Rocker Toseland puts pedal to metal

Play it: James Toseland and his band, um, Toseland
Play it: James Toseland and his band, um, Toseland
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He’s already had the sort of life most blokes might be envious of: twice Superbike World Champion, married to pop goddess Katie Melua and the owner of a not inconsiderable fortune.

Now James Toseland – the Kiveton kid who became king of motorsports – is to live out yet another male fantasy: he has become the front man of a rock n roll band.

The 32-year-old, who retired from biking in 2011 after suffering a wrist injury, has written and recorded a metal album. And this Friday he goes on tour with his five-piece group – named with all the modesty of your average rock star, Toseland.

“Are we any good?” he says. “I hope so. We’re playing to 2,000 bikers in Skegness tomorrow.”

That gig is followed by dates around the country including a support slot with The Darkness in, appropriately, the Isle Of Man, and a show at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on May 29.

The new career direction isn’t as strange as might initially seem, either.

Apart from being married to one of the UK’s best selling singers, James has had musical aspirations since he took up piano aged six.

He’s played ever since – including performing at the Sports Personality Of The Year awards in 2007 – and briefly had a stint in a band called Crash.

Now, after hanging up his helmet, he’s spent 18 months penning that debut album with Toby Jepson, former front man with Eighties rockers Little Angels.

“I’ve loved doing it,” he says. “I’ve put my heart and soul into it, and I just hope people are prepared to take me seriously as a musician.

“I didn’t need to work again but I missed the adrenaline rush that racing gives you. Music is the one thing that comes close to providing that. Now I can’t wait to get out and play these songs.”

And, of course, he wants to impress Katie.

“She listened to the songs and likes them,” says the former Wales High School pupil who now lives in London. “And, believe me, she’d tell me if she didn’t. She speaks her mind.”

He’s not ruling out a future duet, either.

“I want to establish Toseland as a serious band before that,” he says. “But who knows with time? She’s coming to our first gig so for now I’d just like to do her proud.”

Music can be heard at www.toselandmusic.com

He’s doing what now?

James Toseland isn’t the first person to take an unusual career direction. So did all these chaps...

Alan Bean: The Texan astronaut was just 30-years-old when he became the fourth man to walk on the moon in 1960. Twenty years later, he decided space exploration wasn’t fulfilling enough, retired from NASA and became a full time artist. Mainly his paintings are of the, er, moon.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Austrian body-builder turned actor tuned Governor of California, Schwarzenegger’s rise to political rule was like something from a Hollywood script – until in 2011, he was kicked out of office with the worst approval ratings in America’s history. Now, acting again.

Alex James: Hell-raiser, hedonist, womaniser and the member of indie band Blur most deserving of a slap – that was Alex James in his 20s. He’s now a cheese farmer in the Cotswolds.

Seb Coe: Not content with winning two Olympic golds in the Eighties, he then orchestrated bringing the games to London in 2012.

Adolph Hitler: From struggling painter in Vienna to dictator, tyrant and starter of World War Two.