Jesse James formed in 2000 with a shared love of punk rock, soul and Irish whiskey. They wasted no time in tearing their way up to second place in Kerrang’s video chart with the release of their debut EP ‘Shoes’ on Deck Cheese Records. The video was made on a budget of £30.
Debut album 'Punk Soul Brothers’ followed, and the band toured it hard: 200 shows a year rewarded them with a fan-base large enough to justify the extravagance of recording their second album ‘Mission’ at Fat Mike from NOFX's studio in San Francisco in 2003.
They followed that up with more relentless touring, including a trip across Canada with The Planet Smashers in the middle of a harsh winter, surviving -20C weather, vindictive Mounties, onstage electrocutions, fights with lumberjacks and flooded hotel rooms.
'Dear Jesus' - a song written in despair of the neocons who started wars while praisin’ Jesus - was blacklisted by Radio 1 for being 'offensive', and music video channels declined to playlist the stop-motion animated video that depicted George W. Bush in an unfavourable light. The band’s frustration at the quiet execution of their second album led to the band taking a break to decide if they wanted to carry on. They did, and they didn’t. They released a third and final album - 'The Assassination of Jesse James’ - in 2006.
The album was well-received by critics and fans alike, and features some of the band’s finest moments. Lead single ‘Everything’ was promoted with another low-budget, high-energy video and enjoyed a heavy rotation on Topshop’s in-store music video channel, earning the band some new and nattily-dressed fans.
They played a farewell tour in 2007, and turned down every subsequent offer until now: Jesse James reformed in 2014 to play the Slam Dunk Festival. Encouraged by the response of old fans and new, the band decided to bring it all back home to London Town for a special one-night-only reunion in the capital city, which sold out.