a full orchestra and choir.
‘An Evening with James with the Orchestra of the Swan and the Manchester Consort Choir’ will see the group rework their archived tracks to incorporate more musicians.
James’ first performance takes place at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre on October 23, followed by shows at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on October 31 and November 1. The tour is scheduled to end at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 4.
The band’s members include Tim Booth, Jim Glennie, Larry Gott and Saul Davies and they are best known for hits such as ‘Sit Down’ and ‘She’s a Star’.
James were recently announced as the Friday night headliner at this year’s tenth anniversary Wickerman festival.
James have announced a UK tour for October and November that will see them playing live alongside an orchestra and full choir.
The tour is billed as An Evening with James with the Orchestra of the Swan and the Manchester Consort Choir and will see the band reworking their back catalogue to include the 22-piece orchestra and 16 person choir.
The run begins at Cardiff Millennium Centre on October 23 and includes two nights at The Bridgewater Hall in the band’s hometown of Manchester, these shows are set for October 31 and November 1. The tour ends at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 4.
The band released a new mini album ‘The Night Before’ in April last year.
James will play:
Cardiff Millennium Centre (October 23)
Birmingham Symphony Hall (24)
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (25)
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (27)
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (29)
Manchester Bridgewater Hall (31, November 1)
Gateshead Sage (2)
London Royal Albert Hall (4)
‘The Night Before’ will be out on April 19
James have announced the tracklisting for their upcoming mini-album, ‘The Night Before’.
The first of two mini albums the group are set to release, the Lee ‘Muddy’ Baker-produced LP will be released on April 19.
As previously reported, Tim Booth and co will begin a tour of the UK in April, while the group have also been added to the line-up for this year’s Isle Of Wight Festival.
The tracklisting for ‘The Night Before’ is: