Festival favourites ready to show glory of the North
James are ready to put on a benefit show to remember for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing when they headline Liverpool's brand new Hope and Glory festival.
The two-night city centre spectacular - also featuring the likes of Razorlight, The Fratellis, Hacienda Classical, Starsailor, Ocean Colour Scene and The Lightning Seeds - is new to the North West's festival scene.
And the event, over the weekend of August 5-6, has taken on extra significance since the events of early June, when 22 people, including Blackpool mum Jane Tweddle were killed by a suicide bomber as crowds left an Ariana Grande concert.
Multi instrumentalist Saul Davies, from Saturday's headliners James, hopes the north will be united in support of those affected, with all profits from ticket sales going to charity.
He said: "I suppose everybody in their right mind wants to make sure support is given to all the people who were directly and indirectly affected by what happened.
"It keeps the response going, helps to make sure people have it in their minds.
"I don't think it particularly matters that we're seen as a Manchester band. It's not a partisan thing, this is one thing where everyone has come together.
"Liverpool, Manchester, it doesn't matter.
"One of the greatest moments I can remember was the (Happy) Mondays doing a benefit gig at the Hacienda, for the victims of Hillsborough.
"That was direct action in their own incredible, sloppy way."
Frontman Tim Booth told crowds at a gig at Castlefield in Manchester the band was keen to play its part, however small.
He said:"It's not much but we feel part of this place (Manchester) and I think people know that."
Taking place in the very centre of Liverpool, with a capacity for 12,500 fans, Hope and Glory promises to be different from the regular festival scene.
And, Saul insists the band jumped at the chance to play another North West show.
He said: "We did a brilliant gig in Liverpool in December, on the bill with the Charlatans and I think we all relished the opportunity to go back and play there again.
"There are some incredibly vibrant cities not just Manchester but the likes of Leeds and Liverpool
"With the success of that Liverpool show we wanted to go back, to do an outdoor show.
"We played at Castlefields in Manchester the other week and that was just magic.
"This is another show right in the middle of a major city.
"When you're doing something, like that, like this festival, you feel that you are the big thing that night, you are the big event in a massive city."
Known best for hits such as Sit Down, Laid and Tomorrow, James have more than 30-years of material to choose from.
And Saul insists the bands rebellious streak means fans are always in for a fresh experience.
He said: ""Some bands will tour a set, we won't play that game - it's probably why we're not as big as we could have been, but it's just not us.
"You won't see two James shows that are the same.
"You should see the arguments in the dressing room before we go on when we're picking what we want to play.
"There's a lot to go at.
"In between the show now we're working on the 15th album, that's what we're doing now.
"And we don't mind doing new things.
"We tried out a new song in Manchester. I don't think we really knew what we were doing, we were so nervous.
"But that's James.
"I think our audiences want to be challenged, but they know they'll end up hearing something they love."
James have been playing to sell-out crowds at outdoor shows this summer and Saul is grateful to see the band's music reaching new generations.
He said: "It's still mad. We were at Kew the other week, doing a show there.
"When we played Sometimes it went mental, there were 8,000 people singing back at us.
"You just stand there and think, this is mad.
"And all the time there's fresh faces, people who are getting into the music now."
Spread over three stages Hope and Glory is on August 5 and 6 in Liverpool's St George's Quarter.
For tickets and details visit hopeandgloryfestival.co.uk