James Bourne

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For the 19th century painter, see James Bourne (artist).
James Bourne
Birth name James Elliot Bourne
Also known as Future Boy, JB
Born (1983-09-13) 13 September 1983 (age 32)
Rochford, Essex, England
Genres Pop, pop rock, pop punk, powerpop, electronica
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2000–present
Labels Mercury, Sic Puppy
Associated acts Busted, Son of Dork, McFly, Future Boy, McBusted,
Website www.jamesbourne.com

James Elliot Bourne (born 13 September 1983 in Rochford, Essex, England) is an English singer-songwriter and co-founder of pop rock bands Busted and Son of Dork as well as a solo electronic project, Future Boy. He is currently a member of supergroup McBusted, which consists of himself, Busted bandmate Matt Willis, and McFly, and is part of the re-united Busted as of 2015.


Bourne was born in Rochford, Essex to Peter and Maria Bourne and moved to Southend-on-Sea at age ten months. He has a sister called Melissa and two brothers called Nick and Chris. Chris, his younger brother, appeared in the music video for Busted's song "Year 3000" as the neighbour who builds the time machine. Nick appeared in a few Busted videos such as "Who's David" and "You Said No". Bourne attended the independent fee-paying Thorpe Hall School in Southend-On-Sea. Bourne plays electric guitar most often, but he has stated that his best instrument is piano. He also plays the drums and bass guitar. Bourne claims that he is still good friends with Matt Willis and on good terms with Charlie Simpson as well as the band members of McFly. Bourne is the owner of a De Lorean DMC-12 and drives a Volkswagen Golf. He also owns an American skating and apparel company called SicPuppy, named after a band he was once a member of. Bourne paid over £16,000 for his own record company, Sicpuppy Records, which, in 2007, gave unsigned UK bands a chance to play on the Sic Tour 2007 in Shepherd's Bush Empire. The event was hosted by David Gest and Matt Willis.

Bourne started to get into music at the age of 6, when he discovered his main idol, Michael Jackson through The Simpsons, after Bart Simpson. He was intrigued by the line "dancing like Michael Jackson" and was eager to find out who it was – When he did, and started listening to his music, he was amazed. After seeing Jackson live a year later, Bourne soon decided that his new aim in life would be being able to play his songs. James attended Morgan Academy of Performing Arts, based in Essex, and the head being Vanda Morgan.

By the time he was twelve, he decided to form a band called Sic Puppy with his friends, Nick and Jeremy. They started off without a bassist and had band practice in his friend's bedroom. As time passed by they found themselves a bigger rehearsal space and a bassist called Stewart, but as they got older, they lost interest in rehearsing and Sic Puppy eventually fizzled out.[1] Sic Puppy is now used for James' clothing range and Record label.

Music career[edit]


Main article: Busted (band)

At the age of 17, Bourne dropped out of the South East Essex college course in Music Technology to pursue his music career. He eventually met Matt Willis at a gig and found that he had the same musical ideas as him. Matt and James soon started writing songs together at Bourne's house in Southend. Willis and Bourne soon decided that they couldn't form a band with just two members, so they decided to place an ad for a third member in NME magazine. They soon held auditions and after listening to a few songs the two had written together, Charlie Simpson joined the band. After signing to Universal in 2002, Busted released their first single, "What I Go To School For", from their self-titled debut album in September that year, which quickly became No. 3 in the UK charts. "Year 3000" soon followed and became a hit as well reaching No. 2 in the charts, their third single "You Said No" was a No. 1 hit.

By the end of the band's career, they had managed eight top 10 singles and four number ones – "You Said No", "Crashed the Wedding", "Who's David?" and "Thunderbirds Are Go". Despite their success, Busted split on 14 January 2005 after just three years, following Simpson's decision to leave the band to concentrate on his side project Fightstar.

In October 2015, rumours spread in various British tabloids that Busted were reuniting once again. The Sun reported that an unnamed source (later revealed to be Tom Fletcher) had stated that 'Busted are re-forming by the end of the year and Charlie is part of the band again.'.[2] The following month, images emerged showing a silhouetted band with a caption suggesting a Busted press conference. On 10 November 2015 Busted announced their return as a band, featuring Simpson again. They also announced a 2016 nationwide tour, Busted: The Tour.[3]

Son of Dork[edit]

Main article: Son of Dork

After Busted split in January 2005, Bourne formed a new pop rock band the following summer, named Son of Dork. They released their first single, "Ticket Outta Loserville" in November 2005 followed by their debut album, Welcome to Loserville, two weeks later. Although a split was never officially announced, Dave Williams, Chris Leonard and Steve Rushton all left to pursue other projects leaving James Bourne and Danny Hall the only members. With that, the second album was cancelled although Bourne hopes for a reunion. A reunion of sorts happened on occasion as Bourne turned their debut album into Loserville: The Musical. Danny Hall and James Bourne both performed "Holly... I'm The One" together at the Oliver Awards.

