JAMES will be releasing their first ever box set on October 17th 2011. Entitled The Gathering Sound, this limited edition deluxe box set covers the band’s career to date and includes three CDs, a DVD, a 12” vinyl record and a unique j-shaped USB stick.
The 8GB USB stick includes JAMES’ eleven studio albums and non-album “best of” tracks in 16 bit FLAC and 320 kbps MP3 formats plus the videos for the singles. The videos will be in a format which will allow you to load them onto your mobile device (smart phones, iPod touches, etc).
The three CDs feature an album of live rarities, one of studio rarities and one combining the recent, critically-acclaimed The Morning After and The Night Before albums and the DVD features Come Home Live, the show from the Manchester GMEX on DVD for the very first time.
The heavyweight 180gsm 12” black vinyl has four previously unreleased demos from the Gold Mother era. These are all in a 12” gatefold sleeve that houses the vinyl, the CDs and DVD, a 16 page A5 booklet (featuring personal contributions from each of the band plus contributions from Gordon Strachan, Peter Kay, Bernard Butler, Richard Reed Parry from Arcade Fire and Brian Eno), a 44 page 12”x 12” scrapbook with previously unseen and rare photos, memorabilia, cuttings and many other items straight out of JAMES personal archives. Also included is a complete timeline of JAMES’ career annotated by the band, plus four art-cards, four button badges and four sticky satin replica backstage passes.
Tim Booth says: “I only thought we’d last a few years! Where did the time go? From fresh-faced kids to gnarly old goats (except Jim who somehow seems to have evaded time’s spindly fingers). Here we are, highs and lows.”
JAMES aficionados should note that the box set heralds the release of twelve totally unreleased tracks (Willow, Doubts, Count Your Blessings, Jam 1, Jam 2, It's A Fine Line, Hedex, Scratchcard, I Thought You Were, Announcement, At The Seams, Gregory's Town) amongst the 33 previously unavailable tracks including the first ever official release of live and studio material from 1982, first appearances on CD of the Sire era b-sides and the Weather Change flexi-disc from the 1990 tour programme, exclusive release of BBC archive material from key James shows from the 1990s, and, of course, the legendary Come Home Live video of the Sit Down performance that broke James in 1991 on DVD. Interestingly, Jim Glennie from the band (who JAMES are named after) reveals that the band unearthed literally bin-bags of tatty cassettes of demos (including their second demo) and concerts that they found particularly difficult to archive and which they managed to listen to only once before sending them off with the instruction: just master, don’t play!
JAMES also recently announced that they will be touring the UK’s most beautiful and premier classical venues later this year with an orchestra and choir in tow. “An evening with JAMES accompanied by Orchestra of the Swan and The Manchester Consort Choir orchestrated and conducted by Joe Duddell” will see the band explore the back catalogue highlighted on The Gathering Sound during this groundbreaking venture.
The dates are as follows:
Sunday 23rd October Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Monday 24th October Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Tuesday 25th October Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Thursday 27th October Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Friday 28th October Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool
Saturday 29th October Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool
Monday 31st October Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Tuesday 1st November Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Wednesday 2nd November The Sage, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Friday 4th November Royal Albert Hall, London