Serious car crash inspires Marc’s “best album yet”

Marc James

Marc James - Credit: Archant

International musician Marc James has launched his “best album yet”, which was inspired by a miraculous escape from a serious car crash.

Marc, 40, from St Albans, released the 11-track recording, Promise, last weekend.

It’s his third solo album, and is themed around a dramatic event, which Marc describes as life changing.

He said: “When I was 16, I was with my friends in a car in the college grounds and we hit a tree at 40mph. Everyone was seriously injured except me and I was able to escape and call for help.

“I found out later that there was only one fire engine that had cutting equipment and it was usually based many miles away. But that day, it was literally just driving past where we were, in the grounds of Oaklands Agricultural College, in St Albans.

“My friend lost so much blood and the doctors and firemen told us after that it was a miracle he survived. If that fire engine hadn’t been close by then he wouldn’t have got out alive. It was miraculous.”

Marc - who grew up in the Ashley Road area of the city, attending Windermere Primary School and Beaumont School - became a Christian after the crash, and is known globally for his worship music, which is sung in churches around the world.

Most Read

He became a member of St Albans Vineyard Church, where he was an assistant pastor and one of the leaders of The Burn Church – an alternative congregation made up of mainly young people from St Albans.

His earlier solo albums - Surrender and King Of Glory, King Of Grief - are part of an extensive back catalogue of recordings, which also includes session guitar and vocals work with hundreds of secular and Christian musicians, and his band Verra Cruz.

He has played with indie rock celebrity Pete Doherty and The Libertines, and speaks fondly of Pete, as he warmly recalls being “handed a wad of cash and watching him type out an invoice on an old typewriter that he carries around with him”.

Promise was recorded in Portugal over three trips and is a collaboration between well-respected musicians. It was produced by David Nuttall and Marc’s long-standing friend Brenton Brown co-wrote some songs.

Made up of all original tracks, some are reflective and contemplative and others are more for collective singing. It has been translated into Portuguese and Spanish and is expected to become an international sensation.

Marc appeared on BBC Three Counties Radio recently to promote it, playing live and recorded songs on air.

He said: “This album is the best one yet. I’m really proud of it. It was an amazing experience making it – very joyful and friendship based.”

He now lives in Bedford with his family and works as a pastor at Bedford’s Three Rivers Church.