Can you believe it? A whole year, minus one month, on from when THE WENDY JAMES BAND were originally set to gig the UK this year.
I have been waiting as long as I could, to see if it was likely that gigs would go ahead this year without detriment to peoples health.
The practice of social distancing is kind of redundant in a gig setting… that’s the whole point, big and small venues alike, we all want to get up close and personal with the shared, communal, musical experience.
Some of the venues I’m scheduled to perform in aren’t even considering opening until November at the earliest… and it became apparent the whole thing needed to be moved to what, we hope, will be a safer 2021.
Back in May, when I first rescheduled to September 2020, I really did think that was enough time! How ridiculous it seems now… ‘curves’ may be ‘flattening’ but a second wave of COVID19 is anticipated for Autumn and until there is a vaccine I think we must all remain cognizant of our health and that of those around us.
For the venues, it’s a disaster… to open up with social distancing would mean financial doom for them, worse even than shuttering, so there is no doubt, in my mind, that this is the correct course to take.
I have added OXFORD 02 and PAISLEY ROCKNROLLAS into the tour AND… to be confirmed: Liverpool, Sheffield and I expect some dates in Ireland and Northern Ireland too, preceding the mainland tour.
I’ve also been offered MEXICO and USA! Plus, I know there are a couple of big ticket announcements for 2021, where I will be a very choice opening act for a couple of bands… to be revealed!
So, once again, we make lemonade from lemons! And move forward!
Now there really is NO EXCUSE for a single person in the audience to not know QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT by then!!
All TICKET LINKS REMAIN VALID. ALL TICKETS REMAIN VALID. ALL VIP REMAIN VALID
Print out your local flyer from the carousel and go spread the news!!
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT surges forward with universally ecstatic listeners! As always I am overjoyed by the comments you make to me on different social media sites!
Your handpicked double a-side single KILL SOME TIME BLUES + MARLENE ET FLEUR is going up to radio at the moment and I hope it finds some friends there! Don’t hesitate to tweet the shows you listen to and ask them to play it!
Last Friday, 19th June, I hosted Soho Garage on Soho Radio, standing in for James Meynell. I thoroughly loved the experience and I think it went well!
Listen back to the mixcloud archive here:
So, as much as I am going to snatch victory in 2021 from the jaws of COVID19 for THE WENDY JAMES BAND, I also hope that you all…….. are coping with the adjustments having to be made for the pandemic and the culture changing marches and movements across the planet that beckon in a better future for us all.
Did you watch the BRUDENELL TV live broadcast? I was interviewed for an hour by Dave Simpson of The Guardian Newspaper. I enjoyed it, thoroughly and I’ve posted it to YouTube:
I also LOVED the QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT live streaming session that preceded the interview! I couldn’t keep up with everyone’s comments, so many were there! The passion and enthusiasm you shared with me for Queen High Straight is so wonderful! Thank you so, so much!
If you haven’t got your copy of Queen High Straight then PLEASE DO.
You all voted for your favorite two songs from QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT over a period of a couple of weeks to decide which songs would be the next Double A-Side Single to go to radio and the winners were KILL SOME TIME BLUES + MARLENE ET FLEUR! Very good choices.
Thank you all so much for participating and with such determination and vested interest to have your favorites be the winners!
Here is the artwork for the single and I will let you know when we’re going to radio with it!! I hope you all have the golden touch!
ALL KILLER! NO FILLER!
