James King & The Lonewolves Press

Scotsman Review 18.06.15
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Celebrating the release of their debut album, ‘Lost Songs of the Confederacy’, James King & The Lonewolves take to the stage at Glasgow’s Oran Mor. Louder Than War’s Gus Ironside reviews.

Louder Than War’s Gus Ironside joined the fun patrol with James King & the Lonewolves, as the notorious Glasgow band celebrated the launch of their album ‘Lost Songs of the Confederacy’ with the help of two stellar support acts:

Oran Mor played host to the second of two album launch gigs for James King and the Lonewolves’ debut album, ‘Lost Songs of the Confederacy’, which was finally released this year three decades after the original attempt to record it with a crazed John Cale at the controls.

Due to the venue’s ludicrous 10pm curfew, opening act Roy Moller was due on not long after the doors opened at 7pm; a tough slot as very few people had arrived by then. Shortly before the Dunbar-based Outsider singer-songwriter took to the stage, Link Wray’s Rumble had been played, its menacing, ominous atmosphere setting the scene for a night of galvanising rock ‘n ‘roll.

Moller’s set was short but captivating, featuring a selection of songs from his substantial back catalogue, spiced with Moller’s trademark witty ad libs; ‘Great Wall of China’ was wryly introduced as “my biggest hit”, while ‘Captivity’, from Moller’s Edinburgh Fringe show about Lou Reed, incorporated a reference to the similarly named singer of the next act of the night, Lola In Slacks.

Roy concluded his set with an inspired cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On’, including a snippet of John Cale’s ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Orgy’. The truncated set was all too brief, yet a succinct reminder of the sublime song-writing skills and natural charisma of the man who released one of the best albums of 2014, ‘One Domino’, the recipient of a 9/10 Louder Than War review.

Next up was the best new band in Scotland, Lola In Slacks. The veteran Glasgow-based journalist and broadcaster Billy Sloan has already picked up on the massive potential of the group; the three demo songs the band have made available via Soundcloud are astonishing. Fronted by spellbinding femme fatale, Lou Reid (permanently sporting shades, just like her infamous namesake), the six-piece of crack musicians delivered an absorbing, utterly compelling set, book-ended by ‘Bisous du Mistral’ and ‘False Lines’, both tracks being featured on their three song demo. ‘Trocchi’s Canal’ was another highlight, but there were no weak songs in a set that brought to mind Tim Buckley, the Velvet Underground, John Cale and even a hint of T-Rex.

Reid’s compelling Eartha Kitt-meets-Marianne Faithfull voice was just as impressive live as it is on the demo songs, and Lesley McLaren’s skilful, perfectly-judged drumming was reminiscent of Jay Dee Daugherty’s responsive playing with the Patti Smith Group. Co-songwriter Brian McFie’s guitar playing was creative and inspired throughout, but there are no passengers in this ensemble, with Villy Karagouni, Davy Irvin and Martin Stuart Taggart all impressing on keyboards, bass and guitar respectively. The audience had filled out by this stage and Lola In Slacks were very warmly received; there was a real sense that this is a band with its own, unique identity, who, like Roy Moller, deserve to be heard by a much wider audience.

The headlining act took to the stage swiftly after Lola In Slacks, and it immediately became apparent that James King and the Lonewolves are a different beast live than on record. Opening with ‘Fly Away’, King’s scything Telecaster led their attack, with Jake Mckechan and Joe Sullivan providing sparkling counterpoint guitars, the intelligent use of different chord voicings retaining the clarity of each instrument. Following the Byrds-like opener, the Lonewolves really kicked in with the swaggering ‘While I Can’, youthful drummer Corey Little bringing bags of energy and Nick Clark’s swooping bass driving the rock ‘n’ roll heart of the band.

This band carries a lot of baggage, in terms of the endless apocryphal tales of booze, violence and generally self-destructive behaviour linked to their past, and James King himself has a reputation as a curmudgeon to rival Mark E Smith. None of this was evident as the Lonewolves barnstormed their way through an exhilarating set, exuding confidence and positivity. During an explosive ‘(Un)Happy Home’, King dropped in the opening lines from Iggy Pop’s ‘Kill City’, clearly revelling in the assured form of the 2014 Lonewolves. ‘Pretty Blue Eyes’ and ‘Texas Lullaby’ benefited greatly from the full live sound, which seemed to enhance the Television/Tom Verlaine aspects of the band. The sublime ‘Bridgeton Summer’ was another highlight, the emotional heft of the song surely hitting home for many members of the audience.

