WENDY JAMES returns with her new album QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT. Released on 1st May 2020, it is her 5th solo album. English singer-songwriter Wendy, who was born in London, exploded onto the British music scene in 1988 as the fearless front woman of chart-topping alt-rockers Transvision Vamp. When the band disbanded Wendy went on to collaborate with Elvis Costello, James Williamson (Iggy & the Stooges), Lenny Kaye (The Patti Smith Group) and James Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), who joins her on drums and percussions for QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT. Also joining her on this album are James Sedwards (lead guitar), Harry Bohay (bass), Alex J. Ward & Terry Edwards (horn section) and Louis Vause (accordion).
Wendy began writing QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT after a long stretch of writing/recording/delivering/touring her previous album ‘The Price Of The Ticket’, which charted in the UK at No.14. Wendy says of the title track, “I gravitated toward some jazzy type of chords which lent a gentle lilt to the song, it sounded smooth and it reminded me of when I was a young child listening to Sergio Mendes ‘Brazil ’66’! Some of those lovely chord progressions, some of that lovely harmonizing the singers did and of course Bacharach and David.”
“Overall, my taste and style have not changed with time,” Wendy says. “The music that excites me now, ultimately, is the same as when I was starting out songwriting and back through my days in Transvision Vamp. I continue to marvel at Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground, I continue to be blown away by The Stooges, I continue to be everlastingly enthralled by Bob Dylan, but of course, the older one gets the more one discovers and I am now informed more cohesively and fully by all the music, new and old, which settles into my consciousness.
“My track listings are never altered from the order in which I write the songs, maybe it’s because it’s too tangential for me to try to shuffle songs around but really I think, in some kind of holistic way, the order in which the songs are written must surely be the very most natural order for them to be listed in. Around about song 14 ‘Bliss Hotel’ I hit a wall. I did not know where the inspiration was going to come from! But then somehow, miraculously, it comes again and one pushes on through, as it turned out, to some of my favourite songs on the entire album. My perfect moment? song 18 ‘Cancel It… I’ll See Him On Monday’; it was a ‘Eureka’ moment. I ran out into the garden and started dancing, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!!!””
Elsewhere on the album, Wendy embraces Motown with ‘Here Comes The Beautiful One’ and ‘Little Melvin’, she returns, once again, to her favourite guitar guttural filth and sex for ‘Perilous Beauty’ and an unlikely sounding love song in ‘Chicken Street’, 90’s pop groove in ‘Ratfucking’, melancholia in ‘Testimonial’, Django Reinhardt whimsy in ‘I’ll Be Here When The Morning Comes’. On ‘The Impression Of Normalcy’, Wendy says, “Thanks to James Sclavunos, who told me to “speed the fucking song up”, I have a proper speed punk song.” Finally, track 20 ‘Kill Some Time Blues’ is the ultimate 60’s girl group number.
Wendy recently toured the UK with her permanent band THE WENDY JAMES BAND opening for The Psychedelic Furs, which was a huge success. Details of her rescheduled 19-date UK tour below…
Wendy currently divides her time between New York City, Paris, South France and London.
- Queen High Straight
- Perilous Beauty
- Free Man Walk
- Stomp Down, Snuck Up
- Little Melvin
- Marlene et Fleur
- A Heart Breaking Liar’s Promise
- Here Comes The Beautiful One
- Chicken Street
- Bar Room Brawl & Benzedrine Blues
- She Likes To Be (Underneath Somebody)
- Bliss Hotel
- Freak In
- The Impression Of Normalcy
- I’ll Be Here When The Morning Comes
- Cancel It… I’ll See Him On Monday
- Sugar Boy
- Kill Some Time Blues
All songs written, produced and mixed by Wendy James.
3RD SEPT – BRISTOL FLEECE
4TH SEPT – SWANSEA CINEMA & CO
5TH SEPT – CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH
6TH SEPT – BRIGHTON CONCORDE 2
9TH SEPT – CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION
10TH SEPT – BIRMINGHAM INSTITUTE 3
11TH SEPT – STOKE SUGARMILL
12TH SEPT – PORTSMOUTH WEDGEWOOD ROOMS
15TH SEPT – NOTTINGHAM BODEGA
16TH SEPT – MANCHESTER DEAF INSTITUTE
17TH SEPT – LEEDS BRUDENELL
18TH SEPT – BLACKPOOL WATERLOO MUSIC BAR
19TH SEPT – NEWCASTLE CLUNY
21ST SEPT – GUILDFORD BOILEROOM
22ND SEPT – TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM
23RD SEPT – LONDON ISLINGTON 02
26TH SEPT – GLASGOW KING TUTS
27TH SEPT – EDINBURGH BANNERMANS
29TH SEPT – NORWICH ARTS CENTRE
Tickets available via: https://thewendyjames.com/live/
The album is available as a 20 track deluxe gatefold double vinyl, gatefold deluxe CD, regular CD and Digital Download / Streaming.
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT is available to order at https://thewendyjames.com/store and this store is the main driver for all of Wendy’s recordings and associated art, t-shirts, all things Wendy.