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT has been getting so much good press… here are some examples:
“packed with 20 songs, remarkably filler-free, brimming with colourful vocabulary, catty character study (a Supremes-y Little Melvin), melodic excellence and stylistic dexterity… There’s everything from Bitter Sweet MOR (Testimonial) to kitsch-pop (Ratfucking), but few nail flat-out punk rock as convincingly as does James on Perilous Beauty and The Impression of Normalcy. She means it, man, and it’s a joy throughout.” – 4/5 MOJO
“A superior collection of cosmopolitan pop music, the 20-song set is both catchy and complex. “I spend each day in splendid isolation, the quintessential intersection of nothing,” she sings on the waltz-time wonder that is Free Man Walk. In doing so, she might just have written the anthem that best describes the lives of everyone who hears it.” – The Telegraph
“A Motown flecked ode” (Little Melvin) – The Times
“A characteristically ambitious album, a double, 20 songs… a varied retro-pop clutch; James knows her way around the chords, and how to keep things moving. But the charm lies in their personality…” – Metro
“Written, produced and mixed by (ex-Transivision Vamp) Wendy James fronting a strong band and dabbling in a dizzying variety of styles.” – Classic Rock
“stylish, vintage sounds, in thrall to the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan and 1960s pop.” – 4/5 Mail on Sunday
“Wendy gets the last laugh with an up-for-it 20-song double album of punk, rock & roll and general mayhem. Just as energetic as the Vamps, the songs are sharper than ever.” – Daily Star
“James specialising in a Stooges belligerence as she rampages across half the album as if about to wreak terrible vengeance on the speakers. There’s an insouciant poise throughout, as James ensures her devilment is backed up by strong tunes… It’s impressive, showcasing what an under-rated writer and producer James has matured into.” – Classic Pop
And… THE TOUR!
My band THE WENDY JAMES BAND is still currently scheduled for our September dates and I would love to be certain they will go ahead… of course, safety for everyone is the only concern so if venues tell me that it’s not possible for September to go ahead then I will simply reschedule, once again, into the future when it’s more likely to be possible.
All tickets are valid, all VIPS are valid and all links to both are working!
Keep on playing and listening and loving QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT and make sure you’ve got the t-shirt! the poster! the personalized artwork proofs (which are massive by the way!) the test pressings, the personalized lyric sheets or mix notes! And previous albums and 7” singles are in the store too! https://thewendyjames.com/store
Much, much, much, much love!
– And here is the QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT video again…
June 1, 2020
I am so excited to announce a bona-fide ‘happening’ next Wednesday June 03!
Leeds Brudenell Social Club (iconic venue which THE WENDY JAMES BAND will be playing later in the year) are live streaming, direct to multi platforms: Facebook and YouTube among them!
On Wednesday June 3rd I shall be on air, first with an interactive listening party for QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT
We will listen down to the album and I will comment on the songs, their meaning, the recording anecdotes and memories, the musicians and the adventures we had making my 20 Track Deluxe Album! You can live message any questions you may have, or observations, on QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT or any kind of question, within reason!!
In the second hour of broadcast I will be joined on split screen by renowned journalist for The Guardian, Dave Simpson and he will be conducting an hour long interview with me! About Queen High Straight and about my life in music, from the beginning!
What a treat! What a night!
Please all mark this off in your diaries and join me for this unique event!
7.30PM – QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT LIVE STREAM
8.30PM – IN CONVERSATION WITH Dave Simpson
Broadcasting on YOUTUBE / FACEBOOK LIVE / PERISCOPE
Today, now… May 1, this morning! QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT is out. It’s released. It is delivered.
– Where should I begin?
– I’ll begin with THANK YOU.
You, who have been with me throughout the making of my album, including the 1 year, 2 months you stayed connected with me while I wrote it and then proceeding through the next 2 years it took to record and complete this epic piece of work!
Most often it’s your responses to the bits of news I share on social media that sustain and propel me forward. Not for nothing are you the very best of people!
For some, life on social media comes naturally… for me, I tend toward a more private inclination and especially so when I’m working, I simply don’t have time, or desire, to break off and do a selfie or this and that, but I’ve adapted and now I look forward to engaging and I find the reward of interacting with you all has been so very worth it. These platforms we communicate on bring us all closer and enable us to feel like a community.
Some of you visited the recording studio and observed the labor we all put in – me, the musicians, the engineers: the detail and precision and obsessive quest for perfection we are all driven by. At the same time, we shared so many laughs, between ourselves and with you! What joyful memories to always have. Up in Lincolnshire when the band went residential through to the various studios around London when I did my vocal sessions and the musicians came in for their overdub sessions.
Thank you all so much for sharing some of these moments.
