|© Harry James 2009|
Best known for his work with Thunder, Harry James is one of the best-loved drummers on the rock circuit. Heavily influenced by his late father and the likes of Ian Paice, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Stewart Copeland, Phil Rudd, Billy Cobham and Cozy Powell, Harry started playing drums at the age of eight and has been a gigging player since his early teens.
In the late 1980’s, Harry appeared alongside Danny Bowes and Luke Morley in Terraplane, but it was when the trio later resurfaced as Thunder that they really made their mark. Thunder’s debut “Back Street Symphony” charted at number 21 in the UK in March 1990 and their success continued with a storming set at Donington’s Monster of Rock Festival later that year. Thunder comfortably negotiated that often ‘tricky second album’ when “Laughing on Judgement Day” reached number 2 in the UK chart in 1992. The band continued to release albums and tour with their highly acclaimed live performances to packed venues until they decided to call it a day in 2009. The band said farewell during successful tours of Europe and Japan, an appearance at “Download” and a sold out tour of the UK, finally signing off, much to the disappointment of their loyal global fan base at the Sonisphere Festival in August 2009.
In July 2011, Thunder were reunited at London’s High Voltage festival. The performance was a resounding success and, by popular demand, the infamous Christmas Party was resurrected for the following three years. 2013 saw a further increase in Thunder activities with a successful arena tour alongside Whitesnake and Journey, some great festival appearances (including a return to Donington), a performance at London’s o2 in support of “Mott the Hoople” and a welcome return to Japan.
In summer 2014, Thunder appeared at Calling Festival in Clapham supporting Aerosmith, with a further festival appearance at Japan’s Loud Park in October. After much thought and deliberation, the band decided to return to the studio and this resulted in the release of “Wonder Days” in February 2015, the first Thunder studio album since 2008. The album entered the UK charts at No.9 and received rave reviews. This was followed by a very successful 3 date arena tour, Download and some European shows and festivals. The band will hit the road again in November with some more shows in Europe and a flying visit to Japan. In February 2016 Thunder will be back touring the UK with 5 big arena shows.
Harry proudly occupies the drum stool for Magnum, another great British rock outfit. 2014 was a busy one for Magnum with the release of “Escape From The Shadow Garden”, followed by a successful UK and European tour in April and May and some festival appearances during the Summer. More shows followed late in the year with the release of “On Christmas Day”. Magnum have been busy in the studio this year recording the latest album “Sacred Blood, Divine Lies” due for release early in 2016. In spite of this, the band managed to play a few festivals during the Summer. There are shows planned for April and May next year in Europe and the UK in support of the new album, and there will be some festival appearances too.
Over the past couple of years, Harry has been a busy chap working with Micky Moody, Neil Murray (both ex Whitesnake) and Laurie Wisefield (ex Wishbone Ash) in a band called “Snakecharmer”. The self titled album “Snakecharmer” was released in January 2013 on the “Frontiers” label. The band continue gigging and promoting the album. Hopefully there will be a new album in the pipeline……possibly next year.
Harry can be seen sharing the stage with the legendary Jim Cregan in “Cregan and Co”. Jim was in the original Rod Stewart band alongside Gary Grainger and Robin Le Mesurier who Harry had the honour of playing with in the band “Apart From Rod”. The band is going from strength to strength with shows and festivals across the UK and Europe and also features Ben Mills (X Factor) on lead vocals and guitar.
In addition to his other live projects, Harry is also currently a member of South London’s “Bad Influence” who continue to perform and impress on the blues circuit. The band recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary. He has also been in the studio with “Magnet Man” and has made a few appearances with the “Papa George Band”.
In the studio, Harry has also contributed to work by Don Airey ("A Light In The Sky"), Russ Ballard ("Book Of Love"), Shadowman (featuring FM's vocalist Steve Overland, Heartland's Steve Morris and Thunder's Chris Childs), Kate Aumonier ("Here I Am"), Carl Sentance (“Mind Doctor”), Bucket & Co (“Guitars, Beers and Tears”) and Hellfire Corner (Gary Brewer and "Snake", the ex bass player of Thunder).
Harry has had the pleasure of performing live on stage with The Ian Gillan Band with Roger Glover on bass, and has toured with Graham Bonnet, Don Airey, Mick Ralphs, and Paul Young. Following a performance with Thunder at the Indigo2 in March 2008 in aid of the Childline Trust, where the band were joined onstage by Lulu and Roger Daltrey, Harry returned the following year (again with Thunder) to appear alongside Rock Legends including Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes, and Steve Harley.Backed by Pearl, Paiste and Pro-Mark, Harry is renowned for his distinctive and powerful playing style, his love of live performance and rapport with the audience. And his undying love and support of Crystal Palace FC!