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The iconic songs that define James

Ahead of Highest Point festival, we thought we'd take a look at Thursday night headliners James and some of the tracks that have affected us the most.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 27th Aug 2021

On Thursday night at Highest Point we will be joined by the iconic band James and their iconic catalogue of indie anthems. Founded in 1982 and being signed to the iconic Factory Records in Manchester a year later, they quickly became loved and even found famous fans such as Morrissey. 

Yet they weren't catapulted into the mainstream consciousness until the '90s with a slew of hit singles. They have released a total of 16 studio albums with their latest being 'All The Colours Of You'. This gives us a tonne of tracks to choose from so without further ado, here are some of James' most iconic tracks.



Sit Down

Sit Down may just be one of the most embracing tracks of all time, one that encourages you to get together with people you love and that is chanted by pretty much everyone in the room when it comes on. This was the moment that James managed to master community spirit, they have an uncanny ability to fill a room, arena and festival field with an unbridled sense of joy. 

Just listen to those guitar tones and try to say that you don't feel anything whilst Tim Booth's infectious vocal cries fill the air. This is a song for everyone, those who have been heartbroken, those who see themselves as outcasts and brings everyone together under one umbrella. 





If you haven't listened to Laid before then strap yourself in. This is Tim Booth at his very best as he describes an "intense" relationship and even some of the various kinks that they have. It's a chaotic relationship that describes sex, stalking, stalking and much more. It will have you absolutely in stitches. Tim's howling vocalisations and genuinely frightened vocal delivery sells the whole song.

It epitomises James' whole musical style, they really are a band that thrives off of fun.




Moving On

It isn't impossible for James to have their sombre moments though. Moving On is proof of that and it's a song that directly confronts death. It ponders time, the afterlife and what really happens when we die. The brass section that comes in from nowhere is incredibly jarring.

It's a song that is still looking for connection even in death with the lyrics, "I'm on my way, leave a little light on". It's a small fragment of hope that we'll still be with those we love when we pass. We challenge you to not shed a tear. 




She's A Star

Taken from their 1997 album 'Whiplash', She's A Star has been a staple in James live sets and still is to this day. It's a song of sheer admiration and it feels like a track that was very much born out of the Britpop era. With a guitar riff that contorts in an ethereal shape as Tim describes this incredible woman that we follow throughout the track.




Come Home

Come Home may have one of James' strongest guitar riffs, as a distorted wobble dominates throughout this track. It exemplifies the band's anthemic nature as the hook brightens into even more euphoric sequences. Never dropping the tempo, it is one of their most exciting tracks.

Often a live favourite, Tim even seems to channel grunge bands with infrequent bursts of a throaty, strained scream. 




If you fancy getting to see this iconic band live then get yourself down to Highest Point Festival on Thursday 2nd September!





Header image credit: James / Facebook


Festivals 2021