WOLFMAN HASN'T LOST HIS BITE...

JAMES King and the Lonewolves – the Glasgow band famed in the 1980s for their wild gigs – are back together, and still have some bite about them.

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As outspoken frontman James proves when he explains why music could do with a shake-up.

"I looked around at bands I like, and there's good stuff like the Amazing Snakeheads, but there's all these folk-rock bands around who look like geography teachers," he says, speaking ahead of a gig at Stereo tomorrow.

"I don't get it – Mumford & Sons have a lot to answer for. I'd love Glasvegas if they can come back to what they were, as I thought that last album Euphoric Heartbreak was a complete disaster.

"I think they got a wee bit Hollywood and if they can get back to doing rock and their roots then they'll do well."

In the early 80s, after Postcard Records went bust, James and company quickly earned a reputation as Scotland's most dangerous and hotly-tipped group, with tales of brawls at gigs and bust-ups with the crowd. While some of that was true, the singer reckons the band's attempts to play up to the hype backfired on them.

"People were waiting to pounce on us, and there were people who might have gone to our concerts who'd say 'ah, this is too wild for us'. When you take the game on you try to use all that hype to get attention, but you can't cry when that goes wrong and you're saddled with the image.

"By the end of the day, we didn't care what people wrote about us. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but there is. A band like the New York Dolls got a lot of it, and what people forget is that those bands failed initially. They're revered now but they couldn't get arrested as an active band."

The Lonewolves eventually broke up in 1985, despite interest from record companies. However, after reforming to play a tribute gig for Glasgow promoter and restaurateur Allan Mawn in 2011, James and guitarist Jake McKechan decided to keep the group going as an ongoing concern.

Yet this isn't a quick nostalgia project. They've already released a double A-side single that contains new recordings of old favourites Fun Patrol and Pretty Blue Eyes, while they hope to have an album out by November.

"Some bands get together for the summer and do things like the Rewind festival, where they have no new material," says James. "The only time they speak to each other is before the gigs – they don't behave like a band!

"They're like painted corpses being wheeled out of their coffins for festivals. They play the hits and laugh at you for suggesting they should do new material."

The singer reckons his voice has held up well, too.

"My voice is actually better than it used to be," he says.

"After the band broke up I ended up going to university, and taking an honours degree at Strathclyde Uni, majoring in the voice. That's stood me in good stead. I've drunk a few beers but I've never smoked so my voice is still strong."

Despite the band's early brush with success, James is adamant he doesn't spend his time pondering what could have been.

"I've not got any regrets, you sometimes wonder 'what if', but if you get too focused on that then you end up not living in the present," he adds.

"It happened, let's move on, there's no point sitting in the corner of a bar saying 'I coulda been a contender'. Things happen, you deal with it and that's what we're doing."

l James King and the Lonewolves Stereo Tomorrow, £8, 8pm

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