James is a rock band from Manchester, England, formed in 1981 by Paul Gilbertson, inspired by the post-punk bands of the era, convinced his best friend Jim Glennie to buy a bass guitar and form a band with him.
After an uphill struggle throughout the 1980s, they went on to become one of the most consistently successful acts of the 1990s, scoring a string of hit singles during the decade including "Sit Down" and "Laid".
Following the departure of lead singer Tim Booth in 2001, the band became inactive, although no split was ever officially confirmed. In January 2007, the group reformed for a nationwide tour and a new album, Hey Ma, was released in 2008, alongside the single "Whiteboy".
They performed mostly spontaneous, purely improvised material derived from jam sessions, supporting The Fall at an early gig. Vocalists and other musicians drifted rapidly in and out of their line-up, until the band encountered Tim Booth at a student disco they had sneaked into.
Intrigued by Booth’s wild, Whirling Dervish-like dancing style, Gilbertson invited him to the band’s Scout hut in Withington to join the band as a dancer. After accepting the invitation, Booth was quickly promoted to lead vocals as well as lyricist.