James McCann grew up in a small country town in Western Australia, five hundred kilometres outside of Perth, the most remote capital city in the world. As a teenager McCann was captivated by the classic Australian punk rock sound of The Saints, X, Radio Birdman and the Celibate Rifles. By the early 1990s McCann was in Sydney, where he enjoyed a small taste of commercial attention with his band Harpoon.
In the late 1990s McCann returned to Perth, playing in Maurice Flavel’s Gutterville Splendour Six, a loose collective of like-minded musicians that included Brendan Humphries (Kill Devil Hills) and Gareth Liddiard and Rui Pereira (The Drones). Shortly after McCann formed the first incarnation of The Drones with Liddiard and Pereira.
Leaving The Drones behind, McCann’s rock’n’roll journey took him to Sydney, 3000 kilometres away on the other side of the vast Australian continent, and then south to Melbourne, the fertile home of Australian music.
With his Dirty Skirt Band, his ‘Other Band’ and more recently the New Vindictives, McCann has traversed the rock’n’roll spectrum, from dirty blues jams, to country, to abrasive 70s rock. McCann has also found time to collaborate with Spencer P Jones (Beasts of Bourbon), produced a track for the Violent Femmes , recorded with Alejandro Escovedo , sung with Nunchukka Superfly (featuring Ray Ahn and Peter Black from the Hard Ons , look out for a 2019 release with James on vocals ) , Damo Suzuki (Can), Brian Hooper (Beasts of Bourbon) and Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis). McCann has co written and had his songs covered by artists such as Garry Gray (Sacred Cowboys ‘ Diamond in the Forehead ) The Drones ( This Time ) Johnny Casino and Brad Shepherd ( Drunk and Tired )
McCann’s latest album with the New Vindictives, Gotta Lotta Move - Boom!, released on vinyl on French label Beast Records and on CD on Australian label Off the Hip, sees McCann return to the punk rock roots that inspired him as a teenager. Featuring a co-write with Penny Ikinger (I Can Control Your Mind) and a cover of Spencer P Jones’ Life in Jail, Gotta Love Move - Boom! is nine doses of punk-spiked rock’n’roll guaranteed to kick you into excitement. This is a record awash with the punk attitude of the Sex Pistols, the rhythmic brutality of Feedtime and the leather-clad rock’n’roll passion of Motörhead.
In October 2017 James McCann returned to Europe for a four-week tour that saw McCann play gigs across France and Spain. Joining him on the tour was The New Vindictives, comprising Tim Deane (Ron Peno and the Superstitions, Hired Guns) on guitar, Sam Fiddian (Mick Daley and the Corporate Raiders ) on bass and Jackson Kite on drums.
2018 saw the band play up and down the East Coast , James and band in 2019 are working on a follow up to Gotta Lotta Move – Boom!
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