As the 10pm curfew drew close, the band burned through a closing triptych of ‘Chance I Can’t Deny’, ‘Fun Patrol’ and an emotional finale of ‘A Step Away From Home’, the deeply personal meditation on loss, mortality and the possibility of redemption which also closes ‘Lost Songs of the Confederacy’. There was no way of following that, the Lonewolves knew it and we knew it, and besides, time was up.

The Outsider poet, the Francophile bohemians and the self-proclaimed lone wolves had all played their hearts out, leaving the audience feeling that this is only the beginning, there is much more to come. Roll on 2015.
Uncut Review
VIVE LE ROCK album review by JOE WHYTE. January 2015
Vive Le Rock review

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1-94 BAR. 4.5/5. OCTOBER 2014

“Will you nail yourself on to a cross for me? Will you blow your fucking brains out with a gun for me?”

James King and the Lonewolves have a reputation that precedes them; evolving out of the Glasgow punk scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the band quickly became renowned as hard-drinking sociopaths whose mercurial live shows featured a punked-up Velvets’ approach. Curiously, their singles tended to showcase the catchy pop side of their repertoire, which die-hard fans felt was unrepresentative of the band.

Original copies of Lonewolves releases are very hard to find, even in Glasgow, so there has been a great deal of anticipation around “Lost Songs of the Confederacy”. Legend has it that the album was originally recorded in the mid-‘80s with John Cale on production duties, at the height of his alcoholic madness. A match made in Heaven perhaps, if your concept of Heaven is a spit ‘n’ sawdust bar with Buckfast tonic wine on the optics. The album was never released, as the Lonewolves’ modus operandi of assiduously burning every bridge before they crossed it proved commercially counter-productive.

In 2011, James King- better known to his friends as Jimmy- buried the hatchet with guitarist Jake Mason after a 25-year estrangement. With Joe Sullivan also shouldering guitar duties, Nick Clark on bass and the youthful Corey Little on the traps, “Lost Songs of the Confederacy” has now been re-recorded with some pivotal new tracks added and has been released by the buccaneering new Edinburgh-based label, Stereogram Recordings.

The album pitches straight in with one of the band’s best loved songs, “Fun Patrol”. Guitars shimmer and twang as Corey Little lays down a pounding New York street strut, Nick Clark’s bass explodes from the speakers and King hollers like Johnny Thunders in full Punk Dion pomp, serving up every goading couplet with maximum relish. “Fall apart with me”, King urges, echoing Iggy Pop’s edict from “1970”, “have a real fun time with me”. The fire and brimstone evangelist in the denouement of the Roger Corman sci-fi flick “The Man With the X-Ray Eyes” is brought to mind as King demands that his acolytes “rip out your eyes for me”; like Iggy in his Stooges prime, preacher man Jimmy is touting a purposeful, gleeful death trip- redemption through self-immolation.

“Fun Patrol” is a hard song to follow, but what happens next is unexpected; like Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, the album takes a dramatic left turn after that emphatic overture, shifting from hard-bitten street talk to open-hearted romanticism. It quickly becomes apparent that the Lonewolves are less an unholy conflation of The Stooges and The Heartbreakers, and more Hank Williams backed by Television at CBGB’s.

Perhaps the fact that Jimmy’s nomme de guerre is Hank’s middle name is mere serendipity, but the comparison is acute on “Over the Side”, “Fly Away” and especially the irresistible “While I Can”, which swing and swagger with the hook-laden classicism of Hank stormers like ‘Move It On Over’. Also revealing a Byrds’ influence, lead single ‘Fly Away’ even features a perfectly-judged, jaunty sax break- if only more bands today would show such knowledge and respect for the ingredients that made rock ‘n’ roll great in the first place.

King’s sharp tongue and mythologised misdemeanours posit him as a combative figure, yet the lyrical depths of these songs elucidate the image as mere surface ripples of deeper currents. While “Bridgeton Summer” initially appears to lament a lost love, the song gently reveals a more profound loss. With its tender, lachrymose guitars and deeply affecting lyrics, if this standout track doesn’t provoke an emotional response, you might want to get that cordiform lump of granite in your chest looked at. “In a perfect world, one supposes, instead of rocks there would be roses” King laments, neatly summarising the losses and disappointments of life. A stunning example of King’s songwriting at its very best.

