Going out: James Maps a path to success

PUBLISHED: 13:25 19 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:10 11 May 2010

WE can probably all name a few bands we think should be more famous than they are. But former Mercury Prize nominee Maps is one artist who truly deserve such a label. Having made big waves with his debut album, We Can Create, in 2007, you would expect Map

WE can probably all name a few bands we think should be more famous than they are.

But former Mercury Prize nominee Maps is one artist who truly deserve such a label. Having made big waves with his debut album, We Can Create, in 2007, you would expect Maps, aka James Chapman, to be playing larger venues than the Portland Arms in Cambridge.

But fans of his distinctive electronic music will get the chance to see him perform at the intimate venue on October 29.

He will be playing tracks from his new album, Turning the Mind, and despite much speculation amongst fans, Chapman denies that the record is all about drugs.

"The whole album is about mental states, it's not all about drugs, but there are drugs on there," he said.

Indeed, with lyrics such as "With the pills and the gin, I can handle 'bout anything, but this is out of control", it seems obvious that various substances have influenced the creation of Turning the Mind. But, said the musician, a big theme in his new material is looking towards a bigger, brighter future.

"When I write the songs they're like a puzzle I have to solve," he explained. "When I listen back to them I always apply the 'shiver test'. If they make me shiver, then they're ready to record."

It is fair to say that Maps' debut album, We can Create, sent shivers down the spine of critics up and down the country.

Released in May 2007, songs such as To the Sky and You don't know her name, ensured that the record received a raft of positive reviews, and on the back of that Maps appeared at the Leeds & Reading festivals, and were nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, although they lost out to Klaxons.

Unfortunately sales of We can Create did not match the positive press it received, and Chapman will probably hoping for greater commercial success this time around.

Turning the Mind was released last month, and songs such as Let go of the Fear and Love will Come indicate a new, more electronic, edge to Maps work.

The multi-talented 30-year old is, by his own admission, "completely obsessed" with music.

"I think it's good to be obsessed with things," he said. "I love music so much - it's my life."

If you fancy seeing the fruit of that obsession for yourself, then Maps appear the Portland Arms, Mitchams Corner, Cambridge, on Thursday October 29. Melodic indie-shoegazers It Hugs Back will open the show, which begins at 8pm.

Tickets cost £8 in advance. For more information, or to book, call 01223 511 511, or visiting www.wegottickets.com/greenmind.

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