James King and the Lonewolves17 Oct
Regular Music Presents: James King & the Lonewolves
Nowadays, the guitars resonate like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd’s once did in Television in ‘75 – an unhinged Creedence Clearwater Revival; a Hitchcock-tampered-with The Byrds, and a cerebrally, and musically-abused version of what we once knew as Americana and NYC No Wave forward thinking.
James King and his cohorts are without doubt – ‘Back From The Dead’ Initially formed in 1981 from the remnants of Glasgow punk band, The Backstabbers, The Fun Four made a mark on the increasingly, interesting and burgeoning Post-Punk Scene with Singing In The Showers featuring Orange Juice’s Steven Daly, on his NMC records, just as he was releasing the prototype Edinburgh version of Television, Josef K, on Absolute Records, under the name of TV Art – Chance Meeting b/w Romance.
James King took over on vocals in Fun Four. Fast Product declined recording on the grounds that the band that were too ‘American’, Bob Last, being wrapped-up in all things provincially Sheffield and Edinburgh at the time. Jimmy Loser was speaking about Glasgow, and Detroit, and New York City! It didn’t compute.
Death Trip, named after a Stooges’ song, came into being. Offers came through the mail, and instead of joining a scene which cocked a hat to all things ‘nice’ and ‘cheery’, Death Trip declined offer from Alan Horne to join Postcard Records – after all, their sound was well off-kilter with the ‘Sound of Young Scotland’.
Death Trip changed their name to James King and the Lonewolves, in homage to Hank Williams and the Drifting Cowboys, and put out two singles on Virgin/Cuba Libre- Back From The Dead & So Alone (a homage to Johnny Thunders). ‘Back from the Dead’ featured a stunning version of Marrianne Faithfull’s ‘As Tears Go By’ on the B-side – more suicide-inducing than anything current Ze diva, Cristina, was doing!
Whilst Manchester’s The Blue Orchids did the honours in Edinburgh, The Lonewolves became Velvet Underground’s Nico’s backing band at Night Moves in Glasgow in November 81. There were ‘legal’ problems’ in 1982. Then, comedian, Craig Ferguson, now actor and later host of of NYC’s CBS Late Late Show joined as drummer from 1982-83. The band marked the 20th Anniversary of JFK’s death by releasing Texas Lullaby on SFSD, the same label who issued Charles Manson’s recordings.
Finally, it was back to ‘square one’, and the band signed to Alan Horne’s Swamplands label, along with Davy Henderson’s WIN!, and Steven Daly’s Memphis, distributed through London Records in 1984 – They released The Angels Know, just before Edwyn Collins and Paul Quinn released their seminal version of Pale Blue Eyes.
The Lonewolves then began recording with John Cale, with legendary chanteuse Patti Palladin on backing vocals. Live shows with Simple Minds, Bow Wow Wow, The Birthday Party, and Husker Du, saw them giving it their all in London. Onwards and upwards, they played Orange Juice’s last show at Hammersmith Palais with Jonathan Richman Smiths producer John Porter, and Phil Thornalley Cure producer worked on The Angels Know, and recorded the album, which went unreleased on Swamplands.
The band played Old Grey Whistle Test- Songs played were Fly Away/Fun Patrol but received complaints from record label over lyrics of Fun Patrol – profanities, as opposed to religious abuse. Swamplands washed their hands of the band in 1985. Last documentation of the band- Live in London TV show- Full set- bleeped lyrics-James refusing to cooperate w/ interview / Nicky Horne - LWT Band split up after QMU show in Glasgow- pre show argument w/ James and Jake.
James and Jake Mckechnan in 2011 after 25 years of not speaking & play memorial for former agent, Alan Mawn to a great response. The band declare unfinished business- irritated that best material was never released & airbrushed out of retrospectives of Scottish 80’s music scene. They began recording again in 2012- initial release in May of 2013 is on CSK Records- Pretty Blue Eyes/Fun Patrol w/ Even Beatles Die/Happy Home as bonus tracks 4track CD, and retro vinyl CD on itunes and the rest.
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