On the up-tempo numbers, King rasps and yowls with a natural vibrato that recalls the much-missed rock ‘n’ roll legends Charlie Feathers and Lux Interior; “Even Beatles Die” is a speedball of ‘60s pop references and early Cramps’ menace, while “(Un)happy Home” is a disquieting, turbulent rocker which is sure to be a live highlight. But the real heart and soul of “Lost Songs of the Confederacy” lies in its deceptively tender moments; the closing triptych of “Pretty Blue Eyes”, “Texas Lullaby” and “A Step Away From Home” exemplifying the Hank-meets-Verlaine approach of the Lonewolves, surprisingly pretty songs which could have nestled in one of the Television frontman’s classic early solo albums.

“Texas Lullaby” was originally a Trojan horse single dating from the time when record companies were sniffing around the band, scenting commercial potential, yet it is the album closer “A Step Away From Home” which draws back the torn curtain, revealing King in the confessional, seemingly at peace with the bleak existential finale we must all face, in the belief, perhaps, that he may be reunited with lost loved ones. It’s a more explicit reiteration of a theme first broached in the sublime ‘Bridgeton Summer’, and King spells out the Hank connection as the Lonewolves conjure up a sparkling crescendo of Coney Island sea spray guitars.

It’s a transcendent spiritual which proffers a sanguine response to Hank’s final single, “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive”. When King sings “tonight I saw an angel cry, tonight I saw the light; I thought I heard my saviour call…I’m so lonesome I could cry”, suddenly we’re in the back of that Cadillac with Williams, witnessing his final moments.

Lou Reed famously, nay, heroically, asserted his belief that rock ‘n’ roll would one day exhibit the same intelligence as theatre and literature. Who would have thought that a hedonistic punk from the East End of Glasgow would have written his very own Great American Novel? But here it is, lost no more.


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Thirty five years in the making, the debut album from Glasgow’s most notorious band finally arrives. Joe Whyte approves despite the wait.

James King is something of a legend around these parts. As a teenage member (then known as Jimmy Loser) of Glasgow’s first proper punk band, The Backstabbers, he infamously informed Sounds (or maybe NME, it was waaaaaay back then) that he felt The Sex Pistols “weren’t outrageous enough” or words to that effect. As guitarist in The Fun Four (which also included future Orange Juice drummer Steven Daly) he managed to shock the local 1970s press with the lyrical content of adult annoying single “Singing In The Showers” which had more to do with Zyklon B than Imperial Leather. Incidentally, if you’ve got that single, it’s worth a small mint on a well known online auction site.

James King and the Lonewolves then existed in various line ups in the mid to late eighties and seemed to always almost be on the cusp of breaking big. At the tail end of the Postcard A&R frenzy, Allan Horne mooted them as the final signing and did eventually grab them with next venture Swampland Records. An expletive featuring appearance on the Old Grey Whistle Test seemed to herald impeding greatness but the group again seemed to run out of steam at the crucial moment. An album was demoed and tracked with John Cale at the helm but never saw the light of day for a variety of reasons.

And herein lies the tale. If one was keen to find a guide on how to royally fuck up a promising career in the music business, James King and band mates would be the perfect place to start. The tales in this city are countless. Some are apocryphal, some are true, some are fantasy but suffice to say, James King is heartily sick of hearing them. They drank, drugged and fought their way round the UK and despite the literary lyricism and classic garage guitar band sound, they’re remembered more for carnage and bad behaviour than for a live set that oozed class, menace and heartbreak in equal measure. If you want to read the aforementioned stories, a quick Google search will see you right, but for now, let’s stick to the music. Reforming a couple of years back for a memorial gig for the band’s old booking agent, it seemed that the formerly warring factions in the band had mellowed and buried the hatchet; hopes were high for more shows and a possible record. Well, it’s here, and believe me, it’s been worth the wait. Some of the songs are from the Lonewolves earlier incarnation, some are new songs and it’s all good. No. It’s all great. There have been few albums this year that have really done much for me (bar The Sea Kings debut) but this is something quite special. The Lonewolves speciality is Velvets tinged, country haunted rock and roll and Lost Songs rarely deviates from that template but it does it with style, panache and a rare energy that belies the age of these guys. Opening song Fun Patrol has been around for years (it was a single release from a post Swampland incarnation also called Fun Patrol) and served as something of a manifesto for a generation of amphetamine fueled lunacy around the city in the late eighties. “Turn up the heat cos I’m feelin’ low, been out all night on the fun patrol” summed up the party scene around Glasgow’s (pre-house music) Sub Club, Fury Murray’s and Rock Garden rather too well for most. It starts with a gorgeous vibrato guitar before scything into the songs pummeling rhythm. It’s not without it’s fragility, however, and King’s voice is part crooner, part deranged preacher man. Much of The Lonewolves material, then and now, has a real clawing paranoia to it and Fun Patrol has it oozing out of its grooves. Fly Away is another oldie and it has a lightness to it that again is at odds with the bitterness of King’s vocal. The chord sequence owes more than a little to Gene Clark but we’ll let them off with that minor indiscretion as it’s a beautiful, soaring Byrd of a tune. See what I did, there…..?

