|© Harry James 2009|
Best known for his work with Thunder, Harry James is one of the best-loved drummers on the rock circuit. Influenced by his 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. Thunder finally signed off, much to the disappointment of their loyal global fan base at the Sonisphere Festival in August 2009.
In July 2011 Thunder were invited to reunite to appear at the High Voltage festival in London. The performance was a resounding success and while there are no plans to officially reform, due to popular demand, Thunder appeared at Nottingham Rock City with their infamous Christmas Party in December 2011 and Manchester Academy in December 2012. The band is pleased to be reunited again this May (2013) with an arena tour with Whitesnake and Journey and this will be followed by some festival appearances.
Harry proudly occupies the drum stool for Magnum, another great British rock outfit. Last year was a busy one for the band with the release of “On The 13th Day” and a hugely successful European and UK tour at the end of 2012. A new album is being written and in the pipeline and there are plans to play festivals this year.
Recently, 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. There are gigs and festivals booked for the summer of 2013.
Also, he 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”. He has also been in the studio with “Magnet Man” and has made a few appearances with the “Papa George Band”.
Harry is also currently a member of South London’s Bad Influence who continue to perform and impress on the blues circuit. The band has just celebrated their 25th Anniversary.
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!