Entertainment & Arts

James to open Glastonbury festival

Tim Booth of James Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The band, fronted by Tim Booth, have sold more than 25 million albums worldwide

James will open the 2016 Glastonbury festival, frontman Tim Booth has told BBC 5 live.

The band, whose hits include Sit Down and Laid, will be the first act on the Other Stage at 11:00 on Friday 24 June.

"We're going to cut the ribbon and smash the champagne on the ship," said Booth.

It has become Glastonbury tradition for a big-name band to kick proceedings off. Kaiser Chiefs and The Charlatans have taken the slot in recent years.

Adele, Coldplay and Muse will headline this year's festival in Somerset.

Asked whether Adele was a suitable headliner, James' bassist Jim Glennie said: "I don't know how you judge the suitability... They always want to take a risk, which is admirable, like stick Metallica on and see what happens.

"[But] the most interesting things happen maybe not on the main stage. I look more for things that are hidden away."

Other confirmed acts include PJ Harvey, Jeff Lynne's ELO and Jess Glynne.

The festival traditionally waits until the final tranche of tickets have been sold, following the spring resale, before revealing its full line-up.

New album

Formed in 1982, James took almost a decade to achieve fame. At one point, the band submitted themselves for medical experiments just to stay afloat.

Their breakthrough came with the student disco anthem Sit Down in 1991, and the band were swept along with the Madchester scene that also produced The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses.

But they always had loftier pretensions, working with Brian Eno on the experimental album Wah Wah, which AllMusic later called "one of the more un-commercial albums any band of its stature has had a hand in releasing."

Their more successful records leaned towards mainstream rock, and the band consistently scored top 20 hits throughout the 1990s with tracks like She's A Star, Born Of Frustration and Tomorrow.

Yet they always had a sense of unfulfilled potential - perhaps because the music had showered the band with hyperbole in their early days. At one point the NME opined: "This is what The Smiths think they sound like."

It proved to be a blessing and a burden for the group.

"Most of the time I feel really blessed," Booth told music website Popmatters. "[But] on a bad day, we haven't done enough. We haven't achieved enough. We've been lazy."

He left James in 2001 to pursue a solo career - but the band reunited for a tour in 2007, which led to new recording sessions and several well-received albums.

Their latest, Girl At The End Of The World, was released last week and sees the band experiment with synthesizers and dance beats.

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites