Line-Up

Line-up

 

HOLLY JOHNSON

HollyJohnsonHolly Johnson was the frontman, singer and principal songwriter of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the best-selling pop group of the 1980’s. Their debut single “Relax” was banned by the BBC but went on to sell 2.4 million copies in the UK alone, and was followed by hit singles “Two Tribes”, “The Power of Love” and “Welcome to the Pleasuredome”. A controversial, conceptual and iconoclastic band noted for their visual imagery, material and openly gay members.

After leaving the group in 1987 Holly went on to sell over a million singles throughout Europe and had a Platinum selling album “BLAST” on MCA records in 1989. Two further albums “Hallelujah (the remix album)” and “Dreams That Money Can’t Buy” followed.

In 1993 Holly made public his HIV positive status and spent the next decade painting and writing songs in his home studio until releasing the album “Soulstream” on his own PLEASUREDOME label in 1999. Further study at the Royal College Of Art 2001-2004 brought him full circle after exhibiting in Tate Liverpool and The Royal Academy of Art at the invitation of Sir Peter Blake.

Since 2011 he has been performing at Summer Festivals and more recently toured with his new album “Europa” in the UK and Germany.

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KIM WILDE

KimWildeKim Wilde was born in Chiswick, West London to legendary 1950’s British Rock’n’Roll singer, Marty Wilde, and his wife Joyce – a member of the singing group, The Vernons Girls. Her first single release, ‘Kids In America’ in 1981, was a worldwide hit paving the way for a recording career which has so far yielded twelve studio albums and in excess of thirty singles, bringing success in every major record market and sales of 10 million and 20 million respectively.

Single successes included ‘Chequered Love’, ‘Water On Glass’, ‘Cambodia’, ‘View From A Bridge’, ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ – a worldwide success and a number one in the USA – ‘Another Step (Closer To You)’ (a duet with Junior Giscombe), ‘You Came’, ‘Never Trust A Stranger’ and ‘Four Letter Word’.

In 1983 Kim was voted Best British Female Singer at the BPI Awards, while “live” highlights include performing to over 2 million people on a five month European stadium tour with Michael Jackson in 1988, and supporting David Bowie across Europe on his 1990 Greatest Hits Stadium Tour.

A sabbatical from the music industry – prompted by marriage and motherhood – gave Kim’s passion for horticulture an opportunity to ‘blossom’, leading to the publication of two books (‘Gardening With Children’ and ‘The First Time Gardener’), numerous gardening columns and yielded a Gold Medal and Best in Show in 2005 at The Chelsea Flower Show

After a huge hit duet single with the German vocalist, Nena, in 2003 Kim was encouraged to make a new solo album and, having signed to EMI Germany in 2005, she enjoyed a Top 20 Album (‘Never Say Never’) and single (‘You Came 2006’) in the summer of 2006.

In 2007 she took this project “on the road”, performing over 50 live concerts – including two solo tours – with dates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark and numerous Festival appearances across Europe. In December 2008 Kim appeared alongside Robin Gibb, Tears For Fears and 10cc – with a 40 piece orchestra and the Angels of Harlem Gospel Choir – in 20 arena shows for the annual ‘Night Of The Proms’ tour in Germany, and she completed another solo European Tour in April 2009.

In September 2008 Kim was signed up by the UK’s number one London commercial radio station, Magic 105.4; five years later she still presents a weekly show, “Secret Songs” every Sunday from 10am-2pm.

Kim’s first album of entirely new and original recordings in 15 years, ‘Come Out & Play’, was released across Continental Europe in September 2010 and attained Top Ten status in Germany and Switzerland and the ‘Come Out & Play Live’ Tour performed to packed houses in February-March 2011.

A new album, ‘Snapshots’, comprising cover versions of Kim’s favourite songs from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and noughties was released in late 2011. Again a Top 20 album, Kim took the ‘Snapshots & Greatest Hits’ show on the road in 2012.

2013 saw the re- packaging and re-release of a collector’s bonus edition of Kim’s biggest-selling album, ‘Close’ – which celebrated it’s 25th Birthday earlier that year – and the year ended with the release of album number thirteen; ‘Wilde Winter Songbook’ is a collection of Christmas classics plus brand new original seasonal songs.

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JIMMY SOMERVILLE

JimmySomervilleThe unmistakable voice of Bronski Beat and The Communards, featured on massive hits such as ‘Smalltown Boy’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ – it can be none other than Jimmy Somerville.