The album, as a whole, seems slightly bass heavy at times but I’m assured that this is how the band wanted it to sound. At one point in the distant past, they actually had a two bass line up that I reckon was more James King being irascible than any attempt to “find the groove” or anything equally as nasty. It does, however, tend to overpower some of the more delicate guitar, vocal and other instrumental parts and I wonder if the band will regret not remastering at some point. It’s merely a minor quibble, though, in a record that has more than enough in the songwriting (and the groups musical prowess) to endure beyond any tiny imperfections.

Even Beatles Die has some sweet backing vocal exchanges (with large nods in the direction of the Fab Four) and an excoriating guitar break that reminded me more of Johnny Thunders than John, Paul George and Ringo. There are hints of The Stooges, The Dolls, The MC5 throughout the album, as well as the more obvious Gram Parsons/Lou Reed/Americana sounding songs and it’s clear that King has absorbed everything good that has crossed his musical path over the decades.

Texas Lullaby is perhaps the central track on Lost Songs and is classic Lonewolves. Chiming, ringing guitars, tightly wound bass and King’s verging on psychotic vocal delivery frame a song that references the JFK assassination but is perhaps more about lost innocence and longing than a history lesson. It’s quite simply irresistible.

Against all the odds, James King and the Lonewolves have delivered an album three and a bit decades after the fact that actually does capture the rawness, the classicism and the sheer verve of a band who should have been massive.

Maybe this time.



At last an album I’ve been waiting thirty years for. James King and the Lonewolves were signed to Alan Horne’s Swamplands in 1984, and put out a single ‘The Angels Know’on the ill-fated successor to Postcard Records.

Front man James and lead guitarist James McKechan, however, fell out and didn’t speak for over twenty five-years, and an album, the original version of ‘Lost Songs of the Confederacy’, which was recorded with John Cale, never saw the light of day

A reunion tribute in Glasgow’s Woodend Bowling Club (which I was lucky enough to attend), following their old agent Alan Mawn’s untimely passing, brought hope of some of their songs seeing the light of day again . An EP ‘Pretty Blue Eyes’ put the band back on track, and then finally following some re-recording/mixing they have produced the long-awaited ‘Lost Songs of the Confederacy’.

Opening track ‘Fun Patrol’ is a brutal tale of undying love. Influences on this record include the Velvet Underground on ‘While I Can’, the Byrds on ‘Over the Side’ and even their old Swampland/Postcard label mate Edwyn Collins on the beautiful ‘A Step Away From Home’ . Stand out tracks for me on this great record were the awesome ballad ‘Bridgeton Summer’ and ‘Texas Lullabye’, which has shades of early Skids at their very best. A must have for fans of post punk and fine, fine songs.


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In Glasgow in the early 1980s, while most musicians were jangling merrily on their guitars and flicking their floppy fringes, a mean, snarling beast by the name of James King & the Lonewolves stalked the fringes of the scene with a menacing blend of blues, country and garage rock, always ready to go for the jugular onstage – and off.

Looking back, King feels that their reputation for chaos “was more down to impatience rather than wilful self-destruction. We wanted the money right now. We didn’t recognise that we had to compromise.”

This volatility led to a revolving door of band members, including one Craig Ferguson, who was the band’s drummer for about a year from 1982-3. He left because, as King recalls, “we were due to play a gig and he said he couldn’t do it because it was his 21st birthday. Over the years we would bump into him in clubs, and he pretended he couldn’t recognise us!”

