‘Better Than That’ Tour
1st June 2018 | Jim
Hi folks, just a few words of thanks for your support on the recently ended May tour.
We didn’t make it easy for you, playing a bunch of songs from the new album that isn’t out yet.
As usual you did us proud with your commitment and enthusiasm.
It’s always a little daunting taking new material on the road but your concentration and positivity is always so impressive.
Thanks to the old guard for trekking around to lesser known corners of the UK, and if it was your first James gig hopefully it won’t be your last.
I hope you enjoyed support ‘Lanterns On The Lake’. We’ve been trying to get them to play with us for a while and it hasn’t worked out. So glad it did this time.
I’d like to officially welcome on board Deborah Knox-Hewson. Thrown in at the deep end with little rehearsal, she’s stood up well to the wonderful chaos that is the world of James.
Also a big thank you to all our crew and everyone involved with putting on a James gig.
There is so much more to it than just us eight turning up and playing.
Meanwhile, over on Instagram…
3rd April 2018 | wearejames
Fashionably late to the party, we’ve finally set up shop on Instagram. When the blog cupboard is looking rather bare why not take a peek at what we’re up to over there? You’ll find us at @wearejames.
James, 1983: ‘Not a gang of Jesses’. L to R: Tim Booth, Paul Gilbertson, Jim Glennie, Gavan Whelan photographed by Paul Slattery for Sounds. #wearejames #jamesisnotaperson #jameslasts #jameshistory #paulgilbertson #jimglennie #timbooth #gavanwhelan #paulslattery #sounds #manchester #manchestershipcanal #manchestermusic #alternativemusic #indiemusic
Musicians Against Homelessness
6th March 2018 | wearejames
We are proud to support and raise awareness for Musicians Against Homelessness with a special rendition of Sit Down—featuring renowned composer/conductor Joe Duddell and a string quartet—filmed at Manchester’s Albert Hall last December exclusively for the cause.
MAH was launched by Alan McGee in 2016 with the twin aims of supporting upcoming talent through sourcing performance opportunities, and to raise the profile of homelessness whilst raising funds.
To support their work please text MAH to 70004 to donate £3 to Crisis.*
“Sit Down is a song about empathy so we are really honoured and happy that this beautiful version, arranged by Joe Duddell, is being used to raise money for the homeless.
“We seem to be living in times of increasing inequality where all the safety nets that my generation took for granted have been taken away.
“I don’t know how a person can hold their life together if they don’t have a home, a cave, someplace safe they can call their own. It is too easy for us to look the other way. Thank you to the kind souls who are running this charitable organisation for not doing so.”—Tim
Watch the video—enjoy!—and please consider making a donation to this very worthy cause.
*Texts cost £3.00 plus your network charge. Crisis receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Helpline 08000 384838. Registered Charity Numbers: E&W1082947, SC040094. Text STOP to 70004 to opt out of future contact from Crisis.
Mark E. Smith
24th January 2018 | Jim
I’d like to pass the band’s best wishes to Mark E. Smith’s family and friends.
The Fall were hugely influential in the embryonic stages of James’ existence.
Dating back to our ‘Model Team International’ days.
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.
22nd November 2016 | Jim
On behalf of ‘James’, I’d like to offer our condolences and best wishes to Craig Gill’s family.
We’ve had a long and varied past with Inspiral Carpets, including sharing a Manchester rehearsal room and taking them on tour with us.
But most memorable was dragging them all out of rehearsals for an impromptu recording session at Out Of The Blue studios, to record backing vocals on our song Gold Mother.
We are about to start playing the song live again and when we do, we always fire in a sample of the Carpets’ backing vocals.
So whenever we play the song, Gilly will be up there on stage with us.
— Best wishes, Jim from James.
Day Off in New Zealand
8th November 2016 | wearejames
Jim and Saul’s Top 11 Bands To Catch At Glastonbury
23rd June 2016 | Jim
In no particular order…
The Slow Readers Club
Of Monsters and Men
Handle with care; damaged goods: a letter from Tim
13th May 2016 | Tim
Last night I got attacked by about 5 or 6 overexcited drunk people whilst Adrian and I tried a walkthrough trying to play a song. (Please note this could have happened anywhere – and has previously elsewhere – location is irrelevant.)
You can see the superficial scars at the bottom of this post.
The attackers seemed to think that grabbing me round the neck was an act of friendship, but to to a man in his 50s who’s had whiplash and operations in that area of his body, it feels otherwise.
