Ordinarily I’d be running at some considerable speed in the opposite direction of this, I don’t generally hold with ghosts from your stereo’s past and I’ll admit that the last stuff I listened to by them was way over 15 years ago, but then everyone appears at the moment to be obsessing about all things 90’s and while this lot where stirring the wheels of another fashion crisis that pre-dated the flag waving Brit pop explosion, they were like Pulp the most deserving acolytes of success after years of being every other over achievers favourite band. I refer of course to James, a band whose industrious success at selling t-shirts (i still mourn the loss of my nifty looking ‘how was it for you’ top even to this day) in the early days outshone their ability to actually push records sales. The cool kids U2. Discuss. And anyway throughout the 80’s they were arguably and musically more interesting than the Smiths (stand back for the backlash). Back after an age – apologies I’ve temporarily mislaid the press release – do I recall rightly first new album in 6 years, entitled ’la petite mort’ – the set was written during a traumatic period in Mr Booth’s life – losing his mother and a close friend in quick succession and while the albums title might hint darker elements and some mood lowering self healing by all accounts its bouncing with radiance and effervescence as clearly evidenced by the teaser track ’frozen Britain’. Now depending on your perspective the mere mention that this is James rediscovering their ’Gold Mother’ mojo could be viewed both a good thing and a bad thing, but petty disagreements aside this three minute blast into the past is acutely coiled in the kind of old school hooks that ought to ensure lighter sales excel at this years festivals, the burning question though what sizes and colours do the t-shirts come in.


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