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28 October 2014
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James Morrison
James Morrison

James Morrison

BBC Radio Derby's Colin Bloomfield tries to get James Morrison to say nice things about his time in Derby - with mixed results.

Not since the heady days of White Town's Your Woman hitting number one in 1997 has there been such excitement about an act from Derby.

James Morrison's rich and soulful tones have projected the young singer-songwriter to the upper reaches of the single and album charts.

But it wasn't so long ago his tracks were reserved for punters attending the open-mic nights at Ryan's Bar and Scream.

Hailing from Cornwall, it was while living in Derby that Morrison's demo's were picked up by Polydor and he was put on the path to fame, adulation and critical acclaim.

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He spent two years in the city and it was his dismissal from a miserable spell working as a van driver which pushed him into concentrating full-time on music.

Now he's a bona fide star and spends all his time in London - but does he reflect back on the Derby years fondly?

He said: "It was enjoyable but being from the beach, it was an entirely different world for me.

"I had my ups and downs in Derby - when I was working on the vans I was miserable because it wasn't really what I wanted to do but when I started playing music again I loved it.

"When I arrived in Derby I just wanted somewhere I could play and Ryan's was where I met Kev Andrews who helped me record my demo. He was a great guy."

James says he was impressed with other musicians he met in Derby and he wants to travel back here soon.

He explained: "I was surprised by the amount of musical talent in Derby. I never realised that would be the case at all.

"I've been wanting to get back for ages. I'd like to go into Ryans and say hello to everybody there and thank them for supporting me."

James Morrison's debut album 'Undiscovered' is out now on Polydor records.

last updated: 31/07/06
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