Bronski Beat not only introduced the world to Jimmy’s unique voice, their debut smash hit ‘Smalltown Boy’ tackled pertinent social issues with it’s lyric addressing the isolation and rejection felt by a provincial gay youth forced into leaving town. Although not the first pop song to deal with this topic, Bronski Beat’s chart friendly early 80’s electronic dance sound and the everyday ordinariness and honesty of the three performers, made ‘Smalltown Boy’ the biggest record about gay issues there’d ever been.

Jimmy’s next band The Communards enjoyed a string of hits from their two hit albums ‘Communards’ (1986) and ‘Red’ (1987). One moment the Communards were hurtling to the number one spot – a position they held for weeks in the UK in 1986 – with their energetic, hedonistic cover version of the Philly soul classic ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, the next stunning audiences into silent awe with their touching lament for a loved one lost to AIDS, ‘For A Friend’.

1989 saw Jimmy embark on a solo career with 5 more hit singles and two albums; ‘Read My Lips’ (1989) and ‘The Singles Collection’ (1990). These included a stirring cover of Sylvester’s disco anthem ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’.

Jimmy’s continued outspokenness on gay issues didn’t prevent his records being played and selling in huge quantities. His honesty as a gay performer almost certainly helped to pave the way for his success.

The album ‘Dare To Love’, released in June 1995, is a typical rollercoaster mix of upbeat pop dance numbers and more serious songs exploring gay issues. ‘Heartbeat’, the first single from ‘Dare To Love’ went to number one in the USA dance chart, and The E-Smoove and Armand Van Heldon mixes are still being played in clubs. Spring 1997 saw Jimmy release a single from ‘Dare To Love’ on various European labels entitled ‘Safe’. Remixed by Todd Terry and DJ Tonka, it reached no. 1 in the Spanish charts and was played across Europe.

Having left London Records, Jimmy signed a new deal with Gut Records and the single ‘Dark Sky’ was released in late 1997. The following album ‘Manage The Damage’ followed in 1999, produced by Ash Howes and co-written with friend Sally Herbert; which included the singles ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Something To Live For’.

The new millennium saw Jimmy release a new version of Bronski Beat’s ‘Why (Almighty Mixes)’ in 2000 through Almighty Records in the UK. The CD also included a version of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ which featured on the Queer As Folk 2 soundtrack for the Channel 4 TV Series. Warners also released a new compilation ‘The Very Best Of Jimmy Somerville, Bronski Beat and The Communards’ in the same year.

Jimmy’s next solo album entitled ‘Home Again’ (2004) featured collaborations with Rosenstolz / Felix Gauder / Mauro Picotto / Rolf Elmer (Jam n Spoon) and Tillmann Uhrmacher was released on Jinx Music / BMG (Germany).

2009 saw the 25th anniversary of the release of ‘Smalltown Boy’, and was marked by the release of Jimmy’s fifth solo album ‘Suddenly Last Summer’, which was inspired by and recorded on a trip to Australia in 2006. The album features his unique acoustic interpretation of some classic songs including ‘Sweet Unknown’, ‘Hush’ and ‘Hanging On The Telephone’. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ was re-released on a limited edition CD/DVD via Cherry Red Records / Strike Force Entertainment in April 2010, featuring bonus tracks and two videos from the album in special packaging.

A new EP of contemporary electronica followed in 2011, Jimmy’s first new material for 5 years. Collaborating with long-term producer and friend John Winfield, Jimmy emerged with his freshest material in years and the freedom to co-produce was evident in the results. The EP consisted of 4 new original tracks penned by Jimmy and John and to compliment these tracks the EP features 4 great remixes from Robert Dietz, Thomas Schumacher, Julien Chaptal and Felix Gauder.

Jimmy took to the road in the summer of 2011 on the Here And Now 10th Anniversary UK arena tour, alongside other artists including: Boy George, Jason Donovan, Belinda Carlisle, Midge Ure, A Flock Of Seagulls and Pepsi & Shirlie. A darker second EP entitled Momentum was released to coincide with the tour. Featuring 5 new original tracks plus 2 remixes, the title and striking artwork of ‘Momentum’ were a response to the darker, fluid flow of production conjured by this new body of work.

‘Solent’, the third and final EP from this trilogy, was released in May 2012. This collection of glitzy electro-pop was both an homage to the dance music of Jimmy’s youth and a showcase of his seriously contemporary yet timeless sound. Featuring remixes from Fred Falke, Siriusmo, John Winfield and Felix Gauder, it was the perfect summer soundtrack.

