“what is extraordinary about this album is it proceeds in many contrasting styles; hard, sexy, street smart and threatening yet romantic, whimsical, wistful and dreamy”
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT IS FINISHED!
Officially I have finished mixing my record!
What started off sitting on my bed, staring out of the window, picking up my guitar and beginning this epic journey of 20 songs is now concluded, in North West London!
It started with one year and 2 months writing time, then to Lincolnshire, UK for a residential time recording the drums, bass, scratch guitar and scratch vocals.
DRUMS: JAMES SCLAVUNOS
BASS: HARRY BOHAY
SCRATCH GUITAR AND VOCALS: WENDY JAMES
Engineered by Ian Dowling
Then it continued with me returning to the same residential studio and spending three weeks recording my rhythm guitar and my major vocals.
Engineered by Joe Sage
Asst. Engineer Pieter Riekerk
Then came pianos and rhythm and lead guitar with myself and
GUITARIST: JAMES SEDWARDS
– recorded in East London in the Borough of Hackney and moving studio to West London to record additional guitar, backing vocals, accordion and the horn sections.
TRUMPETS AND SAX: TERRY EDWARDS & ALEX J. WARD
ACCORDION: LOUIS VAUSE
Engineer: Al Lawson
Then finally the mix in NW London.
Mix Engineer Tim Morris
– with the additional musical wisdom of James Sclavunos!
So, it’s a WRAP.
During which time: Pledge went bust and I launched my own online store and made it to the finishing line!
Now I am about to start rehearsals for the upcoming gigs opening for the Psychedelic Furs and my own show in Blackburn:
DATES AS FOLLOWS:
1st. Manchester Ritz 2nd. Blackburn King George Hall *Stand alone gig 3rd. Portsmouth Pyramid Centre 4th. Brighton Dome 5th. Birmingham Institute 7th. Leeds Stylus 8th. Glasgow Academy 9th. Newcastle Academy 11th. Nottingham Rock City 12th. London Roundhouse
GET YOUR PSYCHEDELIC FURS TICKETS HERE GET YOUR KING GEORGES HALL (BLACKBURN) TICKETS HERE GET YOUR V.I.P. PASSES HERE PRE-ORDER QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT HERE
When the tour is finished I will be mastering the album and sending it off for manufacture and the ARTWORK is moving toward a finishing point all the time! The first image at the top of this news letter is pulled from a selection that will comprise the whole package.
Photography: David Leigh Dodd Graphic Layout: Stuart Preston
Much, much, much, much Love
September 5, 2019
I’ve been in the studio 8 days now, 12 hour days and we just put down the first mix of TRACK 15 ‘FREAK IN’!
We’re generally managing two mixes a day with the aim of finishing all 20 songs first mixes by end of Friday night.
Next week we will begin the first round of revisions, alterations, improvements, based on mix notes I will make over the weekend. It’s sounding GREAT!
Here is a clip straight off the console!
I will be mixing through until the 17th September, then fly to Dublin, perform at Feile 2019 on Friday 20th September in Tipperary, then back to LDN to rehearse THE WENDY JAMES BAND for the opening on The Psychedelic Furs UK Tour!
If you haven’t got your tickets yet for The Psychedelic Furs & The Wendy James Band then you must!
THE MIX OF QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT, THE ARTWORK FOR QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT, THE NEW T-SHIRTS AND THE UPCOMING TOUR!
August 19, 2019
How are you all doing? Well, I hope!
So! the time is here! I leave for London on Tuesday 27th and begin mixing QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT the very next morning on 28th.
I have been listening to the album reference mixes, making notes and preparing myself to remember every single thing I want in each song. So many beautiful parts have been played by the musicians! James Sclavunos on Drums and Percussion, Harry Bohay on Bass, James Sedwards on Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Alex J. Ward on Alto Sax, Terry Edwards on Tenor and Baritone Sax, Flugelhorn, Cornet and Trumpet! and myself, of course, on Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals, Piano and Keys and a Melodica on Track 18 ‘Cancel It… I’ll See Him On Monday’.
We (myself and the mix engineer) have allowed ourselves three weeks, 21 days to mix 20 songs. This may sound like a lot, or a comfortable schedule, but it’s not! That’s a real tall order to make 20 songs perfect in 21 days, usually one does recalls a few times to tweak and make perfect, but we will have to clear more than one song a day in order to be able to fit in that tweak time too!!
This is literally the last chance for a studio visit so if you want to come then click here.
(and let me know which day suits you!) (the studio is up in N.W London, I’ll give you full address etc)
I’m running out of the mix notes and lyric sheets from the session, but there are some and I can and will personalize them over to you!