Future Boy[edit]

Following the split of Son of Dork, Bourne pursued a musical career as a solo artist under the name of Future Boy inspired by Bourne's favourite movie Back to the Future. In June 2009, Bourne announced that he had begun recording his debut solo album; "not a rock album. It is 100% electronic."[4]

Volume 1 was produced and mixed by Tommy Henriksen and James Bourne at Henriksen's Anarchy Studio's in Nashville and Los Angeles. Side A of Volume 1 was released on 3 May 2010; the album was released via his official website and not a record label. Side B would be released on 3 June. Side B featured a further five songs, including a ballad with his then girlfriend Gabriela Arciero. As part of Valentine's Day, Future Boy posted a new track on Facebook called "Dangerous"; the song didn't make the final cut for Volume 1.

Although Volume 2 was officially announced in February 2011[5] for a 3 May 2012 release as a Facebook video game Space Travellers, the album has yet to surface due to technical difficulties and other commitments.[6]

Solo project[edit]

Alongside his alter ego act Future Boy, James revealed on Kali FM live on air that he would be releasing a solo EP and aired some songs on the radio show. The EP is set to be released in the summer. James promised to go back to a Busted kind of sound with guitars instead of the synth based Future Boy songs. Songs including "Gone" & "One of A Kind", were played on air. On his Facebook, Bourne revealed it would in fact be a solo album and will include the track "Beautiful Girls are the Loneliest".[7]

In 2012 Bourne did his debut sell out acoustic tour starting round the UK in only 5 locations; London, Manchester, Glasgow, Islingon and Birmingham, with Matt Willis and wife, Emma Willis, as well as family members coming to support him. His set consisted of a mixture of songs from Busted, Future Boy and Son of Dork. He went on to do a brief tour in Spain.


Main article: McBusted

In 2013, he supported for McFly, which was later referred to by the newly formed McBusted as the starting point for ideas of McFly and Busted joining together as a contribution to the McFly tour, which then later sparked ideas of their own McBusted tour later on. The McBusted tour was a huge success, so huge that the tour was extended from 11 dates to 36 dates. McBusted released their self-titled debut album on 1 December 2014, with a large portion of the tracks written/co-written by Bourne. Some tracks on the album were from some of Bourne's previous musical projects like "What Happened To Your Band" that was originally written for Son of Dork and "Beautiful Girls Are The Loneliest" which was intended for his solo project. McBusted are due to go on a 21 date tour in 2015 performing songs from their new album and previous McFly and Busted hits.

Other projects[edit]

In February 2009, Bourne formed the band Call Me When I'm 18 with Ollie Kinski.[8] The band was meant as a successor to Busted and Son of Dork. The pair released four songs to the public including a cover of the previously unreleased Son of Dork song "Go Home Monday". The others were "Dumbstruck", "Break It" and "Gone". They disbanded in 2011 and Bourne instead decided to continue with his solo project.

In early 2013, Bourne formed a band with his brother Chris Bourne called The Bourne Insanity. They released their first single "Mohawk" on 16 April, unsigned and written solely by Chris.[9] In late 2013, Bourne announced via Twitter that he had posted "secret" music under a different name on iTunes. The band was later revealed to be "88", which was Bourne and fellow musician Eric Bazilian.[10] 88 released their first single, "Angels Walk Beside You", on December 5, 2013,[11] and on the 8th of February 2014 they released their second single "Miss the Girl".[12]


Bourne wrote the majority of Busted's two albums with Matt Willis, Charlie Simpson and Tom Fletcher (McFly). Busted's style of music can also be identified in songs with his next band Son of Dork's poppier tracks.

Bourne has helped write at least one song on the first three McFly album - Room on the 3rd Floor, Wonderland and Motion in the Ocean. He also helped write several songs on their fourth album, Radio:Active. He takes a lot of writing credits for artists such as Melanie C for which he wrote "Immune" for her fourth studio album This Time. Other artists include MC Lars, with whom he wrote the song "Twenty-three" on the This Gigantic Robot Kills album, and Pat Monahan, with whom he co-wrote "Great Escape" on the album Last of Seven. Bourne has recently been writing with his girlfriend's band The Lunabelles and JC Chasez as well as unknown artists as a part of Metrophonic. He has also helped write songs for the British drama Britannia High. He also wrote Eoghan Quigg's debut solo single "28,000 Friends", which was originally performed by Bourne at The Living Room, New York on 11 October 2007.[13] He also co-wrote The Saturdays song, "Forever Is Over", which was released on 2 October and reached number two in the charts. In November 2009, Bourne collaborated with Leon G. Thomas III to write the song "Please Don't Change Your Mind".[14]

Bourne's music often includes references to films. For example, Busted's song "Year 3000" contains several references to Back to the Future as well as Son of Dork's song "Ticket Outta Loserville" containing the lyrics "Wake up to 'I Got You Babe', Like the guy from Groundhog Day".