Special double-CD fan editions of Bronski Beat’s classic album ‘Age Of Consent’, along with both Communards albums (‘Communards’ and ‘Red’) and Jimmy’s solo albums ‘Read My Lips’ and ‘Dare To Love’, were released in July 2012 on Edsel/Demon featuring rarities never before available on CD and sleeve notes based on recent interviews with Jimmy.

2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the release of ‘Smalltown Boy’, for which he recorded the haunting Reprise version, released in June.

Famous for re-making disco classics as his own – ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’, ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’, ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ and I Feel Love to name but a few – ‘Homage’ was a logical next step in Somerville’s career, one at which he can only excel considering his background, passion and undisputed vocal talent. The album is due for release on March 6th, and features a truly vintage feel enriched by his incredible vocals.

Two teaser tracks – ‘Back To Me’ and ‘Travesty’ – were digitally released last year, providing a tantalising taste of the forthcoming album. 30 years after he burst onto the scene with Smalltown Boy, Jimmy now takes us on joyous musical journey to where his love for music started; bringing to it his unmistakable vocals and unique talent.

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TIFFANY

TiffanyOnce upon a time in the 80s a little girl in Norwalk CA, had dreams of becoming a Country singer. She started singing the songs of her favourite country artists Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Emmylou Harris. By age 9 she was performing with her own band. The following year she was discovered by Legendary Country music songwriters Hoyt and Mae Axton, who first brought Tiffany to Music City, Nashville TN. She opened for Country Stars and performed on Various Nashville TV Shows. Unfortunately, labels were not interested in signing the young singer because of her age.

She returned to Los Angeles, and within 4 years she began an International Pop Superstar going on to sell over 16 Million Albums. She achieved Two International #1 Hit Singles, “I Think We’re Alone Now”, and “Could’ve Been”, & continued to have chart topping success with her singles “I Saw Him Standing There”, “All This Time”, & “Radio Romance”.

After Two World Tours & achieving widespread fame, it was time for Tiffany to start a family. At age 21 she gave birth to her son Elijah and took a back seat from the music spotlight; Enjoying motherhood & family life, but also nurturing her songwriting talents.

“I wanted to write songs but I was very shy about it and needed to build my confidence in that area”. Tiffany later broke out the shyness and accomplished two critically acclaimed albums: 2000’s “The Color of Silence” (Billboard – Top Ten Best Albums of the Year) and 2007’s “Just Me”. Tiffany also had massive #1 success throughout Asia with her single “If Love is Blind”. She later released three Top 20 US Billboard Dance singles, which she co-wrote.

Tiffany moved back to Nashville with her family in 2008. “It feels great to be back, I love it here. Being part of the songwriting community is very special to me, Its truly an honor.”

In 2011 she recorded “Rose Tattoo” a country pop EP. “I’ve always wanted to do a country project that would show my love for country music. And open the door to tell stories of my earlier experiences in the music biz before i was successful in my pop career”.

Tiffany continues to write & record, and has been seen by millions of viewers on such reality TV Shows as: “Rachael Ray VS. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off” (Food Network), “Celebrity Wife Swap” (ABC), “Celebrity Fit Club” (VH1), “Celebrity Ghost Stories” (A&E), & “Food Network Challenge”. She was also invited to Headline the GMA “Good Morning America ~ Summer Concert Series”.

Tiffany also partnered with SyFy Channel, Starring in “Mega Piranha” (Highest Rated Movie of 2010) and the highly publicized “Mega Python vs Gatoroid” alongside Debbie Gibson, which was top Rated & received the most press in the history of the network!

Tiffany is very involved in the local community. She mentors young singer/songwriters, produces charity concerts for the Humane Society, and is also the Official Spokesperson for American Heart Association in Nashville. “Charities and local community needs are something I love helping with, its very fulfilling” says Tiffany.

Opening TIFFANYS BOUTIQUE in East Nashville in 2012 was a dream fulfilled. “Having a store that caters to women of all sizes, all ages, and from all walks of life, was very important to me”. She has poured her heart and soul into finding pieces from all around the world, as well as working with local designers and reworking vintage pieces.

Tiffany continues to Tour the world, from night clubs to festivals…from Nashville to Singapore… Tiffany is a power house and multi talented artist.

