Treat in store at the double for James fans

Fans of James are in for a treat next month as their upcomong tour will serve up a double helping of the alternative rock veterans.

By Darin Hutson
Sunday, 24 February, 2019, 14:22
Veteran alternative rock act James, featuring, centre, singer Tim Booth.

Not only are the band hitting the road in support of their latest album, last year’s Living in Extraordinary Times, but they’ll also be their own support act by playing half-hour acoustic sets ahead of the dozen headlining appearances they have lined up for March.

Next month’s tour kicks off at Margate Winter Gardens in Kent on Wednesday, March 6, and will bring them back to the north east on Sunday, March 17.

That show, at Newcastle City Hall, will be their first in the city since one at the same venue in May 2016 and their first in the north east since a visit to Middlesbrough Town Hall last May.

Explaining their decision to play two shows for the price of one nightly to allow them to do justice to a back catalogue stretching over 30-plus years, singer Tim Booth said: “For this smaller venue March tour, we intend to split the gig up into a 30-ish-minute pin-drop, bars-closed acoustic set, followed by an electric set after the interval.”

They can also be seen at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Bath Forum, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Southampton’s O2 Guildhall, Stoke’s Victoria Hall, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, Carlisle’s Sands Centre, Birmingham’s O2 Academy and Hull’s Bonus Arena.

Their last Newcastle City Hall show was their first at the Northumberland Road venue since a support slot in March 1985 for fellow Manchester band the Smiths.

Tickets for their Tyneside show cost £42 or £52. For details, go to www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/james or www.wearejames.com

Living in Extraordinary Times, produced by Charlie Andrew and Beni Giles, peaked at No 6 following its release last August.

It was the seven-piece act’s 13th full-length LP, following on from 2016’s Girl at the End of the World, a No 2 hit, and 2014’s La Petite Mort, a No 11.

La Petite Mort was their first proper album since 2008’s comeback set, Hey Ma, a No 10 hit, though they did release a couple of mini-LPs in the meantime, both in 2010 – The Night Before, a No 20, and The Morning After, a No 19.

Besides West Yorkshire-born Booth, 59, James currently consist of guitarists Adrian Oxaal and Saul Davies, bassist Jim Glennie, Mark Hunter on keyboards, drummer David Baynton-Power and trumpeter Andy Diagram.

James have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, their biggest hits, besides Girl at the End of the World, being 1990’s Gold Mother, 1992’s Seven and 1999’s Millionaires, all also No 2s.

They’ve also notched up four top 10 singles – Sound, a No 9 in 1991, and She’s a Star, a No 9 in 1997, as well as Sit Down twice over, a No 2 in 1991 and a No 7 in 1998.

The band, together from 1982 to 2001 and since 2007, will be back in the north east in the summer to headline the second night of this year’s Hardwick Live festival near Sedgefield in County Durham on Sunday, August 18. That will be their second time at the festival following a previous appearance in 2015. Tickets cost £60.50 or £110 for the day or £108.90 or £200 for the weekend. For details, go to www.hardwicklive.co.uk