Five of the reference mixes from QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT are now in a playlist on soundcloud here.
Meantime the artwork for QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT is coming together and boy oh boy it’s a doozy! To begin with, all the new photos I took with David Leigh Dodd are incredible! After years of working with Ricardo Gomes, (who has now been taken by Madonna full time to document her every move!) I feel very lucky to have fallen into the extremely talented Mr. Dodd’s lens! Alongside the photos, the actual design of the artwork is heaven, it’s labor intensive! but very rewarding, I’m working with a graphic designer at night and around the hours of his day job as the lead graphic designer at the merchandise company who make my T-Shirts!
I’ll be able to do a big reveal very soon! and within that reveal will be the multiple formats! The Deluxe Gatefold Vinyl Package, the Deluxe Gatefold CD Package, the Regular CD, the Contributors Certificate, the Official T-Shirt and the Official Poster! (Single 7” releases and other formats to be decided!)
PRE-ORDER your choice of format or associated official poster/t-shirt for WENDY JAMES QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT here
Here are a couple of photographs I’ve already teased on social media from the shoot!
THE NEW T-SHIRTS!
Yes!!!! The Kurt Shirt!! OMG…. we did it! With my graphic designer we found the original art for the Transvision Vamp T-Shirt, derived of the 12” Vinyl single release of ‘(I Just Wanna) B with U’. I put out a public appeal for everyone to send me photos of their original ‘Kurt Shirt’ t-shirt, if they still owned one, so I could make sure everything was authentic and correct, it turns out that the one Kurt Cobain wore was the American version of the tour t-shirt, because I’ve now seen different iterations from the European leg of Transvision Vamp’s 1991 world tour, I’ve seen an Australian and NZ version and I’ve seen the American and UK version.
So! if you didn’t have one then, or if you did and it’s been lost or disintegrated since then, now you can replace it! or have one for the first time! It’s a classic T-Shirt and made all the more precious because it’s just super cool that Kurt wore it!
and… THE FACE MAGAZINE. I found a pristine copy of The Face Magazine which had me on the cover and we went to great lengths to scan it in the highest resolution possible so we’d get a great T-Shirt out of it and so it is! Classic! Photography by Jurgen Teller and I believe the highest selling edition of the iconic Face Magazine ever.
October 1st. Manchester Ritz 2nd. Blackburn King George Hall *Stand alone gig 3rd. Portsmouth Pyramid Centre 4th. Brighton Dome 5th. Birmingham Institute 7th. Leeds Stylus 8th. Glasgow Academy 9th. Newcastle Academy 11th. Nottingham Rock City 12th. London Roundhouse
It’s going to be a helluva couple of months, no sleep till…… dunno.
NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY!
August 2, 2019
Two ICONIC T-Shirts!
1. The WENDY JAMES / FACE MAGAZINE cover. Shot by world famous photographer Jurgen Teller
2. The WENDY JAMES / TRANSVISION VAMP Original ‘Kurt Shirt’.
The Wendy James / Transvision Vamp T-Shirt famously worn by Kurt Cobain on multiple occasions including live performance on MTV.
Both Classic White T-Shirts 100% Cotton Fruit Of The Loom Unisex S. M. L. XL.
Before these gigs even happen I am mixing Queen High Straight! I will be mixing in North West London from August 28th until September 17th. If you want to come and hear and see the final stage of the LP in process and meet me then get the VIP STUDIO VISIT here and specify which date suits you! The album already sounds wonderful in rough mix form so this final stage is going to send it rocketing to the sonic mountain top!
*To this end:
Mix Notes and Lyric Sheets from the sessions are something that I’m signing over and personalizing to whomever wants this little bit of history.
You know I was shooting the main photographs for the album art the other week and now it’s all being laid out by a graphic designer. The artwork and the album will go off to be manufactured while I’m out on the road! I will have the record mastered shortly after the mix is finished and then everything goes off (parts, as they are called) the parts all go off to different manufacturing plants. So! If you want your name on the ‘Certificate Of Contributors’ (sized for the Vinyl or the Deluxe CD) then I would have to say end of September is the deadline for that particular choice.
I’ll do a ‘reveal’ of some of the artwork soon and of course the proofs will go on sale at the store as well here.
A handful of large proofs sent to me from the manufacturer to approve going into mass production. Much like a test pressing for vinyl! (Which are also available at the store!) here.
