The brains behind this ‘band’ is Liverpool-born James Hughes formerly of ‘cult’ scouser band The Cherry Boys. He now lives in East London making pet sounds in his parlour after presumably choosing his stage name as a nod to sixties Tottenham beat combo ‘The Dave Clark Five’.
Significantly, there is no mention of any other musicians which suggests that the JC5 is essentially a one-man, home-produced product. James plays “all other instruments” and the only studio track is the touching and tender Mairead most probably on the grounds that it would have been tricky to fit The Haydock Brass Band and drummer Howard Minns into his kitchen.
The hooky melodies and optimistic mood of the album have a lot in common with the original Mersey Sound; a bit like Electric Light Orchestra minus the strings.
Jade and The Redemption Of Casper Green are prime examples of the mood. Both come steeped in nostalgia with generous helpings of cheap sentiment. If this was a real band they’d be a clean cut bunch with smart suits affirming to all and sundry how modern life is rubbish.
It's all harmless fun although closing with a cover of Pilot’s cheesy Just A Smile extinguishes any last vestiges of street credibility.
James Clarke Five's website