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ABC

ABCABC has enjoyed a glittering career to date. Very definitely one of a number of groups who came along and kick-started the Eighties with their own brand of pop for a ‘new decade’. On it’s release in May 1982 their debut album “The Lexicon of Love” crashed straight into the UK album charts at number one. Showcasing the hits songs “Tears Are Not Enough”, ‘”Poison Arrow”, “The Look Of Love” and “All Of My Heart”. A ground-breaking collection of modern love songs. With a majestic production from the legendary Trevor Horn it remains a classic to this day. Voted by many as the best British album of the decade.

ABC’s second album “Beauty Stab” was a very different proposition to the polished beauty of “The Lexicon of Love” and spawned the hits “That Was Then But This Is Now” and “SOS”. It developed a much rawer hard-edged sound. These were protest songs from a band that was constantly evolving.

This was followed in 1984 by the album “How To Be A Zillionaire”. ABC again conquered American audiences with a series of devastating club mixes and pre Gorillaz animated cartoons. “How To Be A Millionaire”, “Be Near Me”, alongside “Vanity Kills” and “Ocean Blue” were all Billboard dance chart number ones. The emphasis here was unashamedly electronic.

“Alphabet City” was co produced by Chic’s Bernard Edwards. By the summer of 1987 the worldwide hit “When Smokey Sings” had powered its way toward the top of the American charts. Representing a return to luxuriant soul, along side the songs “The Night You Murdered Love” and “King Without A Crown”. Capturing the cosmopolitan feel of the moment, ABC’s fourth album is both urban and chic. Heavy MTV rotation and an appearance on legendary show Soul Train cemented even greater success in the U.S.A for the band.

In 1991 ABC began work on an ambitious soul pop extravaganza “Abracadabra”. Releasing “Love Conquers All” and the BlackBox mixed “Say It” the following year.

The nineties saw the release of “The Lexicon of Live”. No prizes for guessing that it is a live album that showcases ABC on stage. A band that could deliver in the recording studio could clearly do the same in front of an audience.

“Skyscraping” in 1997 represented a tour de force of gilt edged ABC. “Stranger Things” and “Only The Best Will Do” embrace Glam inspired rock and roll. Collaborating with artists as diverse as King Britt in Philadelphia and David Arnold in London, ABC continue to experiment and entertain.

In April 2008 ABC released their first studio album in over 10 years. “Traffic” was a collaboration between Martin Fry, David Palmer (who had been in ABC during “The Lexicon of Love”) and Chuck Kentis. The magnificent first single “The Very First Time “ was a massive hit on BBC Radio 2, with the follow up “Love Is Strong” demonstrating that even now 26 years on from “The Lexicon Of Love”, Martin Fry’s song-writing, stage craft and musicianship is still as contemporary as it was in the beginning.

It may be twenty seven years since “The Lexicon Of Love”, but ABC audiences and the press all say that the energy and the vocals of the band today easily match what they put out back in the 80’s , giving audiences worldwide a great night of music and entertainment.

Whether performing as a band, or performing with an Orchestra Martin Fry is the consummate show-man.

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GO WEST

gowestPeter Cox met Richard Drummie in 1974 and played him a demo tape. Richard liked what he heard and so began their continuing friendship and collaboration. In 1982 they signed a publishing deal as songwriters ‘Cox and Drummie’. They approached several record companies without success, but with the help of manager John Glover they secured some studio time and recorded their first two singles ‘We Close Our Eyes’ and ‘Call Me’ and renamed themselves Go West. Within a matter of days of completion of these tracks, John was negotiating with Chrysalis Records and Go West finally had a record deal.

‘We Close Our Eyes’ was released in the spring of 1985. It reached number 5 in the UK charts and became a top 10 hit in the USA. This success was followed by three further UK top 10 hits – ‘Call Me’, ‘Goodbye Girl’ and ‘Don’t Look Down’. The album ‘Go West’ sold 1.5 million copies worldwide and remained on the UK chart for 83 weeks, establishing them as one of the greatest songwriting duos to emerge in the 80’s. In 1986 they won the BRIT Award for ‘Best British Newcomer’ – the one BRIT which is decided by the listening public.

In 1992 their third album ‘Indian Summer’ was released. Written and recorded in California, it further justified legendary producer Arif Mardin’s early description of Go West as ‘modern Motown’. ‘Indian Summer’ included the single ‘King Of Wishful Thinking’, the opening song in the hugely successful film ‘Pretty Woman’. The film’s soundtrack has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. ‘King Of Wishful Thinking’ received ASCAP awards in 1991 and 1992 as one of the most played songs on American radio. ‘Faithful’, the second single from the album, received similar BMI Awards in 1992 and 1993.