My main tasks for August are to make all my final mix notes, learn my set list for the gigs! and oversee the artwork… if all that happens, (and it must!) then we are full speed ahead for a complete album and delivery set for 3rd Week Feb 2020 (I hope!!!) Preorder QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT here: https://thewendyjames.com/store
And btw – My agent is booking February 2020 for a QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT UK/EU tour so… that will all be coming along soon. As soon as I know, you will know!
Enjoy the now 5 ref mixes I’ve posted from QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT!
The final mix of QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT and more…
July 12, 2019
The final mix of QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT is now scheduled for AUGUST 27TH through until SEPTEMBER 17TH in North West London – if you want to come on a studio visit for this momentous last part of the recording then please do! via my web store thewendyjames.com/store and just let me know which date you think suits you and it can be arranged!
The mix now being set I have begun the organize the design for the cover art! I have to put together a gatefold Vinyl, a gatefold CD, a regular CD, a download plus the liner notes, the inner sleeves, the booklet and of course the contributors certificate! I have a very good idea for the art and I’m talking to layout graphic designers at the moment to see who might do the job! To this end, I did four days of shooting new photographs for the album cover and for new press shots and there are some truly amazing photographs, I cannot wait to share them with you. I added into my web store the offer to own one of the proofs the production company will send me to sign off on the finished layout for cover art: there are only ever going to be a few proofs so it’s a collectors item and I will happily sign it over to you!
Ditto – I’ve added some new I CAME HERE TO BLOW MINDS on Vinyl and CD into the store, so for those of you who didn’t ever have a copy of that, then now you can!!
I’m about to announce an additional gig I’ve booked for OCT 2 up in Blackburn UK, sandwiched in-between the Psychedelic Furs tour I’m opening for and if you want VIP for that then as always: go to thewendyjames.com/store
It’s really exciting and as each stage completes then it brings enormous satisfaction with the results and of course gratitude to everyone that partakes and helps me! Whether it’s simply the supportive messages on FB and INSTA and Twitter which you know I enjoy and answer to, through to every single purchase which literally helps pay for the album to be finished, right through to the artists, photographers and musicians who are co-working with me on this!
Here are four short little insta story video clips!
1. I CAME HERE TO BLOW MINDS #ROMA:
2. YOU’RE SO GREAT #ROMA:
3. AMERICANO #ROMA:
And FYI – I’ve overhauled the web store so now there is a credit card option, an apple pay option and still PayPal plus we’ve input a postage algorithm which measures the weight and distance of your package and charges accordingly!
Ok, I literally have to write out the chord charts now for THE WENDY JAMES BAND set list for all the musicians!
THE WENDY JAMES ‘QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT’ DELUXE DOUBLE VINYL & CD NEWS!!
June 3, 2019
Yes! I have finished recording my new double album, 20 songs strong, ‘Queen High Straight’. You all know it took me a year and two months to write and now another year to record. It’s been a long process because simply so many variables have to fall into time together: the engineers schedule, the recording studio availability and schedule, the musicians schedule, in this case I have had to raise the budget myself and that is not always readily available! but I have to say, having recorded in increments: bass, drums and scratch vocals/guitar to begin with, then my real singing and my real guitar playing, then the additional rhythm guitar and piano, then the horn section, accordion and lead guitar overdubs, then the percussion and finally the backing vocals, sung by me. Because each recording session had a few weeks in-between each of them I had the very necessary time to maintain objectivity each time and thus make all the correct and clear-headed/clear-eared decisions for production ideas and requirements! My musicians are some of the very best musicians alive today! James Sclavunos on Drums and Percussion, Harry Bohay Nowell on Bass (he is now replaced by Leo Kurunis), James Sedwards on Rhythm Guitar (along side me) and on Lead Guitar, Alex J. Ward on Alto Sax, Terry Edwards on Tenor & Baritone Sax, Trumpet, Cornet and Flugelhorn and Louis Vause on Accordion. I’ve been enabled along the way by the engineering skills of Ian Dowling, Joe Sage and Al Lawson and it’s been an intense body of work to complete! But complete it is and now my attention turns to THE MIX. I am looking, once again, at engineers, schedules, studios and prices! I aim to do the final mix in July/August ending with the mastering of the record… so I am into the last two stages now!
You may now hear a small selection of preview reference mixes on the Queen High Straight page real-player: click here:
(or alternatively at my soundcloud page: click here)
And please go ahead and pre-order your copy of QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT from my web store www.thewendyjames.com/store click here
Thank you so much for all your love, solidarity, enthusiasm and encouragement!
Wendy James 03/06/19
UPDATE APRIL 25TH!
April 25, 2019
– I’ve announced the fact that my band THE WENDY JAMES BAND are opening for The Psychedelic Furs in October and I THINK I’ll be able to announce further shows in the next week or so!
