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British rockers James offer a double shot with latest music

of the Oakland Press

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After reactivating in 2007 following a six-year hiatus, British rockers James decided to give fans a double shot of new music this year.

The Manchester septet released a pair of mini-albums that both debuted in the Top 20 in its homeland — “The Night Before” in April and “The Morning After” in September, with both packaged together for the U.S. release last month. And frontman Tim Booth says the available material was what steered the unique release strategy.

“We recorded a lot of improvised jams, maybe 120 or something like that,” recalls Booth, 50. “There were quite a few low-key songs which we often don’t put on our albums. We like our albums to be fairly uptempo because we like touring, and those songs are easier to play live.

“This time we had three low key songs we wanted to use, so we said, ‘Let’s do two EPs and have one be more low key songs,’ and that ended up being ‘The Morning After.’ And ‘The Night Before’ was the more uplifting songs, which worked out well.”

Booth says James is looking at taking some time off next year, although the band will be represented by a 15-CD box set of its entire catalog while the singer plans to release a solo album. And now, he adds, the group can do that without worrying about whether it will come back together.

“We’ve been going so long now we know we have to take breaks,” Booth explains. “So I can imagine we’ll take a year or six months to do some different things to shake us up a bit. But there’s definitely a momentum going with the band now, so I don’t think we worry about whether we’ll play together again or not.”

James and Ed Harcourt perform Friday, Oct. 1, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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