We are proud to present to you the biggest line up of artists to ever grace the Rewind Festival stage!
Artists listed below in reverse order of performance on each day
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English electronic music band formed in Wirral, Merseyside in 1978. Spawned by earlier group The Id, the outfit is composed of co-founders Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass guitar) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals), along with Martin Cooper (various instruments) and Stuart Kershaw (drums); McCluskey is the only constant member. OMD released their influential debut single, "Electricity", in 1979, and gained popularity throughout Europe with the 1980 anti-war song "Enola Gay". The band achieved broader recognition via their seminal album Architecture & Morality (1981) and its three singles, all of which were international hits. Steadily resistant to celebrity status, the group earned acclaim for their adventurous recordings, which combined sonic experimentation and atypical subject matter with musical hooks.
Although retrospectively described as a challenging masterpiece, the avant-garde Dazzle Ships (1983) eroded European support. The band embraced a more straightforward pop sound on Junk Culture (1984), while continuing to experiment via newly acquired digital samplers; this change in direction led to greater success in the United States, and yielded the 1986 hit, "If You Leave". A year after the release of The Best of OMD (1988), creative differences rendered McCluskey the only remaining member of the group as Humphreys formed spin-off band The Listening Pool. OMD would return with a new line-up and explore the dance-pop genre: Sugar Tax (1991) and its initial singles were sizeable hits. By the mid 1990s, however, electronic music had been supplanted by alternative rock, and both OMD and The Listening Pool disbanded in 1996. McCluskey later conceived girl group Atomic Kitten, for whom he served as a principal songwriter, while Humphreys performed as half of the duo Onetwo.
It has been twenty-five years since the Gipsy Kings captured the world’s imagination with their self-titled debut album—a record that became a genuine phenomenon, certified gold and platinum around the globe, introducing millions of listeners to a unique, irresistible blend of traditional flamenco styles with Western pop and Latin rhythms. Since then, the band has toured virtually non-stop, to the farthest-flung corners of the planet, and sold almost twenty million albums, all the while retaining the same line-up of virtuoso musicians.
Now the Gipsy Kings return with SAVOR FLAMENCO, their ninth studio album and first new release in six years. The project marks the first time in their storied career that the Kings have produced themselves and written all of the material. It also starts a relationship between France’s most successful musical group of all time and a new label, Knitting Factory Records.
“Music has always been a passion,” says lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo. “Even after all this time, after all these years of touring and working. It has given us so much. We have matured, we have developed in music, and it has been so good for us.”
Twenty-five years is an eternity in pop music, but the story of the Gipsy Kings reaches back much farther. Theirs is a music that extends through generations, to the sounds of their ancestors, and reflects the eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos, Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War.
The group has been fronted for 25 years by the two songwriters and producers Nicolas Reyes and Tonnino Baliardo. The father of Nicolas, Jose Reyes, formed a celebrated flamenco duo with Manitas de Plata which counted the likes of Miles Davis and Pablo Picasso among its fans. When the pair parted ways, Reyes became even more popular after starting his own band, backed up by his sons and called Los Reyes.
Martha’s voice has dominated the airwaves, and her charisma and spirit has embraced millions of people around the world. She is responsible for some of the top-selling, most recognizable pop hits of the 80s and 90s. “It’s Raining Men”, the cult pop classic, is still heard everywhere… the radio, movies, commercials, TV. “Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” was the highlight of C&C Music Factory’s career, and sold 5 1/2 million copies worldwide. Black Box’s Dreamland featured four #1 Billboard Dance singles and three Top 40 hits including “Strike It Up”, a single that continues to receives massive airplay and is still heard at every NFL and NBA game everywhere! All of the above have achieved major success and all have one common denominator – Martha Wash. She is the heart and soul of dance music. “Martha Wash “The Collection”: was released in January 1998 on Logic Records/BMG, to honor her timelessness and her renowned presence that has been instrumental in shaping popular music as we hear it today.
The highlights of Martha Wash’s career create a colorful history, telling the story of dance and pop music from the days of disco to the present. She has toured and performed with the world’s top entertainers. In addition to her work with countless superstars, and Martha’s projects with Black Box and C&C Music Factory, she was half of the magnificent duo Two Tons of Fun, which evolved into the Weather Girls with the release of “it’s Raining Men”.
