History: James through the years

2006: A New Day Dawns

In a Victorian warehouse just around the corner from the now defunct Hacienda Club, Jim, Tim and Larry jam together for the first time in 10 years, they find something that they had mislaid. Unfinished business.

2007: The Improbable Return Of The Magnificent 7

Tim, Jim and Larry continue to write lots of new material and even get to record a couple of new tracks for a proposed re-package of 1998’s ‘Best of’.

A nationwide tour to promote the album is suggested but the three will only tour if Mark, Dave and Saul will join them. Wonderfully all six agree and the gigs go on sale and unexpectedly sell out in a couple of hours. Offers from Festivals all over Europe start to fill up the Spring and Summer of what was intended to be a year of writing and production. A high class problem, as The Rudge would say.

’How can we make the festivals special?’ they wondered. Andy Diagram, who always enjoyed a good festival, was asked if he fancied it and lo and behold the 7, of ‘Gold Mother’ and ‘Seven’ fame, were once again reunited.

Distractions out of the way the band decamp to a dilapidated château in northern France to record the tracks that will become the first new James album in 7 years.

2008: Hey Ma The Boys Are Back!

Controversy strikes as the baby-grabbing-for-a-gun cover of ‘Hey Ma’ is banned and lots of free press ensues. The album is released in April and James go Top 10 by word of mouth, selling out theatres throughout the UK, before heading for sun and siesta at festivals across Spain, Greece, Portugal and the Azores, in addition to the Isle of Wight Festival. They also make appearances on ‘Later With Jools’ and ‘Jonathan Ross’.

In September it‘s back to the Americas (after 11 long years) and the James boys do it coast to coast, catching up with old friends and making new ones along the way – Saul‘s friends ‘Unkle Bob’ ably providing both support band AND roadie duties – hey we got ourselves a convoy!!

James head south to Mexico next for the band‘s first foray into Latin America, only to find that they‘re surprisingly massive! Selling out the 10,000 cap Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City and the lively VFG Arena in Guadalajara even though they’ve never been there before. Arriba!

The winter nights are made warmer by a December tour and a limited edition of a self-made live album. The ‘Live In 2008’ CD, with warts, false starts, Peter Kay et al thrown in, was recorded on the earlier spring tour of the UK.

2009: A Greek Odyssey

Spring gives the band some time out to recover from the past two hectic years before a summer of writing, and playing three magical nights in a beautiful (if overcrowded) amphitheatre in the sweltering heat of a Thessaloniki summer evening. A debut trip to Poland follows, thanks to our friends The Killers, and numerous summer festivals keep the boys happy and well fed.

Joy Division are one of the few bands to have influenced James so when asked if they would like to headline the annual Versus Cancer gig in Manchester, working with Peter Hook on a couple of songs, they willingly said yes.

Joy Division are one of the few bands to influence James; so when asked to headline the annual ‘Versus Cancer’ gig in Manchester, with Hooky joining them for a couple of JD covers, they’re delighted.

Master orchestrator/conductor Joe Duddell was enlisted to work on orchestral versions of Transmission and Atmosphere for the collaboration, and he weaves his magic on a selection of James’ back catalogue for the BBC Philharmonic to perform (‘We must do this again,’ the band and Joe agree…) The gig was a massive success and Hooky brought along fellow Manc, Rowetta, to join in the fun.