As of 2014, Bourne is currently writing songs for supergroup McBusted, The Vamps and 5 Seconds of Summer. Bourne has also expressed interest in writing for One Direction.

Musical theatre[edit]

Loserville: The Musical[edit]

Main article: Loserville

In February 2009, Youth Music Theatre commissioned Bourne, along with his friend Elliot Davis, to write a musical based on the Son of Dork album Welcome to Loserville, Loserville: The Musical. The tickets for the 20 August premiere went up for sale on 7 May.[15] The slogan used for the musical is "I guess it really pays to be a slacker...", and is centred around 17-year-old Michael Dork, who is called a nerd, geek and slacker by others. Socially marginalised by the entire school and constantly picked on by Eddie, the coolest boy in school, Michael is desperate to find his ticket out of Loserville. But when stunning new girl Holly arrives, Michael is introduced to a whole new world of cool. It is presented by Youth Music Theatre in Association with South Hill Park Arts Centre. Bourne later signed a deal to take the show to the West End.[16] Bourne tweeted that the musical would be hitting London's West End in 2011; however, it eventually opened on 1 October 2012 at the Garrick Theatre.[17] Information can be found about the musical on the official website. From 18 June 2012 to 14 July 2012 the musical ran in Leeds at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.[18] [dated info] The show opened at the Garrick Theatre on 17 October 2012, following previews from 1 October officially beginning its tour on the West End. The production was originally set to run until 2 March 2013, but closed early on 5 January 2013.[19] The production included past Son of Dork band member Danny Hall on drums and singer Lil' Chris.

The musical is due to be available for amateur and professional performances in schools and the stage through the Josef Weinbeger Ltd.[20]

Out There: The Musical[edit]

In 2011, Youth Music Theatre once again commissioned Bourne and Davis to write a new, original musical called Out There. First presented as a workshop presentation in a small theatre west of London, the musical is set in the fictional town of Hope, Texas, and follows the story of Logan Carter, who is on the run from his home town near Detroit after committing a minor felony. Hope is a dead-end, one-horse town (even the horse has died) and its inhabitants are searching for ways to rescue the town from obscurity and financial ruin. Meanwhile, a few miles away in the desert, an old man is building something weird in his outhouse.

In July 2012, the original Youth Music Theatre cast and crew reunited to put on several performances at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London, with new songs added. Prior to this, a funding page[21] was set up to allow them to perform and although they didn't reach their $15,000 goal they still went ahead with the shows.

The musical is available to have amateur and professional performances in schools and the stage through the Josef Weinbeger LTD.[22]

Murder at the Gates[edit]

In 2013, Bourne announced another musical he had been working on, Murder at the Gates. This time, the musical sees Bourne working with Spring Awakening writer Steven Sater, who has penned with book & lyrics for this musical whereas Bourne worked solely on the music score. The musical will have a trial run performance of three shows in New York under NYU in September 2013 using NYU students. Murder at the Gates is set in a posh gated community in a manor where a costume birthday party is being held for a murder mystery play but the play becomes her life.[23][dated info]

Personal life[edit]

Bourne dated actress Kara Tointon for several years before splitting in 2004. From 2006 to 2014 Bourne was in a relationship with American drummer and singer Gabriela Arciero. They split up in April 2014.[24]


Studio albums


  1. ^ "A biography of James Bourne". Backtobournio.com. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Wootton, Dan (5 October 2015). The Sun Busted are fixed again. Accessed 13 November 2015
  3. ^ James (10 November 2015). "Charlie Simpson Rejoins Busted". Kerrang!. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "MySpace blogs: James Bourne – ALBUM NEWS". MySpace. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Space Travellers Announcement". Twitter. 
  6. ^ "Space Travellers Release Date". Twitter. 
  7. ^ "James Bourne". Facebook. 
  8. ^ "Call Me When I'm 18 | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  9. ^ "James Bourne on Twitter". Twitter. 
  10. ^ "James Bourne on Twitter". Twitter. 
  11. ^ "iTunes - Music - Angels Walk Beside You - Single by 88". iTunes. 
  12. ^ "iTunes - Music - Miss the Girl - Single by 88". iTunes. 
  13. ^ "James Bourne performing 28,000 Friends a year before Eoghan". Youtube.com. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Please don't change your mind written by James Bourne & Leon Thomas III". YouTube. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Ticket's for premier of Loserville: The Musical go on sale". Bulletins.myspace.com. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "James Bourne takes Loserville to the West End". Twitter.com. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Loserville comes to the West End in 2011". Twitter.com. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Official Loserville Musical website". Loservillemusical.tv. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "Loserville posts early closing notices for 5 Jan 2013". London Theatre. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Loserville, Josef Weinbeger". Josef Weinbeger. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "James Bourne and Elliot Davis commissioned for new musical; Out There". rockethub.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Out There, Josef Weinbeger". Josef Weinbeger. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Murder at the Gates: Tisch School of the Arts at NYU". NYU. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Gabriela Lucia on Twitter". Twitter. 

External links[edit]