Thank you for the preorders you made, which have helped deliver Queen High Straight. All the records I’ve done since Racine No.1, Racine 2, I Came Here To Blow Minds, The Price Of The Ticket and now Queen High Straight have been self funded. I have to work to earn to record to work to earn to record and so on…
Philosophically and retrospectively I think this has played to my advantage because, tricky as it’s been at times, the breaks I’ve been forced to take to earn money to continue on have provided me with the artistic headspace and the clarity with which to make right decisions. I do think my music has benefited from this circumstance and none more so than Queen High Straight.
Queen High Straight is so complex in its arrangements and musicality that to attempt to do all of this in one go would have been reckless and foolish. One would have blundered into muddled decisions and with no overview. Overview which is essential to hear the ‘finish’ in ones head, to know what it is one is attempting to achieve.
Moments I’m most proud of?
There were quite a lot of Eureka moments when I was writing the album. Let’s be real! There were 20 Eureka moments each time a song completed. I have so many memories attached to each song, vividly recalling sitting on the bed, staring out of the window, noodling my guitar, looking at my lyrics, imagining the sentiment of where I was headed and searching out the chords to express that. Queen High Straight was the first song I wrote and it took me by surprise, I stumbled upon inversions of chords that suggested a more jazzy type of sound and immediately my mind was drawn to childhood when Bacharach and David and Sergio Mendes ‘Brazil ’66’ were in the background. Osmosis is everything! I love the content of the lyric and the way the song builds and arcs. The feeling when I’d finished writing and recording the demo for Queen High Straight was “Ok, I have begun…” Very exciting and very confident in the face of now having to commit to writing 19 more perfect songs!
I could repeat this story out for all the songs as they completed, I remember ‘Perilous Beauty’ (it’s on Facebook and Instagram, a little video of me playing the demo in the basement of the house in the South of France where I was staying), I remember ‘Little Melvin’, dancing and jubilant and playing it back on my phone. I remember them all… I remember being thrilled by ‘I’ll Be Here When The Morning Comes’ because it evoked a favorite, funny scene in a Steve Martin movie called ‘The Jerk’ where he sings a lonesome, tender ditty with his true love in the movie, Bernadette Peters. ‘Cancel It… I’ll see him on Monday’ – when I finished this song (and I love the title by the way) I flew down the stairs and outside shouting “I’ve written a hit, I’ve written a hit” (I filmed and posted me dancing along to that demo too!). At the end of last year I played it on Soho Radio and as the sound went around the foyer of the building and into peoples ears I was in wonderment, it sounds so damn good!
The whole album is a resounding success for me. I know, for myself, I’ve reached great musical and lyrical heights with Queen High Straight and what makes it all the sweeter are the myriad memories infused in each note, each arrangement, each edit, each session with the musicians. I’m so proud of the way we, the musicians, came together and made this music. We all have that indefatigable drive to push for performances which are exquisite and we succeeded.
To those involved:
The Musicians on this album are incredible, versatile, supremely gifted people, they also are nice! They are so nice to be around. The perfect blend of total dedication and pursuit of the ultimate performance and humble, funny, generous, caring people. I thank James Sclavunos, James Sedwards, Harry Bohay, Alex Ward, Terry Edwards and Louis Vause. Friends for life!
The Engineers… it’s funny, whenever I go to initial meetings with engineers, I always warn them that I work long hours and I cannot let anything go or settle for anything other than that which I need or want. They always say “sure, they are used to working in intense situations of long hours of focus and sometimes obsessive demands”, but even they have lost it with me on occasion, when we get into the weeds and struggle with an edit or the workload ahead of us, but, I am happy to say we come out the other side and, to a man, they have heard the record and are proud of it. I am so grateful to Ian Dowling, Joe Sage, Pieter Riekerk, Al Lawson, Tim Morris and Fred Kevorkian. They are my conduit from imagination and vision to reality.
