James Come Home

Is it 2007? Or 1987? The Coachella festival announced its line-up this week and keen observers immediately noticed that it included two bands previously considered disbanded. The Jesus & Mary Chain‘s Reid brothers have apparently put aside their famed sibling rivalry for a crack at becoming this year’s Pixies (i.e. a money-making reformation machine), while Neil Finn, who has played on and off with his own brother Tim Finn over the years, has now gotten back with bassist Nick Seymour to reform the delightful Crowded House. Sadly, a true reformation of this wonderful trio is impossible: the group’s drummer Paul Hester committed suicide in 2005. A couple of Crowded House gigs I got to see back in the late 80s resonate among the strongest memories of all live shows. Here’s hoping the pair can get close to recreating that magic.

And now another band announces its reformation: Tim Booth has confirmed he will be rejoining James for a series of live shows this year, while the group’s web site goes a step further and boasts “a bunch of new songs.” The James reunion makes sense, more so perhaps than did James’ original disbandment, for Tim Booth’s superb solo album sadly died a death, and the other members don’t seem to have kept themselves much in the mainstream either. Apart from their late 80s period as Madchester stars, James have never been the most fashionable act, but they have made more great albums than almost any British band, and Tim Booth may just be the greatest living lyricist – certainly when it comes to his admittedly limited subject matter, love and spirituality. Read my interview with Tim Booth here.

James’ London headlining show at the Brixton Academy clashes with Coachella weekend – Friday April 27, which just happens to be my birthday. Looks like one way or another, I may be spending it away from home.

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