I love coming into the audience, stage surfing etc. I love the intimacy, the trust that I won’t be dropped. I love to look people in the eye and sing to them, to see who’s there. I love breaking the boundary between audience and performer. I don’t want a few drunken fools out of thousands of trustworthy friends preventing me from doing so in the future.
Please, if you wish to meet us in this level of intimacy and trust, put your camera phone down and be present. If you or your friends are too drunk and having a great time, no judgment, have a great time but please keep your distance. It would be a real shame if this dimension to our connection was ended by the health and safety authorities who have already threatened to do so.
Come dance with me, come play with me, but please don’t come looking for body part souvenirs or selfies.
I will make my foray choices on a night to night basis; weekends are nearly always impossible I’m afraid unless a high level of trust is present. It’s not something I’m obliged to do, not part of our act, it’s something that may or might not happen in the moment.
One last thing, its called “Girl At The End Of The World Tour” because we are playing many songs from that record which we are very proud of. Your enjoyment of this gig, will be heightened immeasurably by a couple of listenings to the record.
With love and gratitude,
A very big tock.
11th May 2016 | Juliet
Today the sun is shining. All is well in the world and Tim has just returned in time for soundcheck after a day out on the Great Orme by himself communing with nature.
Tim is happy as his throat is so much better. He has some turmeric capsules. He is feeling good. He also has a special inhaler which comes from an apothecary on Wigmore Street. It looks like a tea pot with a pipe coming out the stopper on top. Fill it with boiling water and inhale the steam. It helps with the throat.
Today is Thursday and we are in Llandudno, Wales. Day Off in Wales is going to be covered by Nick, James Welsh correspondent and drum tech.
After London we were in Norwich and then we were in Bournemouth.
The evening in Bournemouth was a bit damp as the mist came in from the sea. I didn’t have the soup of the day. But the individual fish pies made by Sam were spectacular and most people ordered fish pie as that evening in Bounemouth as it said it was local fish.
Smiley Neil was there backstage again after the show.
I cant remember any more than that.
We slept on the bus two nights in a row. Arnie is our bus driver. Arnie is from Austria. Arnie is very cheerful. He has special Austrian coffee beans for the coffee maker. Arnie shares his beans. He says they are best ground fresh to get the oil from the coffee.
We now have a very big backstage clock. The clock has a very big tock.
“OK Paul, tell us all.”
9th May 2016 | Juliet
This is the seventh time that James have been booked to play at UEA.
The first time they played it was 17th June 1990 and the ticket price was £5.50.
Interestingly on the 12 December 1993 they played and had Radiohead as their support band. The price was £11.
Anyway today is a lovely sunny day and the band travelled from west London to East of England to Norwich. The crew travelled overnight and arrived in the small hours.
The venue is a modern University complex set in nice grassy grounds.
We do VIP sound check and Saul’s son Vinny is chief assistant for this today. During the soundcheck Tim shows the audience his Chinese tea. Basically these look like creatures from the deep floating in warm water. It’s called Pang Da Hei and used by Chinese opera singers to moisten the vocal apparatus.
Saul and his children are part of the entourage now. They are travelling in Saul’s Skoda Yeti and staying in Travelodges and Premier Inns hoping that they will meet Alan Partridge.
They haven’t met him yet but Saul did have an off the radar chat with a DJ earlier this year.
Saul was driving down from the Highlands, from Stirling on the radio was a late night phone-in about alcohol. “Oh,” thought Saul “I will give them a ring.” So he got on the line and the guy said, “Hi yes Paul”. “No it’s Saul” said no it’s Saul. “OK Paul, tell us all.” So Saul said, “Well I gave up 9 years ago”. “Oh that’s great,” said the guy “we’ll give you a call back.” Next thing another guy rings him back live on the radio and says, “Hi Paul, I hear you have been drunk for 9 years…”
“Er no,” Says Saul, “my name is Saul and I’ve been sober for 9 years.” “Oh that’s great Paul and what do you do for living?” “Oh I play in a band.” “Oh” says the interviewer, “that’s great. And who do you play with.” “A band called James,” says Saul…
Cant remember the punch line of this story and cant find Saul to ask him. Answers on a postcard if you were listening in.
Ron has found three rabbits loitering in the grounds just outside the entrance of the venue. Ron is the Dr Doolittle of the rabbit world and is engrossed chatting to the long eared ones.
Meanwhile Tim has gone to sleep for too long. His 20 minute pre-show nap has slipped into another cycle….
Wake up Tim. Time to get on stage…