This Vamp Transvision's a return
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
WENDY JAMES returned with her new album QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT. Released on 1st May 2020, it is her 5th solo album. Wendy now releases her music video for 'Kill Some Time Blues' as well as confirming new dates for her UK tour. English singer-songwriter Wendy, who was born in London, exploded onto the music scene in 1988 as the fearless frontwoman 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.
Wendy currently divides her time between New York City, Paris, South France and London.
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. Ratfucking 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 All songs written, produced and mixed by Wendy James.
WENDY JAMES reveals the video for Kill Some Time Blues, the last song on her recently released 20-track album Queen High Straight, which was fan-picked along with Marlene at Fleur as the next AA single.
“I’m thrilled with the video,” Wendy says. “I wanted to close out the album with a ‘wall-of-sound’ 60’s girl group sounding song, a big number! The horn sections played by Terry Edwards and Alex Ward are marvelous! The guitar parts played by James Sedwards are magnificent and the drumming and percussion by James Sclavunos and bass playing by Harry Bohay, superlative! - and I must say I’m rather pleased with my singing too!
“To this end, I went on a video clip treasure hunt to find some great shots of The Supremes, The Ronettes, The Vandellas, The Shangri-Las, The Blossoms and I stumbled upon some fabulous old footage of 60’s girls letting loose and getting their freak on! Spliced and cross-faded into this wonderful footage is footage of me performing live at Hultsfred Festival in Sweden and a performance on a broadcast tv show called Live At The Dome.
“The video is masterfully timed out, edited and presented by David Leigh Dodd, who has been the photographer and videographer for the entire presentation of Queen High Straight.
“I think the video is an enormous success and it serves to amplify this great song!”
Wendy had hoped to be touring the album in September, but due to Covid-19 she has rescheduled her 22-date UK tour (again) to April 2021. “2021 will be a great touring year for THE WENDY JAMES BAND, with the UK tour in April, Festivals and a couple of big support slots to announce! Tickets and Ticket Links remain the same and valid, all VIP are still valid!” The new tour dates are below.
LIVERPOOL O2 ACADEMY2 - SATURDAY MARCH 27TH
GUILDFORD BOILEROOM - TUESDAY MARCH 30TH
OXFORD O2 ACADEMY2 - THURSDAY APRIL 1ST
CARDIFF CLWB IFOR BACH - FRIDAY APRIL 2ND
STOKE SUGARMILL - SATURDAY APRIL 3RD
NOTTINGHAM BODEGA - TUESDAY APRIL 6TH
NEWCASTLE CLUNY - WEDNESDAY APRIL 7TH
EDINBURGH BANNERMANS - THURSDAY APRIL 8TH
PAISLEY ROCKNROLLAS - FRIDAY APRIL 9TH
GLASGOW KING TUTS WAH WAH HUT - SATURDAY APRIL 10TH
LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB - WEDNESDAY APRIL14TH
BLACKPOOL WATERLOO MUSIC BAR - THURSDAY APRIL 15TH
MANCHESTER DEAF INSTITUTE - FRIDAY APRIL 16TH
NORWICH ARTS CENTRE - SATURDAY APRIL 17TH
TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM - WEDNESDAY APRIL 21ST
CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION - THURSDAY APRIL 22ND
PORTSMOUTH WEDGEWOOD ROOMS - FRIDAY APRIL 23RD
BIRMINGHAM O2 INSTITUTE3 - SATURDAY APRIL 24TH
BRISTOL FLEECE - TUESDAY APRIL 27TH
SWANSEA CINEMA & CO - WEDNESDAY APRIL 28TH
BRIGHTON CONCORDE 2 - THURSDAY APRIL 29TH
LONDON O2 ACADEMY2 ISLINGTON - FRIDAY APRIL 30TH
Tickets and VIP from https://thewendyjames.com/live
QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT is available as a 20-track deluxe gatefold double vinyl, gatefold deluxe CD, regular CD, and Digital Download / Streaming. It's available to preorder 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.
She will be releasing a vinyl box set containing all the singles from Queen High Straight later this year.