– Going out with the P. Furs is so exciting and makes me so happy… I know Richard Butler a little and see him at his painting exhibitions in NYC and as an audience member when The Psychedelic Furs play the East Coast of USA! Richard is a very good artist and decent chap too! As a teenager, I remember, like tons of us, singing along to Pretty In Pink imagining I was Molly Ringwald, from the wrong side of the tracks, in the movie Pretty In Pink and early on I owned The Psychedelic Furs LP ‘Talk Talk Talk’.
My band THE WENDY JAMES BAND are as great a line-up of musicians a person dare wish for! James Sedwards and Alex J. Ward on guitar (and other instruments)! I met both of these men through the recording of my new double LP QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT and they are heaven, their instinct and intuition for rhythm, feel, melody and style is perfect, I am happy and exhilarated in their company! Leo Kurunis is taking over bass playing from Harry Bohay-Nowell! He roomed with James Sedwards and he’s played with James Sclavunos and he is dynamite bass player! so that’s a win/win… and of course darling, most beloved genius drummer James Sclavunos who’s been drumming with me, percussioning with me, helping, advising and inspiring me for 7 years or so now… since the James Williamson/Jesse Nichols sessions out in California. I love James! James rules! and JAMES is phenomenal! So… it’s a bloody good line up and I’ve told Richard Butler (The Psychedelic Furs) that we’re gonna come ‘packing heat’ ! ha ha…
Yes… the end is in sight, I feel bound to apologize for it taking so long! However when it’s 20 songs, multiple musicians, multiple studios, multiple schedules AND self-funded these things are perhaps more of a juggling act than the good-old, bad-old days when a major record label had an open expense account for studio hire… and may I add I absolutely believe the calendar delays have worked in my favor in as much that they’ve enabled me to keep objectivity over the content of the recording and make all the right choices and decisions critical to arrangement and production of the album. It is the most divine piece of work and I am completely proud of it! I head back into the studio on May 8th through until 18th for the last recording session: my backing vocals and the final reference mixes, before then heading off to do THE MIX. The Mix will take a month?! 20 songs, 20 days plus 10 for recalls and fixes… this is the luxurious estimate, it may be I only have enough money for half that time!! We’ll see! BUT whatever it is: I will not compromise and I will not skimp and I will leave the studio with nothing less than perfect!
I am waiting, like everyone else, for definitive news on the future of Pledge Music. I can fulfill all purchases made here at my store and in the meantime Pledge’s official statement is that they WILL honor all pre-existing Pledge pre-orders. Some people have had success in getting refunds, not through Pledge but through their credit card providers so hopefully this is a relief and an avenue for those of you who are concerned. The least I could do was immediately transition into my own online store which, thanks to my web manager, looks extremely good and functions effortlessly and practically. I can receive your pre-orders for all QHS items just as you used to through Pledge Music and I have all of my previous LPs and their merchandise on hand to ship immediately. I am also very happily signing and personalizing any items people buy and particularly ask of me.
The Stock Check is currently this:
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT PRE-ORDER ON ALL ITEMS!
*STUDIO VIP/*GIG VIP/*PERSONALIZED QHS LYRIC SHEETS AVAILABLE NOW!
THE PRICE OF THE TICKET
CD – Plenty
PICTURE DISC – Plenty
12” VINYL – 5 Only
TPOTT TSHIRT: Medium – 3 Only
TPOTT TSHIRT: Large – 3 Only
YOU’RE A DIRTBOMB, LESTER 7” VINYL – Plenty
BAD INTENTIONS AND A BIT OF CRUELTY 7” Vinyl – 1 Only
Prompted by demand following on from my Pledge preorder campaign I have now set up my own online store!
There are Available Now items from The Price Of The Ticket and I Came Here To Blow Minds LP’s plus certain VIP offers attached to gigging or recording studio visits and of course the Signed and Numbered Collectors Picture Disc Vinyl of The Price Of The Ticket. There are also all the Pre-Order formats for my upcoming and nearly finished (!!!) new Double Deluxe LP Queen High Straight… Gatefold Vinyl, Gatefold CD, regular CD and so on…
So Welcome and please take a look around and grab what you want!
It is my intention to make this location the buying hub for all my work and of course all the news as it happens regarding the progress of this new album, gigs and everything related…
November 26, 2018
I hope you are all well!
I’ve got to the final session of recording!
Let me tell you where I’ve got and what I’m up to…
I now have:
and SOME BACKING VOCALS
REMAINING BACKING VOCALS/HARMONIES
PEDAL STEEL OVERDUBS
ADDITIONAL RHYTHM GUITAR OVERDUBS
HANDCLAPS! FOOT STOMPING! AND MAYBE A KAZOO!!
