2010: It’s Hot
Two mini-albums, two UK tours, a summer of festivals, Greek arena dates, a North American tour and another trip to Mexico – James’ busiest year yet? ‘The Night Before’ precedes ‘The Morning After’, one written by sharing files over the internet, the second recorded over five days in a London studio – very different ways of working, but both very James.
The US tour is the maddest one yet, with the wonderfully unhinged Ed Harcourt in full support with his church of no religion.
Gigs sell out everywhere, festival shows are stolen, Tim reads stories in a tent at Latitude, and the boys show no sign of slowing down or going away ever again.
2011: South of the Equator and Orchestral Manoeuvres
The year kicks off in southern hemispheric style with a trip to Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile; the trip’s success suggests that the bands unexpected popularity in Mexico extends a looooong way south of the border. Turkey, Spain, Latvia, Madeira and Portugal provide the foreign festival fun along with Hyde Park and the glorious Wickerman Festival nearer to home.
The year comes to a close by making good on our internal promise to once again work with Joe Duddell. It’s decided that together the band and Joe will orchestrate a much larger selection of the band’s back catalogue for a tour of bespoke concert venues around Britain. Joe enlisted the help of Orchestra of the Swan and the Manchester Consort Choir to re-imagine songs from every studio album to date. The tour was a wonderful artistic success culminating in a thrilling, celebratory show at the Royal Albert Hall.
2012: From Vancouver to Coachella, Monterrey to Buenos Aires
Thomas Dolby’s steampunk express provided special support as James’s Coachella-focused jaunt rolled around the north west coast.
Brazil and Argentina were added to the bands growing team of South American supporters – along with Chile, Peru and lovely Mexico.
After a few European festivals including Lisbon’s riotous Rock In Rio, the band absconded to the wilds of Scotland. There they would focus their creative energy and write the bulk of what would eventually become the album La Petite Mort.
2013: Echoes of the past present and future
A spring tour enabled the band to not only polish the newly written songs, but also invite the legendary Echo & the Bunnymen to join them as very special guests.
The summer was spent in RAK studios recording the new material, wonderfully disturbed by a Wembley Stadium gig (again at the behest of The Killers) and some sunny wakeboarding in Wales.
Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Greece provided the festival fun and an opportunity to play the new songs live.
This album is going to be full of classic James tunes of the future, promise.
2014: First the promo storm, then. . . . .
James’ 13th studio album, La Petite Mort, is completed at RAK Studios with new producer Max Dingel.
The video for first single Moving On, directed by BAFTA-winning animator Ainslie Henderson, tots up over 3 million views and is nominated for a raft of awards, taking Best Animation at the UK MVAs. On a roll, the video for third single, All I’m Saying, directed by Czech animator Péter Vácz, is also nominated for multiple awards and wins Best Picture at We Like ‘Em Short Film Festival.
A hectic year of live shows is crowned by a celebratory gig at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester and a headline slot at Camp
Bestival. In October James are invited to perform at the BBC’s historic Maida Vale studios for the 6 Music Live event.
In between writing sessions in the Highlands and recording at RAK, James keep the live fires burning – headlining the wonderful Festival No.6 and Kendal Calling, plus a homecoming gig in Delamere Forest.
New album Girl At The End Of The World, again produced by Max Dingel, is released in March and shoots straight to the top of the UK Album Charts to the No.1 slot for the midweek chart position, only to be overtaken by Adele in the final days… proudly landing at No.2.
Another busy touring agenda includes a giant hometown show at Manchester Arena plus a three-night take-over of London.
First track released, To My Surprise, is accompanied by a somewhat controversial animated video, and goes straight into the A-list at 6 Music.