James finish off the year with four arena shows at Glasgow SECC, London Wembley Arena, Manchester Arena and Leeds First Direct Arena supported by The Charlatans. Both Tim and Andy make guest appearances during The Charlatans set at the London and Manchester shows.
James played a series of international dates in Auckland and Christchurch (New Zealand), Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (Australia), Dubai and Kirstenbosch and Pretoria (South Africa).
They also announced a twelve-date UK tour for March 2019 with them supporting themselves with a half-hour acoustic set.
Acoustic versions of Many Faces and Backwards Glances are released.
Acoustic versions of Coming Home (Pt 2) and Leviathan are released as well as a live video of Many Faces recorded at their Halifax show in May.
James’ fifteenth studio album Living In Extraordinary Times is released on CD, deluxe CD, cassette, standard black vinyl, webstore only white vinyl, independent store only magenta vinyl and white label test pressing. It reaches number 6 in the UK charts.
They celebrate the release with an acoustic set and signing at Manchester’s HMV store as well as radio sessions for BBC Radio 2, BBC 5 Live and Absolute Radio as well as appearing on Zoe Ball’s ITV show.
They play festival sets at Grande Monte Verde in the Azores, Linlithgow Party In The Park, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Festival de Vilar de Mouros in Caminha, Spain and Electric Fields in Scotland
An edited version of Many Faces is released as a single ahead of the release of the Living In Extraordinary Times album.
A live video for Hank, recorded at their show in Halifax in May, is revealed.
James headline the 6 Music Stage at Latitude Festival and also play Bilbao BBK and Kendal Calling.
James appear on Later With Jools Holland on BBC2 performing Many Faces, Hank, Coming Home (Pt 2) and Sit Down across two episodes.
Coming Home (Pt 2) is released a single with an accompanying video shot by Leif Tilden at Tim’s home in California. A live video for Better Than That, recorded at their show in Halifax in May, is also revealed.
They play at Rock In Rio Festival in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Better Than That EP is released on May 18th on CD and vinyl and reaches number 1 in the UK Vinyl Singles chart.
James play a seven-date tour to coincide with the release in Llandudno, Warrington, Blackburn, Halifax, Middlesbrough, Oban and Scunthorpe before co-headlining the Southampton and Oxford legs of the Common People festival. During the tour they reveal seven songs – Hank, Coming Home Pt 2, Leviathan, Many Faces, Better Than That and What’s It All About – from their forthcoming Living In Extraordinary Times album.
The Better Than That EP is announced for release on 10″ vinyl / CD / download on May 18th and the title track is premiered by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music.
As a warm up to the summer festivals and their upcoming album, James announce a short 7-venue tour. The ‘Better Than That’ tour focuses on smaller venues (less than 2,000) and sells out almost instantly.
The band announce a series of summer festival dates in the UK and Spain. On Twitter Tim says that the new album will be released in July.
James issue the following statement to mark the passing of The Fall’s Mark E. Smith: “Not only musically inspiring a hunt for originality, where melody meets grit and ideas, but also a bloody minded, fuck-you Manc attitude. The Fall gave us so many support slots. It’s where we fumbled around trying to find our feet. In a parallel universe The Fall are quite rightly the biggest band on the planet. Immeasurable thanks and praise.”
Five albums from the back-catalogue are re-released, all on double heavyweight vinyl. Gold Mother, Seven and Whiplash are all reissues although the first two have revised tracklistings, but it is the first time that Millionaires and Pleased To Meet You are available on vinyl.
On Twitter Tim indicates that he’s finished recording all the vocals for the band’s new album.
James top off their year with a stunning, two-set intimate gig at their home-town’s Albert Hall to benefit the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, the first featuring two new songs Mask and Many Faces with a string quartet arranged by long-term collaborator Joe Duddell.
Tim announces that Ron Yeadon is taking paternity leave from the band.