James to play Leeds First Direct Arena on Nov 25…in 2021. New albums upcoming too

James: 2020 live album and DVD, 2021 studio album and winter tour

JAMES will open their 2021 winter tour at Leeds First Direct Arena on November 25, supported by fellow Manchester institution Happy Mondays.

“Feels like a new dawn to trumpet a celebratory tour, a week after the first news of hope,” said Clifford-raised frontman Tim Booth on Twitter. ”Soo looking forward to seeing you. 

“We’re playing with the brilliant Happy Mondays. Last played with them in 1988, hopefully this time they won’t steal our rider or try and spike my drink…”

James announced their seven-date itinerary on official website wearejames.com. “Lockdown greetings to one and all. In these extraordinary times, obviously our traditional winter tour won’t be possible, but let’s set a date for this time next year so we in Jamesland collectively have something to look forward to!” it stated.

“With that in mind, you’re cordially invited to our 2021 winter tour of the UK and Ireland, joined by very special guests and fellow Mancunian mavericks, Happy Mondays.”

The 2021 tour poster for James’s Mancunian double bill with Happy Mondays

Welcoming Shaun Ryder’s Madchester icons aboard, bassist Jim Glennie said: “True Manchester legends and old band buddies, it will be an honour to have them as our very special guests. Make sure you get your tickets for an exceptional double bill of fun and fantastic music.”

Pre-sale tickets go on sale at 9.30am tomorrow (18/11/2020); remaining tickets will be on general sale from 9.30am on Friday with more details on the Live page at wearejames.com.

The website also trailered “thrilling whispers on the new music front”: “Springtime 2021 there’s a brand new James studio album due – our sweet sixteenth! – currently entitled All The Colours Of You. Much more of that to come, shouted from the rooftops, in due time!”

The message concluded: “Hopefully this newsflash has brightened a dreary day with thoughts of winter singalongs to come and a year full of new music. Of course, you can still order our forthcoming live album and DVD if you can’t wait for your James fix! Stay warm and well X.”

The aforementioned live album and DVD, Live In Extraordinary Times – a title twist on their 2018 studio set Living In Extraordinary Times – will be released on December 11.

Extraordinary: The artwork for James’s upcoming live double album and DVD

“You asked (okay – pleaded, pestered, perhaps even profaned) and finally we’ve delivered,” the website proclaimed. “A new live double album and DVD! Including a beautiful photo-book set, as well as coloured vinyl, double deluxe CD, signed prints (get in early!), T-shirts, the full works.”

Booth, 60, commented: “As requested by many lovers of the band – a live DVD and album to capture the spirit of the gigs of the last few years. Hopefully, this will help us through the long nights of lockdown – reliving these gatherings of intimacy and passion. Thank you for coming along for the ride in the crazy world of James.”

The website bulletin went on: “In a year feeling anything but ordinary, this special collection reminds us of the power and connection of live music.

“Released just in time for St Nick to get his hands on it for you…11th December 2020. Sorry we can’t put on one of our traditional winter tours to warm your quarantined cockles but hopefully this is the next best thing.”

In the meantime, bask in the memory of James shows of recent Yorkshire times – Leeds First Direct Arena, Scarborough Open Air Theatre and the night in March 2019 when fighting broke out at Hull Bonus Arena – as you dance just like Fred Astaire until next winter’s tour.