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Hey Ma! They're Back! The Return Of James

May 3, 2008
James formed in Manchester, England back in the early 1980s, and throughout that whole decade struggled to "make it." The decade also was full of upheaval as the band changed managers, and members, finally settling into the line up that would become known as The Magnificent Seven. With the'90s came success and a string of hit singles like "Sit Down" and "Laid." The mid-'90s found the band in a series of critically acclaimed area shows supporting Duran Duran followed by an exhaustive touring schedule of their own. Lead singer Tim Booth took a break in '01 and though James never announced a break up, the band became inactive.

James produced nine studio albums between 1986 and 2001, as well as a series of EPs, soundtrack appearances--"Laid" was featured in the movie American Pie--two live recordings and several compilation albums. "The Best Of," a 1998 James compilation hit #1 in the UK. IN 2006, Tim Booth, Jim Glennie and Larry Gott got together for some jam time and inspiration struck. The trio and the remaining four of the seven matched back up for a series of 2007 European Festivals.

With their tenth studio album, "Hey Ma," and a tour kicking off, James are back. They've been around since the early '80s, always indie, and always at the forefront of British music. The band has an extensive discography, including Top Ten placers "Gold Mother," "Seven" and "Millionaires," and now in 2008 with the new album "Hey Ma." The album was recorded with producer Lee "Muddy" Baker at Chateau Warsy in France and boasts 11 songs by the seven members most commonly identified as the definitive James lineup.

James has always been a band that was better live--they're known for their improvisational style and spontaneous jams, an ambience that comes across better on stage. Their early albums feel almost restrained when compared to later releases where the band had more control, and the guys were able to let their unique blend come through.

Partial Discography

Studio Albums
1986Stutter
1988Strip-mine
1990Gold Mother (UK #2)
1992Seven (UK #2)
1993Laid (UK #3)
1994Wah Wah
1997Whiplash (UK #9)
1999Millionaires (UK #2)
2001Pleased to Meet You
2008Hey Ma (UK #10)

The Glittering Thorn Returns

After a long and rocky road filled with rumours of break ups, long breaks of no new material and band members taking solo spots, 2007 saw a return of the Magnificent Seven with Tim Booth, Larry Gott, Jim Glennie, Saul Davies, Mark Hunter and David Baynton-Power plus trumpet player Andy Diagram. The 2008 release of "Hey Ma" marks the glittering thorn's first new studio album since 2001's "Pleased to Meet You" and coincides with a three-week tour to promote the album.

"Hey Ma" came about thanks to a rather unique working environment, perfectly suited to the James style. The guys worked in their own studios, feeding ideas back to "Muddy" Baker in the main studio, then they'd get together and just jam at leisure--an act that brings out the best in James. One five-hour spell produced eight pieces. James worked up a total of a hundred and twenty pieces during those recording sessions, and the result is 11 of their best songs ever recorded.

The resulting album is intense, and intensely personal. It's also filled with pretty strong imagery, including the title track's lyrics about falling towers and "dust in the air." But intense, and perhaps even disturbing imagery is nothing new to these guys.

James are set for a wild year full of tour dates, starting in April with a series of concerts covering the UK. May sees the band with gigs at the SOS Festival Murcia, the Praca Da Cancao and Braga Municipal Park. In June, James heads to the Isle of Wight Festival and the Ejekt Festival, and July takes James to Portugal for the Mares Vivas Festival. The guys then take a break till December when the We Are Sound Tour heads to the UK at the Leeds Carling Academy, Glasgow SECC, Birmingham NIA, Brixton Carling Academy and Manchester Central.

Dates and Venues

02/05/2008SOS Festival Murcia
06/05/2008Razzmatazz 1
08/05/2008La Riviera
10/05/2008Praca da Cancao
05/11/2008Braga Municipal Park
015/06/2008Isle of Wight Festival
28/06/2008Ejekt Festival
19/07/2008Mares Vivas Festival
11/12/2008Leeds Carling Academy
12/12/2008Glasgow SECC
13/12/2008Birmingham NIA
15/12/2008Brixton Carling Academy
16/12/2008Brixton Carling Academy
19/12/2008Manchester Central
About the Author
This article was written by Rochelle Karina for Viagogo.co.uk, a leading European ticket hub. Viagogo connects buyers and sellers of James Tickets, tickets, concert tickets and more. Viagogo also guarantees all the transactions, so if you are looking for tickets online, Viagogo is the place to go!
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