Brian James (guitarist)

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Brian James (born Brian Robertson, 1950)[1] is an English punk rock guitarist, who has played for several notable bands.[2] His first band was the proto-punk outfit London SS. James moved on to the Damned, writing almost all the material on their first two albums Damned, Damned, Damned and Music for Pleasure before leaving at the end of 1977. James later formed and disbanded Tanz Der Youth and Brian James Brain's (later known briefly as the Hellions).

James was born in Hammersmith,[3] London, and in 1979 James played in Iggy Pop's solo touring band and recorded the single "Ain't that a Shame", which had Stewart Copeland on drums.. He guested on the Saints' 1982 album, Out in the Jungle. He would later co-found and play in the Lords of the New Church with Stiv Bators. He recorded three studio albums and one EP along with several live albums with the band, playing from 1982 until their break-up in 1989.

From 1992 to 1996, James played guitar with the Brussels-based band the Dripping Lips. In 1992 he was invited by Scottish vocalist Robbie Kelman to co-write the soundtrack for the film Abracadabra, directed by Harry Cleven. The subsequent soundtrack album, produced by Kelman, was released in Benelux by EMI/INDISC. The band was composed by Robbie Kelman (vocals), James (guitar), Alan Lee Shaw (bass) and Paul Zahl (drums). Kelman brought in his friend and record producer Jimmy Miller to helm their second album, Ready to Crack. Shaw had moved on to play guitar in the Damned, and Nico Mansy replaced him on bass. An extensive North American tour was arranged, only to be later cancelled due to James' refusal to participate. This caused the Dripping Lips to split. They would later reform[when?] with Kelman and Shaw.

In 2001 James recorded the album Racketeers with Wayne Kramer (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Stewart Copeland and Clem Burke (drums) as Mad for the Racket.

James and Dave Tregunna reformed the Lords of the New Church in 2002–2003 with vocalist Adam Becvare. The lineup recorded the ten-song unreleased CD Hang On[4] and toured Europe in spring of that year. Brian James released a self-titled solo album with his band The Brian James Gang in 2006. The Lords of the New Church fronted by Becvare continue to occasionally perform live and write new material when Becvare is not touring with the LustKillers.[citation needed]

In 2012 James released a solo acoustic album Chateau Brian with former Lords of the New Church touring keyboard player Mark Taylor.

James has performed throughout the UK with Damned bandmate Rat Scabies in 2013. In 2014 he released a brand new studio album, Outter Phaze, under the moniker The Brian James Gang.


  1. ^ [1] (...) was born in 1950 as Brian Robertson (...)London where I was born (...) Brian James, interview, 2007
  2. ^ Prato, Greg. "Biography: Brian James". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  3. ^ [2] (...)I was born in Hammersmith, West London. Brian James, interview, 2007
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave. Hang On - The Lords of the New Church at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 June 2013.

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