The Photographer David Leigh Dodd. What a terrific story that turned out to be. Originally David was meant to come on a studio visit and he hoped to get some photos of me there, working, but the schedule never panned out, so instead, during the summer of 2019 I jumped on a plane to Rome, where he lives, and stayed for a long weekend. On the back of his moped we drove out to the area of Rome designed by Mussolini called EUR (Esposizione Universale Roma). It is deeply impressive with its enormous, conforming buildings, originally meant to celebrate Mussolini’s Fascism, very imposing, a great setting for some photos (and a tourist spot!). We got up the next day and took the metro (which broke down and we had to change to a bus, all in Italian on the outskirts of Rome!), destination Cinecittà, the iconic Italian movie studios and home to the great Frederico Fellini. We paid our money and joined the tour and while the guide was lecturing the party, we snuck off and took all the cinematic stills we could! In 100 degrees! We spotted a (typical) fountain and square in central Rome, near the hotel I was staying in, not a big important square or fountain but beautiful and a bit shabby too. We shot there and then finally wandering the backstreets of old Rome at night. What a haul of photos we got, and so much tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil along the way! David has taken some of the finest photos of me ever taken, I give my everlasting thanks to him, and I must say I would not have looked so fine had it not been for The Make-Up Artist Domitilla Coni who made perfect cat-eyes for me and used make up which miraculously didn’t melt off in the extreme heat! So, Thank you to her too.
The Graphic Artist Stuart Preston. Poor Stuart… I worked him hard. You cannot even begin to get your head around how labor intensive the layout has been for 4 different formats of music, poster, t-shirts, tour flyers, vip pass and banners. The Deluxe CD alone comes with a 16 page booklet containing all the lyrics, technical aspects, liner notes, credits and 16 pages worth of photographic layout too! So many words for him to check, double check, line up, triple check, space out and on and on. It took us 6 months to make all this artwork. He freaked out only twice! What a star. My thanks and friendship to Stuart for ever. The presentation of this album is exceptional. It is precision engineering! He is a marvel.
The Website Manager Pete. Peter and his team built my website and they keep it running with great efficiency. Goodness knows the coding they had to do to add all the items into the store, create the Queen High Straight page and embed carousels for showing all of the artwork.The website is completely integral for me to get my music and items to you. Thank you Pete.
So what now? Well… please buy Queen High Straight and all it’s lovely trimmings!!
The T-Shirt is so cool, The Poster is so beautiful, The Lyric Sheets and Mix Notes are lovely things to own and I dedicate them to you, on the song/s of your choice. There are limited edition Artwork Proofs of the Deluxe CD and Standard CD, once again I personalize them to you and, for 3 lucky people – 3 sets of Double Vinyl Test Pressings.
Enjoy the album! I love it. It’s going to take you a good while to choose your favorites. 20 songs. Which ones will be your favorites?
I hope you find the finished album rewarding for the wait of three years. I think you will.
The tour for Queen High Straight, originally scheduled for May, has had to be delayed, as you know, but we are on for September, by which time, I hope, you will all know the lyrics and have your favorites! On the live page of the website there are all the direct ticket links per venue and of course the associated VIP pass per gig.
I have done it.
We have done it.
Stay well out there! And Enjoy QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT
With all my love
TO BUY: https://thewendyjames.com/store
THE WENDY JAMES News Letter No.15
April 8, 2020
How are you all in this strange time?
I hope safe and healthy!
Everything’s fine with me, as you know I managed to delay THE WENDY JAMES BAND May tour until September, which I hope proves to be an accurate guestimate as to when we might all be back to some kind of sociability!
All the tickets you bought remain valid and the ticket links for purchase and the new dates are on https://thewendyjames.com/live and also the VIP passes which are available to each of the 19 shows!
Also, I often find myself having to watch YouTube tutorials to learn something new for instagram or whatever and so it gave me the idea to film myself giving a tutorial of how to use my website to purchase Queen High Straight (or any Wendy item in the store). It took me ages to do! And I end up talking about some of the details of the recording process too… so enjoy the tutorial!!
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT is nearly released!!
It is out on May 1 and shipping to you to arrive on May 1 (postage prevailing).
I thought I’d preview a song from the album, which none of you have heard, to pique your interest, called LITTLE MELVIN.
It is track 5 from the 20 songs on the album and this one shows a real lean into a Motown sound and feel. I worked hard on the backing vocals and I really enjoy singing along to them as well as the lead vocal! Great musicianship, of course, by James Sclavunos on drums and percussion, Harry Bohay on bass, James Sedwards on guitar and the horn section comprised of Terry Edwards and Alex Ward. I love this song and I think you’re going to say “Wow” and play it on repeat!