The band were signed to Swamplands, Alan Horne’s post-Postcard label, and worked with one of their heroes, John Cale, on an album which was never released. “It was really strange for the first couple of days,” says King. “We thought he was going to the toilet but he was marching out the studio to the pub across the road. He was very homesick for his family in New York. But we did have fun times socialising with him, taking him to parks in Fulham and doing Michael Jackson dances. He has a very weird sense of humour.”

Despite acclaim and exposure, including an appearance on Whistle Test, the group disintegrated in the mid-1980s. After a lengthy hiatus, during which King went back to college, attending Strathclyde University’s music course alongside the likes of Isobel Campbell and Aztec Camera’s Campbell Owens, he has reformed the band with original guitarist Jake McKechan and Joe Sullivan of King’s post-Lonewolves outfit Fun Patrol, and is currently working on a new album of old songs.

“We don’t want to be some band who come back from the 1980s like a corpse in a coffin, painted up for people to view,” he says. “We want to be viewed as a live entity, not as a tribute act. There’s no way we can go back to the way we were when we were younger but I think we have something to offer.” And what if Ferguson wanted to rejoin? “I don’t think he could handle the wage rise!”


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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.
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.”
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MANIC POP THRILLS – JAMES KING AND THE LONEWOLVES’ Summertime Blues, Stereo, Glasgow – Friday 19th July 2013. Live Review by MIKE MELVILLE.

Rock musicians rarely lack in confidence. But backing up the talk takes more than confidence. James King has been certainly talking up the return of the Lonewolves and this is no mere bravado. Simply put, the Lonewolves are back and you need to them in your rock’n’roll life.

The Lonewolves comeback gig in May was certainly good but Friday night at Stereo blew it away – it was just on a different level. Whereas last time, the show had peaks and troughs in terms of intensity, right from the off on Friday the Lonewolves nailed it and the thirteen songs were delivered with a ferocity to match the Lonewolves in their 80’s prime.

It was genuinely one of those sets from which it’s impossible to pick highlights with songwriting and performance colliding for maximum impact. The songs that had stood out last time, such as ‘Texas Lullaby’ and ‘Fun Patrol’, were just as good this time around but the difference was that everything else was elevated to the same level.

Content wise there was only one addition to the set, but it was a significant one. ‘While I Can’ (another new one?) set a high bar for the rest of the evening which the band were more happy to maintain throughout. Otherwise the structure of the set was fairly similar although ‘Fun Patrol’ was placed as the finale. And showing the band’s increasing confidence it was an extended version complete with a mini glam rock tribute.

They may be veterans but James King and the Lonewolves are as vital as any act you’ll find in Scotland at the moment. Seek out the E.P. and future live shows

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SUNDAY MAIL. MAY 12th 2013
Leader of the Lonewolves on why band is pack in business.

There were always a million stories about James King and the Lonewolves.

Stories about booze, brawls and riots. And some of them were true.

There were other stories about the band. About bright hopes, missed opportunities and lost chances. And all of them were true.

For a couple of years in the middle of the 1980s, they were tipped for greatness.

On the front pages of the music papers, playing on TV and recording sessions for Radio 1, they were routinely hailed as the next big thing.

But it never happened and, 30 years on, as the band gather again in Glasgow for one of the year’s more unlikely comebacks, frontman James King thinks he knows why.
He said: “It was us. We blew it. We blew it big time. If a band ever wants to know how not to make it, then we’re the guys to see.”

The Lonewolves were one of a crowd of bands jostling for deals in the years after the collapse of Postcard, the city’s short lived but influential record label.

Their live shows built a loyal following but it was off stage that their exploits earned them notoriety as rumours of drunken mayhem and violence eddied around them.

King said: “Some of it was true but most was exaggerated and some was out and out fiction.”

“People will say to me, ‘I remember you did this and you did that’, and it’s rubbish but it’s been said so many times that it’s become some kind of truth.

“There was one gig at Dundee University, for example, when some of the band started fighting with the audience. People still tell me that they saw me jump from the stage, over the heads of the crowd, to clatter someone.

“But by that time I had wandered off stage and left the rest of them to it. I was backstage having a glass of wine when it was going on.

