Madchester alive and well as James continue to inspire the indie scene

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  • In an era where many people have an attention span shorter than a goldfish, it seems unthinkable that any of today’s music artists will still be around in 40 years’ time.

    A quick look at the UK singles chart throws up names like Lil Dicky, MoStack and Bazzi – none of whom will be filling out arenas in 2058.

    Ask most of today’s younger music buying generation if they’ve ever heard of James and you’re likely to hear “Who’s he?”, but the iconic Manchester group continue to be pioneers of the indie scene 36 years after they were formed.

    After signing to Factory Records in 1982, the band went on to release a series of successful hit singles. From the iconic Sit Down, to She’s A Star and the Manchester anthem ‘Come Home’, James rattled off hit after hit.

    James have sold more than 25 million records worldwide, released 14 studio albums over three decades and their most recent release, Girl at the End of the World, nearly kept Adele off the top of the charts.

    Front man Tim Booth, whose manic dance moves would make him a perfect marketing fit for a company like Energybet, leads the seven-piece band with the same vigour that helped inspire the ‘Madchester’ music scene back in the 1980s and 90s.

    A ‘farewell’ hometown gig at the Manchester Evening News arena in December 2001 looked to have marked the end for James, but they returned six years later and have continued to develop and experiment over the past decade.

    Their 2014 album La Petite Mort was met with huge critical acclaim and their headlining of the entertainment at the Rugby League Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford that year highlighted their continued popularity.

    The Girl at the End of the World album was superbly showcased by James as they opened the 2016 Glastonbury Festival on the Other Stage and they have gone on to play more massive gigs since then.

    Despite their success, James have never forgotten their roots and their special benefit gig last December to raise money for those affected by the Manchester Arena attack was a simply stunning occasion.

    The intimate, one-off show at Manchester’s Albert Hall was staged in support of those who were injured or bereaved by the attack on Ariana Grande concert-goers on May 22.

    The event was a perfect showcase for a band who are at the peak of their powers and highlighted that they remain unafraid to challenge themselves by doing things differently from their contemporaries.

    The concert has led to James announcing a new tour starting in May 2018, where the group will revisit venues across the country they have not played for many years.

    The band will then go on to perform at a number of summer festivals, and an arena tour at the end of the year to promote an upcoming 15th album would undoubtedly cement their status as true indie legends.

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