I have been making copious amounts of production notes, literally from hours on the headphones listening out for timing, track glitches, bum notes and additional ideas!
On the whole the reference mixes I have in my possession are not complete or representative enough for me to let go of them, HOWEVER… these two songs are fairly accurate for their sounds so you can hear:
(both songs I kind of hinted at in little video clips, here and on instagram, when I was writing them… they’ve come a long way!)
James Sclavunos on Drums, Harry Bohay-Nowell on Bass, James Sedwards on Lead Guitar and me on Rhythm Guitar, Keys and Voice!
The timeline for the next two stages is looking like early February for two final weeks of recording in the UK (when I’ve got the confirmed dates I’ll let you know so I can open the time out to additional VIP visits…) and then I will take the hard drives and tapes (with James Sclavunos, if his diary permits!) to reunite with Jesse Nichols in Berkeley, CA and mix the thing!
OMG… then it’s done!
– Get it Mastered
– Send the Masters to the Pressing Plant
– Speed into action with Artwork Design and Layout
– Set a Release Date
– Hustle up some Press and Radio and TV
– Book some gigs!
– and there it is…
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT DELUXE GATEFOLD DOUBLE LP on Vinyl, CD, Download and all the trimmings…
20 BRAND NEW SONGS and
THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH ME EVERY STEP, EVERY INCH OF THE WAY, I COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU! AS WELL YOU KNOW!
TO PRE-ORDER ALL MUSIC AND OTHER ITEMS (INCLUDING MY LAST LP ‘THE PRICE OF THE TICKET’ ON PICTURE DISC!!) CLICK HERE.
WENDY JAMES NEW ALBUM TITLE, TRACK LISTING & ART REVEAL ANNOUNCEMENT!
February 15, 2018
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT
So! Here it is! My 5th solo album! 6th if you include the Elvis Costello one and 9th in total with my Transvision Vamp albums.
20 brand new songs to make up A Deluxe Double LP.
THE TRACK LISTING!!!!!!!
1. QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT 2. PERILOUS BEAUTY 3. FREE MAN WALK 4. STOMP DOWN, SNUCK UP 5. LITTLE MELVIN 6. MARLENE ET FLEUR 7. A HEART BREAKING LIAR’S PROMISE 8. HERE COMES THE BEAUTIFUL ONE 9. CHICKEN STREET 10. TESTIMONIAL 11. BAR ROOM BRAWL & BENZEDRINE BLUES 12. RAT FUCKING 13. SHE LIKES TO BE (UNDERNEATH SOMEBODY) 14. BLISS HOTEL 15. FREAK IN 16. THE IMPRESSION OF NORMALCY 17. I’LL BE HERE WHEN THE MORNING COMES 18. CANCEL IT… I’LL SEE HIM ON MONDAY 19. SUGAR BOY 20. KILL SOME TIME BLUES
It’s written! It took me a year and two months to write! The natural curve, perhaps, when writing new songs, is to have an outpouring of about 10 or 11 songs, but I found, this time, the more I pushed myself to write from scratch, i.e having exhausted all the little notes I write down to refresh my mind to a place or feeling that would inspire a direction, but instead to have to find the idea, find the melody, find the chords, to find the rhythm from scratch, I started coming up with pure melodies that evoke some of my favorite vibes from the decades of rock n roll and pop history running through my consciousness! There was no plan, no motive just pure music. I surprised myself and it has made me yet more confident in my ability to write a good song!
You’ve heard and seen little clips I’ve shared on social media, buzzing on a song, but I promise you when you finally unpack this new LP you’re going to think it’s my best so far! I hope so, one wouldn’t want to go backwards!
So, I am starting to add the math up, get everyone’s schedules and start to fit the next bit together!
James Sclavunos once again is my trusty companion in this and we are talking to Jesse Nichols who engineered on The Price Of The Ticket. We are considering the geography of where everyone lives as well as their work commitments and we are looking at various studios across London, Paris, New York and Berkeley CA.
You now can see the main image that all the art campaign will derive from… I think it’s heaven and oh how good is it going to look on a T-shirt!!!
On my Pledge Music site I can now move full speed ahead with T-shirt and Poster sales because we have the graphic we’ll use and you can start deciding which other extras you might want to take part in or buy as the full compliment of items available becomes that much closer to realization!
As soon as I have the musician line-up and the recording schedule and locations I will announce them and then of course once we’re in the studio I will update you with little musical and video nuggets and we can organize the invitations to visit!