Masses of covers Queen High Straight vinyl, deluxe cd and cd all arrived at my place a few days ago for me to sign, which took 3 days, so my signature might be a bit off!! (Ha ha) but anyway they are all signed and have been shipped back to the pressing plant to be assembled with the music and then sent out to USA and EU and UK to be distributed to you all around the world.
Yes….. it’s happening!
Here are two funny pictures of the driver who came to pick them all up…
THE TOUR OF MAY 2020 FOR QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT IS POSTPONED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2020
By doing simple math, it was easy for me to see that in one months time, when I’d be due to begin rehearsals in April in LDN, was just not going to happen, nor an all-clear of COVID19 by May 5th when my tour was scheduled to begin. So making a calculation as best as possible, I have postponed all the dates until September 2020.
All the ticket links are still valid and working!
All the VIP are still valid and welcome!
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT will have been with you all through the summer months and I expect you to all be able to sing every lyric along with me in September! A successful record could make these gigs very electric!
In short… No Cancellations, but simply a delay, I’ve done what was necessary for THE WENDY. JAMES TOUR and indeed all of us.
For those of you who want the VIP experience of hanging out with me at soundcheck and priority access at the shows, then please do! I sign your records or photos and we get to spend some time together and you get to see us and be with us from soundcheck onwards!
Things are getting busier and busier as I move toward the release date of QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT on May 1st!
Firstly, let me tell you that I have approved the test pressings for QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT. I have 5 of them (10 discs, it’s a double vinyl of course) and I’ve spent the last 3 days going through all of them to be certain that all the music, the levels, the spacing, the tracking listing is correct.
It truly sounds wonderful! I knew this anyway but seeing it revolve on a turn-table is another landmark in the progress of this record!
If you want to own one of 5 Test Pressing packages they are an incredible artifact, a collectors item, then please do, I’ve made them available here:
The deadline for being on the Certificate Of Contributors is looming, artwork has been sent off to the manufacturers and soon they will have to print, I’d say there are about 3 weeks left… the Certificate of Contributors comes with either the Deluxe Vinyl here: or the Deluxe CD here:
This will get you into the soundcheck and to spend time with me and the band and see the show!
THE TOUR FLYERS
If you go to THE LIVE PAGE then you will once again see all the dates for the tour and also a carousel of all the flyers related to the gigs! Please feel free to download the one related to your location and print it out and spread them around your town, your local venues, clubs, music shops, any shops! Anywhere! It would be lovely to have some grass-roots ground operation for this tour!!
It’s all very, very exciting! Much to be done!
But as I sit here writing to you, Queen High Straight is on in the background and I have to tell you: it’s all worth it, I have truly made a record piece of work!
Thank you for all your loyalty, support, help…. it is everything to me!
MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! AND A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!
December 20, 2019
As this year rounds out I wish the happiest of times to you all, with whomever and however you’re spending the end of 2019.
It has been a very active year, this year, for me. Completing QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT with not a single note out of place or a single thing forgotten or overlooked in the recording, mixing and mastering. I am so, so pleased with this album, in fact ‘pleased’ is a polite understatement! I am thrilled and joyous! It is the best thing I’ve done in my life and I cannot wait for you all to have it and hear it!
I went on tour, opening for The Psychedelic Furs in October with my official band THE WENDY JAMES BAND. This band are the best band I’ve had. I love these guys! They are so talented, so hard working, so nimble with whatever happens, they are funny and honest and humble and they make me feel so effortlessly in top form on stage!
I have some gigs already confirmed for May to support the launch of the album and by the time May rolls around there will be plenty. I am also going to do instore signings on the days of the gigs, wherever possible, and I hope some live performances on regional and national radio too.
For the remaining month of December there continues to be a 15% discount on everything at the web store: simply input the code seasonsgreetings15 at checkout!
I hope you are pleased with the work I’ve done this year! The artwork is beautiful, don’t you think? And the music will thrill you in 2020. I hope you enjoyed the gigs you came to and that I see you all and more out on the road next year.
