“Getting Away with It (All Messed Up)” is a song by popular Indie band James. It became an unofficial themetune to their final tour in 2001. The final show with Tim Booth in December 2001 was released on DVD under the title Getting Away With It Live. The idea of surviving against the odds is an echo of James’ career as a whole. “Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)” was one of the songs on the soundtrack for the 2005 film The Big White which featured Robin Williams, Giovanni Ribisi, and Holly Hunter.
It has recently been remixed by Sean Quinn.
James are an English rock band from Manchester. They formed in 1982 and were active throughout the 1980s, but most successful during the 1990s. Their hit singles include “Sit Down” and “Laid”. Following the departure of lead singer Tim Booth in 2001, the band became inactive but re-formed in January 2007, returning for a new album and international tour.
James were formed in 1982 in Whalley Range, Manchester, when Paul Gilbertson convinced his friend Jim Glennie to buy a bass guitar and form a band with him. Their line-up solidified with the acquisition of Gavan Whelan on drums. They played a string of gigs under the names Venereal and The Diseases and, later, Volume Distortion, before settling on the name of Model Team International, then shortened to Model Team.
They performed mostly improvised material derived from jam sessions, supporting The Fall at an early gig. Vocalists and other musicians drifted rapidly in and out of their line-up, until the band encountered Tim Booth at a student disco. Gilbertson invited him to the band’s scout hut in Withington to join the band as a dancer.
After a brief period under the name Tribal Outlook, the band renamed themselves James in August 1982. A gig at The Haçienda caught the attention of Tony Wilson of Factory Records. He offered James an album deal with Factory, but the band, by now a settled live act, were worried about tarnishing their material in the studio and settled instead for a three-track EP. Their debut release, the Jimone EP, was recorded at Strawberry Studios, Stockport, in August 1983 and released on Factory Records in September. It was named single of the week by major music papers[who?] in the UK, and led to a tour supporting The Smiths.
Although they were now being touted as the ‘next big thing’, several complex issues slowed their progress. Gilbertson’s drug problems presented the band with no choice but to ask him to leave. Booth and Glennie had joined a sect named Lifewave that imposed many restrictions on their lifestyle and threatened the band’s stability. The band’s second EP, James II, was released over a year after the first and accompanied by a feature on the cover of the NME, Gilbertson having been replaced by the band’s guitar tutor Larry Gott. The first two EPs would later be collected as Village Fire. Reviews were once again positive, and Factory were eager for James to record an album with it, but the band believed Factory were purely image-based and left the label, striking a deal with Sire Records.