SetlistNot There / Are You Ready? / Stowaway / Scarecrow / So Many Ways / Sky Is Falling / Ya Ho / Sit Down / Medieval / What For
More Information & Reviews
See attached press clipping.
There’s not a cardigan in sight as Manchester oddballs James prepare to launch their most recent bid for major success.
Previous attempts have tried and failed, but James have survived. Now they’re back, and as they take the wraps off their new material in the concrete confines of Manchester’s newest venue, they look likely to succeed this time around.
They have shrugged off the born again Vegan label. although their angular folk leanings poke through the pop shroud every now and again. They kick off a 14 song set with ‘Johnny Yen’, an awkward, tottering song, but delivered with a crisp confidence, suggesting that James know where they are heading. They pile into the new single ‘Ya Ho’ and it becomes obvious that nothing is going to go wrong in front of the sell-out home town crowd. As James go from strength to strength, the dancing, ringing guitar style of Jimmy Gott turns tonight into a celebration. With the wind behind them and the crowd on their side, ‘So Many Ways’ was staggeringly good.
But the most valuable player award for the best performance goes to Gavan Michael Whelan, the drummer without whom James could kiss their ambitions goodbye. His subtle stickwork does much to bring power and panache to the James sound and if anyone deserves credit. it’s him. And as if to prove that they can do it that way as well, the encore is a three vocal version of ‘Folklore’, accompanied only by the bass, Judging by the reactions of the crowd. James did more than enough to keep their foot in the door Now all they need is to get their fingers in the pie.
Uprising / Scarecrow / What’s The World / Doubts / Billy’s Shirts / So Many Ways / Summer Song / Stowaway (Reggae Cowboy) / Drunkard / Vulture / Really Hard / Wonderful / Chain Mail / Withdrawn
From Maninthecornershop (off a Leeds forum)
By now they were doing well, indy charts and a bit of press, ‘The Next Big Thing. As my mate Dave was want to say,’There’s a buzz on the band.’ Half the football lads in East Leeds turned out for this one. James Brown fronted the excellent but short lived Butter Cookies a sort of Hank Williams meets Half Man Half Biscuit and gets the ale in type band as support. They went over quite well, the student/football crowd were mixing well and good night looked in the offing. Some band from Sheffield who sounded and indeed looked like The Icicle Works were on next and got everyone tapping their toes. By the time James took the stage the ale had been flowing freely and, sadly, the local bikers who were doing security had been throwing their weight around. It was only a matter of time. It’s hard to understand as the lads loved the band but the tention of some was directed at the band. Fights started and yes, some innocent students caught some shit. One biker got put through a cig machine face first and the gig almost collapsed. Tim and the boys battled on gamely. Ironically the music, such a frenzy sound tracked the violence. I was mad as hell, drunk and just let myself go, dancing like a loon. It was gonna end in tears. Keenan, the promoter grabbed me and threatened me with the bouncers if it didn’t stop. To this day I have no idea why he grabbed me. At the time, these were my band, in my back yard. I was fucking pissed the way things were going. I got on stage grabbed Tim’s mike and said if things didn’t calm down the gig would end. Bit of a surprise for all concerned. Things calmed down – relative term. The band continued, getting lost in the music and producing a storming set. Maybe the tension in the air served as some kind of creative force? Whatever. Things came to a head with the drums going over, Tim saying, Thanks a lot Leeds it’ll never happen again.’ aand the boucers running for their lives. It got very hairy outside after, cars going over and running street fights. I saw Scottie talking to Tim after, upstairs, I smiled at him and shook my head. he responded the same. I’ve since challenged Kennan about his action that night and he said I stood out and he panicked. First and foremost I was and stil am a music fan. He didn’t need the threats. Help me would have sufficed.
Inspite of everything it was a good gig. The Jesus And Mary Chain had contrived riots those veggie munching Mancs had the real deals.
A cult favourite amongst older James fans and a particular favourite chant for requests, as can be heard on One Man Clapping, Stowaway featured only occassionally in the James set from 1985 (where it was in much heavier form, with mostly different lyrics and known as Reggae Cowboy) and 1988, but appeared in their Peel Session in 1987.
|Song:||Stowaway (aka Reggae Cowboy)|
|First Heard:||Leeds Astoria, 23rd November 1985|