Following Peter’s success on the TV series ‘Reborn In The USA’ he, Go West and Tony Hadley performed together on a 60 date UK tour in 2004.

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MIDGE URE

Midge-UreAn artist who has received Ivor Novello, Grammy and BASCAP awards along with a flotilla of gold and platinum records, really needs no introduction.

Musical success is seldom measured in time spans of more than a few years so the fact that by the time Midge’s single “If I Was” went to number one in 1985 he had already crammed several musical lifetimes into a 10-year professional career speaks volumes – Slik, The Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy, Visage, Ultravox and of course the most famous one off group in musical history Band Aid had be then all had the guiding hand of his musical navigation.

Ultravox was a major influence on the new romantic and electro-pop movements of the early 80s and many an open-minded studio and bedroom experimentalist since. Their successful trademark was combining Midge’s powerful guitar riffs with sweeping synthesiser motifs, enigmatic imagery and state-of-the-art visuals. Throughout the first half of the 80s, they brilliantly combined the responsibilities of top 10 chartmakers and innovative style-makers.

Then came November 25, 1984, a historic day for Midge and all of pop music, as 36 artists by the collective name Band Aid gathered at SARM Studios in West London under Ure’s production. They recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” a song he had just written with Bob Geldof as the industry’s heartfelt and eloquent contribution to Ethiopian famine relief. 600,000 copies sold in its first week in the UK alone was only the beginning: 800,000 more were bought in the second week, more than three million world-wide, and the unstoppable emotion engendered by the project led to Live Aid, the summer 1985 global concert that, all exaggeration aside, spoke for a generation.

As summer 2016 beckons, it’s business as usual in camp Ure . . . which means busy busy busy!

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NICK HEYWARD

NickHeywardWhen Haircut 100 burst energetically onto the pop scene in 1980 with their bright and innovative sound, Nick Heyward was the boy that every girl wanted to see.

Haircut 100 became as well-known for the preppie outfits they wore as much as MTV bubblegum like Love Plus One and Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl), two of the most endearing songs of the ’80s. Both singles hit the Top Ten in Britain in 1982. Other hits included Fantastic Day, Nobody’s Fool and Prime Time.

Nick Heyward (vocals, guitar) left Haircut 100 just when they were cruising through the pop charts in the U.K. Instead of destroying his career, the move actually provided him with more artistic credibility. Once on his own, Heyward’s work lost much of Haircut 100’s teen gloss; the music was still catchy, but the lyrics were more adult and introspective, as displayed on tracks like Whistle Down the Wind from his 1983 solo debut North of a Miracle. Other tracks from Nick’s solo days included Take That Situation, Warning Sign and Blue Hat for a Blue Day. In 1994, the Beatles-like Kite on From Monday to Sunday was a smash hit on American modern rock stations.

Hearing his music on the radio still makes the sun shine so, when Nick takes the stage at Lets Rock Birmingham! prepare to be up-lifted.

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FIVE STAR

FiveStarFive Star have come a long way since their humble beginnings in a small village on the outskirts of London called Romford.

Renowned as Britain’s answer to the Jackson Five, with their dynamic sound and fabulous dance routines, they rocked the British and US Pop Charts in the 80s. The Pearson siblings burst onto the scene with the name Five Star, a name created by their father Buster Pearson in 1983, performing a sizzling rendition of a demo, their father originally intended to record with another group.

After performing a song entitled Problematic for the BBC, the group signed with a major label TENT/RCA and released their 1985 debut album Luxury of Life and the rest is, as they say, pop history. Five Star, scored a total of six top 10 singles and with their number one album in the UK Silk & Steel breaking Michael Jackson’s record by becoming the youngest group ever to top the British charts, and also the first black group to top the UK charts in 1987. Five Star, were named “Best British Group” by the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) the British equivalent to the American Grammys.

Five Star have sold over 10 million albums around the world without ever having toured outside the UK on Tent Records, distributed by RCA and then later Epic Records. Luxury Of Life reached the UK top 5 and sold over one million copies, and went gold in the USA on the strength of the top 20 British smash, the Grammy Nominated single All Fall Down/First Avenue.
Five Star have been performing together for 30 years, with 32 top 100 hits on the Tent Records label. The group was launched under the direction and guidance of their father/manager Buster Pearson, a renowned Pop/R&B musician who played with Wilson Pickett, Muddy Waters, Desmond Decker and Jimmy Cliff. To those that remember Buster, they only knew him as Five Star’s manager, but to the band, he was (and is) much, much more.