“It’s like the line in Who Shot Liberty Vallance, ‘When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.’ The London journalists would come up with their features already written.

“It didn’t matter what we said, they had already written it in their heads.”

“What’s the headline for James King and the Lonewolves? Drunken Glasgow nutcases. And that was it.”

“You’d do an interview talking about poetry or whatever and then, two weeks later, it would come out and it would be the same old stuff. But we didn’t help ourselves.”

“One gig summed it up. We had a big record company showcase in London. The Zig Zag club, Fair Friday, 1982, and every major label was on the guest list. It could not have been more important for us. And we turned up steaming drunk, literally falling off the stage drunk.”
“Our manager quit that night and, after that, we mostly managed ourselves which, given what we were like, was like putting arsonists in charge of a firework factory.”

The band did get some records out. A few singles and the critically acclaimed Texas Lullaby EP, inspired by the assassination of John F Kennedy, in 1983.

They were signed to Swampland, the successor to Postcard and a subsidiary of London Records, but an album recorded for the label was never released after the band were suddenly dropped with no warning or explanation.

King said: “Swampland was Postcard records in all but name and we had never been a Postcard type band.”

“We never really fitted into that scene. We drank in the same pubs and played in the same clubs but we were never part of it.”

The former punk known as Jimmy Loser when fronting the Fun 4 had launched the Lonewolves in 1981. They shared the same musical heroes like The Velvet Underground and Hank Williams as their Glaswegian contemporaries but few did it better thanks to King’s voice and his songs that welded classic rock’n’roll and country influences to punk attitude.

He said: “Country music was a huge influence for us. Even our name was a wee nod to Hank Williams and the Drifting Cowboys.”

Taking a break from rehearsing for the band’s comeback at the Southside Festival on Friday, King said: “We were a gang, basically. We all came from Glasgow, places like Parkhead, the Gorbals, Pollokshaws. A lot of the other bands had come into the city from towns outside.

“It’s not inverted snobbery but we felt different to them. We sounded different and we looked different.”

“I’m proud to say we never wore shorts and long socks, or Arran jumpers like Haircut 100, and we never did the apres-ski look. We can look back with our heads high because we never dressed like Butlins Redcoats.”

After the disappointments and self-inflicted damage, the band limped on but finally called it quits after a gig at Glasgow University in 1986.

King said: “In the end, most bands split for the same reason: money. It goes, then the commitment goes.”

King formed a new band, Fun Patrol, did a few tours with The Proclaimers and got another single out before the momentum faltered again. After a degree in music at Strathclyde University, King worked for a charity supporting people with learning disabilities. But a chance meeting with former Lonewolf Jake McKechan inspired talk of a reunion before they reenlisted former cohorts Nick Clark on bass and guitarist Joe Sullivan and invited on board 18 year old drummer Corey Little.

In recent months, they’ve been rehearsing and recording at Carlton Studios in Glasgow, preparing for their comeback show on Friday night.

A four song EP featuring three of their 80s songs, including Happy Home and Fun Patrol, and a new one, Pretty Blue Eyes is up on iTunes while a full album will be released in November.

King said: “That’s what this is all about, really. Getting these songs out there.

“They should have been released 30 years ago but it never happened. If the album had come out when it was meant to, we wouldn’t be back now.

“I want to put the songs out there and let people hear them the way they should have sounded.

“It feels like unfinished business.”


James King might have missed out on worldwide fame and fortune but one of his Lonewolves got there.

Craig Ferguson once kept the beat for the band before being reborn as stand up Bing Hitler, an actor and film director and then, most successfully, a top American chat show host.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1994, he worked on TV and films before, 10 years later, taking on the networked Late, Late Show, a role which has seen him tipped to take over from chat king David Letterman. But before all that, he was a punk rock drummer in Glasgow.

King said: “The first time we met was at a party at the rehearsal studio and he was hyper, cracking jokes, running around.

“A few hours later, we were like, ‘Where’s Craig?’ He was lying in a corner with a coat over him. He had his moments.

“He played on the Texas Lullaby EP but he’s not credited because he had left by then.”

“He lasted about a year until he came into the studio where we were rehearsing for gigs in London and told us he couldn’t come.”

“Then he said, ‘Is that me out of the band?’ And I said, ‘Well, you sacked yourself.’ “He probably regrets it now. He probably wakes up in the middle of the night in his mansion wondering where it all went wrong.”