2020 sees James Litherland, probably best known as a founder member of Colosseum, back on the road again with his new band Swamp Ash.
'I love this business! I remember giving my notice in at work, determined never to do a 'proper job' again. I went straight into the newsagents across the road, bought a Melody Maker music paper and looked in the ads at the back. I saw the ad for Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum featuring Dick Heckstall-Smith. I didn’t know of Jon but I’d seen Dick and thought it would be great to audition - even if I didn’t get the job, I would learn a lot and have the chance to play with some top musicians. With the only money I had I immediately phoned the number on the advert. One week later I was living in London and was a professional musician as a member of Colosseum. I’ve never done another ‘proper’ job! A good few years later and I’m delighted to be back out gigging again with a bunch of guys who can really rock it up!
Colosseum's Valentyne Suite is undoubtably Colosseum’s most well-known album and is widely considered the band’s magnum opus. Both ‘Elegy’ and ‘Butty’s Blues’ were written by James.
James went on to form Mogul Thrash with Michael Rosen (guitar/vocals); Bill Harrison (drums); Roger Ball & Malcolm Duncan (saxophones); and John Wetton (bass).
James has also played and worked with some of the most important figures in rock music history, including George Martin, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Pete Brown (Cream Lyricist), Alexis Korner, Steve Marriott, Finbar Furey, Mick Taylor, Cliff Williams (AC/DC), Graham Broad (Roger Waters/Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings), John Wetton (King Crimson/Roxy Music/Asia) and he is, of course, the father of James Blake whose song “The Wilhelm Scream” was adapted from his own song “Where To Turn” which appears on James's ‘4th Estate’ Album.
In February 2019 James appeared with other ex Colosseum members in a tribute concert to the late Jon Hiseman. James's latest album is 'Back 'N Blue’ and he’ll be appearing with the band at venues around the UK this year to promote both the album and his new single.