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A brief history of the time Jamie Dornan was lead singer in a folk band called Sons of Jim

The rise before The Fall.

SHOWBIZ Jim Source: PA Archive/PA Images

BACK IN THE early ’00s, before his acting career had kicked into gear, Jamie Dornan was best known for his Calvin Klein modelling campaigns with Kate Moss and Eva Mendes, as well as his two-year relationship with Keira Knightley between 2003 and 2005.

But most people aren’t aware that for three years in the middle of that decade he was frontman of the band Sons of Jim, with school friend David Alexander.

Here they are performing on UTV’s ‘Kelly’ in October 2005 – their debut TV performance

Jesus, remember ‘Kelly’?

That performance – and the beginnings of the band – happened just months after Dornan and Knightley split. Here they are in their baggy jeans ’05 heyday

'The Jacket' Private Screening - The Rex cinema in Soho Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Often described as a “folk band”, Jamie told The Mirror in 2006 that the breakup influenced his songwriting for Sons of Jim:

I was intimidated by certain things that came with her fame and I began to feel out of my depth. We both realised that things just couldn’t go on like that.” Coming over all misty-eyed, Jamie sniffs: “It’s still hard to talk about it.”

SHOWBIZ Jim Source: PA Archive/PA Images

The song Only On The Outside was apparently written about Knightley, and contained the line:

I can see your fancy friends trying to steal your innocence… you’re so weak around them.


It was a tough time to be on stage for Dornan:

The song hurts so much when I sing it I’m in so much pain afterwards.

Later that year, the lads recorded this video for My Burning Sun

Those little scarves were massive in ’06.

Jamie said that it was the band that brought him to London, which eventually led to the acting career he has today:

Music allowed me to travel, allowed me to sing in different cities, and then to settle in London. That’s when I decided to try to be an actor… even if, at 20, nobody wanted me.

The band played plenty of gigs in London during their three-year stint together – even supporting KT Tunstall on a tour of the UK.

Eventually by 2008 the band had fizzled out with Jamie’s acting career taking off. But we’ll always have the pictures and music videos of a different Dornan

SHOWBIZ Jim Source: Steve Parsons/PA

SHOWBIZ Jim Source: PA Archive/PA Images

That brooding intensity… in promo form

SHOWBIZ Jim Source: Steve Parsons/PA

Take it away, lads

Source: Jamie DornanOnline/YouTube

Let’s get a reunion tour set up.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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