James Yorkston & The Athletes
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About James Yorkston & The Athletes
b. Kingsbarns, Fife, Scotland. The sleepy acoustic folk stylings of the 70s cult artist Nick Drake is the prototype that UK singer-songwriter Yorkston strives for, as evidenced by his 2002 debut album, Moving Up Country. Raised in the village of Kingsbarns, Yorkston began playing music when he was only eight years old, and continued to write his own songs throughout his teenage years. When he was 17, the budding musician relocated to Edinburgh where he began playing solo acoustic shows. Additionally, around this time Yorkston played bass for a brief spell with local garage punkers Huckleberry, before returning back to his solo acoustic career.
In 2000, Yorkston sent a tape to UK disc jockey John Peel, who played one of the songs, Moving Up Country, Roaring The Gospel, on his radio show. A month-long tour supporting John Martyn followed in 2001, and with his career clearly on the upswing, Yorkston decided the time was right to assemble a full backing band. Dubbed the Athletes, the group featured Faisal Rahman (percussion), Reuben Taylor (keyboards), Holly Taylor (pipe/whistle), Doogie Paul (bass), and Wendy Chan (violin). Signed to Domino Records, in 2002 they released the four-track EP St. Patrick, as well as their debut album. Producer Kieran Hebden (Fridge, Four Tet) helped add a darker edge to the 2004 follow-up, Just Beyond The River.