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James work on alternative versions to allow singer to grieve at gigs

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Jul 28, 2014 | 6:44pm EDT

British rockers James have created alternative versions of new songs on their set lists for upcoming shows just in case the tunes about the death of frontman Tim Booth's mother and best friend prove too much for the star onstage. The Laid singer felt compelled to write new tracks All I'm Saying and Moving On after the double tragedy and he tells WENN he's never sure how he'll cope with the emotions the songs stir up until he's actually singing them. And after he burst into tears during a recent gig in Leeds, England, his bandmates have come up with alternative versions of the songs to allow the frontman to "gather" himself at gigs. He says, "Grief comes in waves and there are times when you're suddenly like a blubbering fool. We play it as a band where it's open-ended; they're ready for when I'm not able to sing a song like All I'm Saying, and they can go round it a few times while I gather myself. That happens now and again." Booth reveals the song was written after his late friend visited him in a dream weeks after her death, adding, "It was so vivid. It was like she was there. "I didn't make it to her when she died; I flew to New York but it was too late - and that just devastated me. I didn't get to clear something with her... That woke me up in a certain way. "I don't want to waste time now. Once you lose friends or loved ones to death, you go, 'S**t! Don't f**k around. Don't wait to kiss a person you love, don't wait to tell them you love them'." The singer admits his mother's passing in 2012 was a much more "beautiful" affair: "She was 90 and she died in my arms and she was surrounded by loved ones and she wanted to go. It was really quite beautiful. "I got to sing to her for days and then cuddle up to her and sleep with her the night before she died. It was amazing. Yes, there were tears, but it felt like a birth." Both songs appear on the group's new album La Petit Mort.

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