James Harrison is a busy musical man. When he’s not writing, recording and performing solo or with bands Charm and Old Etiquettes he’s putting together great bills for tribute shows (Bowie, The Smiths, PJ Harvey). He’s about to release his debut solo LP Tales Surround The Lighthouse Lamp and to celebrate that he’s heading up the Hume to play a show at The Vanguard on Friday, April 8th on a superb bill that also includes The Tall Grass (Jamie Hutchings + Peter Fenton), Peg and Sam Shinazzi and Mark Moldre with full bands. Harrison kindly took the time to answer our Sonic Kicks Q&A ahead of the Sydney show this weekend.

The first album I bought…

I started off buying lots of singles as a kid that I don’t care to mention, high school was a little blurry but probably the Deftones album Adrenaline was the first. After high school the first album I bought was XO by Elliott Smith. Things really changed from there…


An album that soundtracked a relationship…

Automatically I’d say The Cure’s self-titled album. Renewing a love flame around 2004 that still remains. I think it was ranked their 2nd worst album by Stereogum but I was 19 at the time and a new fan so I loved it and still do.

An album that inspired me to form a band…

Dead Air by Heatmiser inspired me in my first band Charm. Funny how Elliott Smith inspired me to pick up both an acoustic guitar AND an electric guitar.

An album that reminds me of your high school years…

Given all the Brandon Boyd comparisons I got definitely Make Yourself by Incubus.

An album I’d love to hear live and played in full…

One of my favourite shows ever was seeing Something For Kate do their 10 year anniversary for Q&A with Dean Martin so think I’m sorted!


My favourite album cover art…

Hmmm big fan of Doubt Seeds by Bluebottle Kiss artwork. And Come Across. I’ve always loved Drive-By Truckers artwork as well.

My guilty pleasure album…

I’m a sucker for Belinda Carlisle’s greatest hits!


The last album I bought…

Had to buy The Smiths’ album The Queen Is Dead because I’d lost my old copy. (Shameless plug…I’m putting on a 30 year anniversary show for that album Friday April 29th at Corner Hotel)

The next album I want to buy…

Richmond Fontaine – You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To. I can’t wait to get my hands on their last album.



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