December 2001, © Manchester Evening News
LOCAL HEROES MADE IT BIG
James were formed in 1982 when Tim Booth was brought into the band as a dancer after he was spotted strutting his stuff on the dance floor in Manchester University’s students union.
Unaware that he could sing, original members Jim Glennie, Paul Gilbertson and Gavan Whelan asked the then drama student if he’d reproduce his rubber man antics to accompany their act.
It wasn’t long before he took over the microphone and the rest, as they say, is history.
So far James 19 years have taken them from the folky eccentricity of Hymn From A Village to the forthright jungle pop of What For and through the baggy-feel of Come Home and on to stadium anthems like Born of Frustration and the heartfelt acoustic pop of Sometimes.
By the early nineties, their quirky brand of guitar pop had won them legions of fans worldwide.
Their real breakthrough came in 1989 with the release of Gold Mother, which spawned the hits Come Home, How Was It For You? and Sit Down.
Sit Down was only held off the UK number one slot by Chesney Hawkes’ The One And Only.
James released Seven, which became a million seller, peaking at number 2 in the UK album charts.
The band were getting stronger with every release and they recruited Brian Eno for their next album Laid in 1993. Laid broke the band in the States, selling 600,000 copies.
However, just as the band appeared to have world domination in their grasp it all started to come apart at the seams.
Guitarist Larry Gott and manager Martine departed followed by a massive back-tax demand.
And it wasn’t until 1998 that the band returned the album Whiplash, containing the hits She’s A Star and Tomorrow.
A year later their Best Of compilation bumped the Titanic soundtrack off the top of the album charts.
Millionaires was released last year and Pleased To Meet You in June this year, both to mixed reviews.
Then in October, Tim Booth announced this was to be his final tour with the band.
Jim and the rest of James have vowed to carry on and Tim Booth says he might be back to play Glastonbury if he’s asked.