“It’s Raining Men” hit BIG worldwide. “Martha Wash “The Collection” reintroduces the legendary hit, reproduced 90’s-style guest-starring larger-than-life media personality RuPaul.”Strike It Up” has also been re-recorded especially for this album. “Sweat”, which helped the duo Cole/Clivillés (C&C Music Factory) sell multi-platinum, is featured on this collection in its original form. All of these hits were turning points in pop music, bringing an underground, club flavor into the mainstream and enduring as classic radio favorites.
THE GLORY DAYS of top vocal trio Odyssey, one of the most successful soul/disco acts of their era, culminated in the early 1980’s when they topped the charts with the wry “Use It Up And Wear It Out”, scoring several other Top Ten hits in Britain and throughout the world. The sheer quality of the songs, the vocal quality of the Lopez Sisters, combined with the imaginative and high standard of production ensured that their work sounds as classy today as it did back then.
In 1976 the sisters became affiliated with the Chappell Music organization as songwriters (Lillian co-wrote the title track of the hit Broadway show “Bubblin’ Brown Sugar” for which she won a Grammy Award) and there met Sandy Linzer. A well known producer and writer, Linzer had been responsible for hits for such artists as the Four Seasons and the Toys, and was currently working with the Savannah Band, which featured August Darnell (who would later go on to huge success as Kid Creole). Linzer immediately loved Odyssey, saw their enormous potential and began writing and producing for them.
From their debut album emerged their first smash single - Native New Yorker, an international hit late in 1977. Unfortunately, Linzer and the group were unable to sustain a sizeable follow-up for over two years. It was a frustrating experience. Tony left the group and was replaced by Billy McEachern of Fayetteville, North Carolina, a former gospel singer. Additionally, Lillian’s eldest son, Steven Collazo became part of Odyssey behind the scenes, recording as a background vocalist and journeyman session musician. Luckily, the chemistry worked, but this time even better.
At one time picked by People Magazine as one of their 50 most beautiful people Roland Gift came dramatically to attention with the release of the first Fine Young Cannibals album. His high, soaring voice was immediately recognizable, his style being based both in classic soul singers and in modern techniques that provided him an edge. It was with the second FYC album four years later, however, that the band began to break internationally, with "She Drives Me Crazy" being heard everywhere, in movies, on television, on the radio.
Gift spent the earlier part of his life in Birmingham then Hull. He entered music first as a saxophonist with punk band Blue Kitchen, moving on from there to the Acrylic Victims, eventually joining Andy Cox and David Steel after the disintegration of the (English) Beat sent them in search of a vocalist.
Tiffany’s iconic number one hit single I Think We're Alone Now captured the heart of a nation and catapulted her to pop superstardom. The singer and songwriter’s latest full- length album A Million Miles was released in early 2016. Tiffany teamed with the cutting edge entertainment platform Pledge Music, which allowed fans a unique and personal look into the creation of the album. A Million Miles marks the first time Tiffany has been a co-producer on her own record. Tiffany launches her West Coast Tour in March, 2017.
The legendary pop star has earned Two #1 hit singles I Think We're Alone Now and Could’ve Been, and set the record as the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with her debut album and the youngest to have 2 back to back #1 hits. In 2000 Billboard Magazine described Tiffany’s album The Color of Silence as “thoughtful, intelligent, and full of grace” and ranked it among the “Top Ten Best Albums of the Year”. She has sold over 15 million albums to date.
After two massively successful albums and world tours, at age 21 her priorities shifted. She gave birth to her son Elijah and wanted to raise him out of the spotlight but she never stopped writing music. In 2008 the family relocated to Nashville where she became immersed in the tight knit songwriting community. The creative atmosphere brought her back to her roots as a young girl singing the songs of Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette while dreaming of becoming a country singer. At age nine she began performing with her own band and was discovered by legendary country songwriters Hoyt and Mae Axton.