Buster tragically passed away in 2012 and Five Star would like to dedicate the following to him:

“For almost 30 years we had the honour of working with our Dad and learning so much from him. He taught us that hard work gets you everything, that you must love what you do, and be the best at what you choose. Because of him, Five Star was first class. We strived for perfection and had phenomenal success with the guidance, love and belief from our father. Daddy, you were always first class and the best Dad we all could have hoped for. Because of you, our dreams came true and and your legacy will always live on. We went out to conquer the world and that is what we did and we know you were so proud. You, our darling Daddy, are truly and deeply missed, but Never forgotten. Rock on in heaven – you’re a true legend! All our love, always and forever, your children Sted, Doris, Lorraine, Deniece and Del.”

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ALTERED IMAGES

alteredimagesThe singer and actress Clare Grogan started her 30 year long career as a schoolgirl popster in her band Altered Images. By day she was studying for her A levels and at night she was touring with Siouxsie And The Banshees, playing festivals alongside Echo And The Bunnymen, The Human League, U2 and recording sessions for the legendary DJ, John Peel.

Altered Images quickly had worldwide success, selling millions of records, which topped the charts in several countries. They recorded 3 Top 10 Albums – “Happy Birthday”, “Pinky Blue” and “Bite”. They had 6 Top Ten Singles working with world famous producers – Martin Rushent, Tony Visconti and Mike Chapman. They were voted best new group at the NME awards and the same year they were invited to play at The Royal Command Performance.

After an eighteen-year gap in performing with Altered Images, Clare was persuaded to sing their hits again and continues to play in front of huge and enthusiastic crowds.

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DR AND THE MEDICS

MedicsThe Doctor (Clive Jackson, born 7 July 1961 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool), a former London-based DJ, formed the group with guitarist Steve McGuire, drummer Vom (aka Steve Ritchie), and bassist Richard Searle and female dancers and singers The Anadin Brothers in 1981. The group adopted a look inspired by both 1960s psychedelia and kabuki make-up similar to that of Kiss.

Their first single was “The Druids are Here” which was released on Whaam Records in 1982. They released no further records until 1985, although a four track EP recorded live at Alice In Wonderland, a Soho nightclub where The Doctor was house DJ, was available direct from the band. The band’s female backing singers were known collectively as The Anadin Brothers. Originally there were three Anadin Brothers, but this was soon whittled down to Wendi West and Colette Appleby.

In 1985, they signed to IRS Records and released “Happy but Twisted”, a five track 12″ EP including a cover of Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine”. This reached number 2 on the indie charts.[ This was followed by “The Miracle of the Age”, produced by Andy Partridge of XTC. Around this time the band performed a concert in a television studio in Limehouse, London which was recorded for television broadcast, although it was not shown at the time. At this concert the line-up was augmented by Roman Jugg of The Damned on keyboards and second guitar.

They scored an international hit in 1986 with their next single, a cover of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”. The single reached number one in the UK. They fared less well with subsequent singles; “Burn” and “Waterloo” (the latter of which was a cover of the ABBA hit, with Roy Wood on saxophone, backing vocals and in the video). “Burn” reached No. 29 in the UK Singles Chart and “Waterloo” peaked at No. 45.

The band released their final studio album Instant Heaven, in 1996 on their own ‘Madman’ record label.

In the early 2000s, the band’s current line-up appeared on retro-themed British TV shows such as ITV1’s Hit Me Baby One More Time, and a Top of the Pops Christmas special celebrating 50 years of the UK Singles Chart. In 2003, Jackson left the UK to live in Mexico, although frequently returned to the UK and, in June 2006, appeared on Channel 4’s Bring Back One Hit Wonders with a new line-up. Around this time they released an EP called Timewarped. In 2008, Jackson moved back to the UK.

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BROTHER BEYOND

nathanWhen the songwriters and producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known as Stock Aitken and Waterman (SAW), auctioned off their services to charity, Brother Beyond and label EMI won the auction. The first song to be released from this session was “The Harder I Try”, a number 2 hit, that was only kept off the top by the million-seller “A Groovy Kind of Love” by Phil Collins in July 1988.

Stock Aitken and Waterman wrote their follow up single, “He ain’t no competition”, which peaked at No.6 in the UK charts. Brother Beyond’s first album “Get Even” was released and became a big success selling 400’000 copies. Further singles “Be My Twin” (chart position 14) and the reworked “Can you keep a secret” (No.22), kept their success moving along with their first nationwide tour.

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