I thank YOU for every single way you have given me care, love, support, enthusiasm and steadfast friendships and loyalty. I hope I met as many of you as wanted at the after show merch table experiences out on the road and signed as many of your items as I could and had many hugs and words with you all.
I wish you all the best time, the best of health, the best of life and the happiest of New Years. See you in 2020!
After you’ve added your choice of items to the cart use the code SeasonsGreetings15 at the checkout for your discounted purchase price!
THE QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT Artwork Reveal!!
November 28, 2019
So! It is done! It was nearly as much of a mammoth task doing all the artwork for Queen High Straight as it was the music!
So what have we got?
THE DELUXE GATEFOLD DOUBLE VINYL
This presentation of Queen High Straight contains two 12” vinyls, five cuts a side. It contains liner notes on the inside gatefold, written by Wendy, it contains fully printed, art designed inner sleeves sides 1/2/3/4 with all of the lyrics and all of the technical credits from the album. All the artwork of this presentation is unique to the Deluxe Gatefold Vinyl, including the record labels themselves. As substantive as the music and lyrics are on Queen High Straight are, so too is the artwork.
This is the Gatefold CD presentation of Queen High Straight. It has front, back and inside art unique to the Deluxe CD package, including full liner notes written by Wendy, part of a 16 page booklet which also has design unique to the Deluxe CD package and contains all of the lyrics per each 1-20 songs and a beautifully designed CD label.
1. Queen High Straight (4.32)
2. Perilous Beauty (4.05)
3. Free Man Walk (3.39)
4. Stomp Down, Snuck Up (4.14)
5. Little Melvin (4.52)
6. Marlene et Fleur (3.59)
7. A Heart Breaking Liar’s Promise (5.11)
8. Here Comes The Beautiful One (3.46)
9. Chicken Street (4.13)
10. Testimonial (4.18)
11. Bar Room Brawl & Benzedrine Blues (4.07)
12. Ratfucking (2.36)
13. She Likes To Be (Underneath Somebody) (3.21)
14. Bliss Hotel (3.59)
15. Freak In (3.05)
16. The Impression Of Normalcy (3.36)
17. I’ll Be Here When The Morning Comes (4.15)
18. Cancel It… I’ll See Him On Monday (3.37)
19. Sugar Boy (3.57)
20. Kill Some Time Blues (4.18)
THE CERTIFICATE OF CONTRIBUTORS
The Contributor’s Certificate is a stand alone piece of artwork designed to name every person who bought this item and contributed to the making of Queen High Straight. The album was entirely self-funded and so a certificate is a wonderful testimonial to you all. It comes within the package for the Deluxe Double Gatefold 12” Vinyl or the Deluxe Gatefold CD and is lovely memento and thing to own.
This is the official companion poster for Wendy James new 20 Track Deluxe Album. It features a combination of artwork from both the Deluxe LP and the Deluxe CD. All original photography of Wendy shot in Rome in the summer of 2019. The Poster is printed on quality rich card and is A1 size. It is unique to this store and to the presentation of Queen High Straight.
These are the official companion T-Shirts for Wendy James new 20 Track Deluxe Album. It features full color art of the Queen High Straight Certificate Of Contributors. Original photography of Wendy shot in Rome in the summer of 2019. The t-shirt is produced in black or white 100% soft cotton in a classic unisex round neck, straight cut shape and available in S. M. L. XL. XXL.
This is a limited edition proof of the artwork for the Deluxe Vinyl package. The art is on thick card from the production company. These proofs are made so that approval can be given to go into full production. No more than 2 or 3 will ever be made. Wendy will sign and personalize with your name. This is a lovely artwork to own, to frame, to hang on the wall. A bona-fide collectors item.
vocals, rhythm guitar, keys, melodica
rhythm guitar, lead guitar
ALEX J. WARD
trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, tenor & baritone sax
IAN DOWLING, JOE SAGE, AL LAWSON
recorded, mixed and mastered on location in uk and ny
DAVID LEIGH DODD
So! isn’t it all amazing!
I am THRILLED!!!! I am SO THRILLED!!!!!!!!!
