Former World Superbike Champion James Toseland now fronts his very own classic rock band, and the early signs are that his transition to music will be far more successful than that of your average footballer’s.
Toseland release their debut album in March via PledgeMusic, with offers including a set of James’s racing leathers and dinner with the man himself depending on how much you’re willing to Pledge.
The band also begin a string of UK dates in Wolverhampton tonight, a tour that concludes at London’s Islington Academy next Wednesday with support from Chrome Molly.
We caught up with James to find out if he happened to be partial to a spot of togger in amongst all this activity…
Are you a football fan, then?
I’ve not had too much time to follow it what with the motorcycling and then going out on the road with the band, but my friends are pretty much split down the middle supporting Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United so I keep a look out for both when I can. Unfortunately it’s not been too good a season for either!
Both have changed manager already…
Yeah, Dave Jones was sacked from Wednesday over the weekend, wasn’t he?
They’re saying Neil Warnock might get the job…
Really? I can’t see Wednesday fans accepting that, what with his United links and not having done very well at Leeds. Mind you, he is from the area so maybe he’d ‘get’ it. It would be controversial, though.
Have you been to any matches?
I went to a few Sheffield United games with friends but not for a few years now. Haven’t seen Wednesday play yet, that’s something I should do one day.
Onto your music. Would you say “Life is Beautiful” and “Renegade” give a good indication of what we can expect from the album?
Some of it, yes – there’s the classic rock influence that comes from being a Guns N’ Roses fan, but there are some power ballads on there too because I play the piano.
Indeed you do, and of course you did so at the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. What was that like?
That was an amazing experience, one of the best nights of my life, but never again! It was nerve-racking because there were people like Linford Christie, Lewis Hamilton, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson in the crowd, but I’ll never forget it.
You’ve had some cracking gigs this year – you played at Download in the summer, and more recently you’ve been on tour with Reef.
Download was only our third gig, and it was an acoustic set so that was nerve-racking too! Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses was on just afterwards, which was amazing. Slipknot were knocking about backstage too.
The Reef tour was great fun, they’re really nice guys. It’s their 20th anniversary, and they’ve still got it.
James Toseland, thank you.
Toseland play the following UK dates this month:
Wednesday 4th – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Thursday 5th – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 6th – Norfolk Planet Rockstock (in association with Planet Rock Radio)
Saturday 7th – Kendal Bootleggers
Monday 9th – Cambridge Portland Arms (Support: Chrome Molly)
Tuesday 10th – Bournemouth Old Fire Station
Wednesday 11th – London Islington Academy (Support: Chrome Molly)