James – Drawn by the Undertow…(Musical Archaeology no. 2)

Today's musical gem has been chosen by Guy Allen, whose illustrious procurement career has covered automotive, pharma, financial services and now the role of CPO at Fujitsu.  Guy is a huge music fan and started brainwashing his youngest son by making him spend the whole weekend at Latitude Festival with him recently..

So we’ve all heard ‘Sit Down’, but most people would be hard pressed to name another James song. Yet since 1989 this band has been ploughing its trade with new albums and yearly tours........ I’ve been to pretty much every tour since the mid 90’s, and I have to tell you, if you’ve not seen them, you are missing a treat. What do the songs sound like? Well they are much like Sit Down, which is no bad thing. Not too much innovation going on here (see various P Smith articles) but well crafted easily likeable pop tunes, some of which ascend to greatness. Live, it all comes together fantastically well, led by a Freddie Mercury rivalling front man in Tim Booth, and much sing along merriment. In fact Queen without the pomp and circumstance is not a bad comparison, with sharper deeper lyrics.

Dip Your Toe:  2009’s ‘Hey Ma’ is a great recent album, or more obviously one of the greatest hits packages. And no you are not allowed to just down load a couple of tunes of iTunes, these are works of art to be considered as a whole.

See them live: Touring in November, though this time with a full orchestra, so might not be quite the ‘up and at them’ of recent gigs.


Don’t Just Listen To Me: I took a James novice their last Brixton gig, he walked out proclaiming it was the best £35 he had spend all year.

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