I now have the master of the record finished and will begin to plan how and when is best to release it in 2020, I will set a firm date and on that date it will ship to you all and I will build my entire 2020 calendar around promoting it, gigging it and making sure, if I possibly can, that the world knows what a GREAT ALBUM THIS IS! My best! And I know you and I love all my records, but this one’s the best! I cannot wait for you to hear it!
So! Revel in the artwork! Pre-order your choices (and/or pre-existing items) and roll on 2020!
For those of you who came out to the shows around UK with us, The Wendy James Band, opening for The Psychedelic Furs: Thank you SO much! We had the best time, I know for sure we played great gigs and when I met you all after the show it seemed to me that every single one of us was happy and thrilled by it all!
I absolutely love the opportunity at each show to say Hi to as many of you as possible, reacquaint with old friends/fans who are repeat attendees! It’s such a great thing we all share between us.
I am spending this week finishing the artwork and listening on my home stereo to the mix of the record. Then I will send the files off to NYC to be mastered for manufacturing and finally: templates/art and music will go off to be pressed and printed! Yikes! It is in the pipeline!
Tentatively working to a February 21, 2020 release and proposed new UK tour beginning on 23rd Feb, 2020. Neither of these things are written in stone but that’s my focus!
We certainly are planning far more touring for 2020 and further afield than simply UK, with EU, USA and AUS/JP being looked into.
As soon as the artwork is finished I will reveal, incrementally, the VINYL package, the CD packages, the Poster, the T-Shirts and the Contributors Certificate!
You will have access to buy one of the proofs of the artwork, which is a lovely thing to own and frame, and any of you wanting to be on the certificate, please do hurry because it’s going to have to end very soon so it can go off to the printers!
And FYI – I have re-stocked the KURT SHIRT, THE FACE MAG and EVERY SONG IS DOPE so if you didn’t get one on tour, then you can get one now!
And of course: Pre-Order QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT!
My band are truly perfect! James Sclavunos on Drums, Leo Kurunis on Bass, Alex J. Ward on Rhythm Guitar and Keyboards, Rupert Greaves on Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards and Backing Vocals and Pip Stakem on Lead Guitar. They make all the songs, old and new, sound as urgent, thundering and sexy as they should and could be!
Once again: TO YOU ALL. I am here because you want me to be and I thank you so much and I am so pleased you love my music and all it entails!
Wow!!! Me, James Sclavunos, Leo Kurunis, Pip Stakem, Alex J. Ward and Rupert Greaves – THE WENDY JAMES BAND!
October 7, 2019
Here are the remaining dates of our tour opening for The Psychedelic Furs around UK:
OCTOBER: 7th. Leeds Stylus 8th. Glasgow Academy 9th. Newcastle Academy 11th. Nottingham Rock City 12th. London Roundhouse
Here’s a rather fabulous excerpt from a review in Manchester last week…
“A mixture of jangling indiepop with crunching garage rock- time has seemingly sharpened Wendy’s claws, added venom to her bite as her band throw themselves through supercharged versions of Transvision Vamp classics as well as a selection of Wendy’s solo material, including new songs that will feature on her upcoming album ‘Queen High Straight’ including the raucous, punky “Impression Of Normalcy”. You’re A Good Man, Sister’s glam stomp is as authentic as any from the mid-70s, the band’s throwback sound working wonders here, while Transvision classic “Baby I Don’t Care” positively bristles with power thank to huge crashing drums and fuzzy organ, still as carefree and fun as it was in 1989.
Wendy James has been able to avoid the pitfalls of the nostalgia loop, updating her original pop-punk-leaning sound to keep her material fresh, meaning that songs first heard on Pop Art and Velveteen some 30 years ago blend seamlessly into her new solo work, what was once a jangle is now a full-on six-string attack, at times only some additional distortion and feedback away from a proto-industrial grind, with Wendy’s poppy, at times almost deadpan delivery cutting above – ‘Bad Valentine’, a meditation on absent-minded romantic fumbles set to a swaying doo-wop rhythm, showcases Wendy’s individual style the best- a thin veneer of ‘little girl lost’ masking sarcastic dry wit and a rebellious streak a mile wide.”
“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 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 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…