The pair took ten year old Tiffany to Nashville where she opened for country stars appeared on local TV shows. This helped inspire her to create her country-pop EP Rose Tattoo, to tell the stories of her early music career before she found success in pop music.
Tiffany obtained a long and storied career in a short amount of time, and today her goal is to continue writing songs for herself and others, cementing her status in the industry as a powerhouse hit maker and go-to songwriter.
Singer/songwriter Kim Appleby was part of the sister duo ‘Mel & Kim’, two East London girls from Hackney who were loved for their cockney charm as well as their cutting edge style. In 1986 they set the charts alight with their first single ‘Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend)’ which was followed by the international hit ‘Respectable’, a number one hit in the UK and worldwide. Other singles followed, such as ‘F.L.M.’ and ‘That’s The Way It Is’ and the album F.L.M went gold, selling 3.5 million copies worldwide. Mel & Kim were also nominated for a ‘Best Newcomer’ award at The Brits.
Tragically, Mel was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle in January 1990. Kim returned as a solo artist, releasing her self-titled album, ‘Kim Appleby’ which featured the hit single, ‘Don't worry’ which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award.
Kim then decided that she wanted to take a break as an artist and concentrate purely on songwriting for other acts. As a result she spent some time in Sweden working with top songwriter ‘Anders Bagge’, co-founder of the famous ‘Murlyn Music Group’. She has also collaborated with Michael Garvin (Never Give Up On A Good Thing) as well as Shep Soloman (Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Natalie Imbruglia).
Kim now works closely with the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and has chaired the Ivor Novello Awards judges panel for ‘Best Contemporary Song’ for ten years, and previously the ‘Best Song Musically and Lyrically’ for two years. She is also deputy chair of the Ivor Novello awards committee and currently sits on the Songwriters Executive Committee at BASCA and remains a keen champion of songwriter’s rights.
In 2015, Kim met Dominic King who has composed songs for Sister Sledge, Chaka Khan, Cher, The Three Degrees and many more. Together they decided to collaborate and out of this collaboration came an album of fresh songs. The first single is due to be released in spring 2017 with an album to follow in the summer.
It was in 1983 that Howard Jones first burst upon the contemporary music scene and brought his very English song-writing and pioneering synthesizers to an unsuspecting world. Anyone who was around in the mid to late eighties will remember those high energy gigs and his first two albums Human’s Lib and Dream into Action. They lived in the higher reaches of the album charts in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Australia and many other countries in the 1984-86 period and the hits kept coming……..New Song, What is Love?, Pearl in the Shell, Hide and Seek,(which he performed at Live Aid in 1985), Like to Get to Know You Well, Look Mama, Things Can only Get Better, Everlasting Love and the quintessential No One is To Blame, which reached No.1 in the US.
Now Howard Jones has re-mastered those first two classic albums ‘Human’s Lib’ and ‘Dream into Action’ and played them both live in their entirety for the first time on November 6th 2010 at the IndigO2 in London’s O2 Arena Complex. The re-mastered albums are available as a box set with a third bonus CD of rare material from the eighties. (www.howardjones.com)
A classically trained pianist, Jones applied his technique to the early synths particularly the Roland Juno 60, the Jupiter 8 and the Moog Prodigy. He also pioneered the classic Roland 808 drum machine and the Sequential Pro-One. In the early days he was triggering sequencers live on stage whilst playing and singing, something that no one had done before.
These days he still operates on the cutting edge of today’s technology and has been one of the leading exponents of the Roland Fantom G8 and the Roland V-piano.
Jones continues to tour extensively and will be playing multiple dates and festivals in 2011 with Robbie Bronnimann on live sequencing/sampling and effects using Ableton Live and various controllers, and Jonathan Atkinson on electronic drums.
Always one to take chances, Jones continues to write great songs inspired by his Buddhist beliefs as is evident on his latest studio album ‘Ordinary Heroes’ which features a string quartet on every track and one of the best Welsh male voice choirs in the world The Morriston on the song ‘Soon You’ll Go’.
But 2011 will mark the return of one of the true eighties icons and godfathers of modern electronic dance music in full electric mode.
If you were too young the first time around it’ll be a chance to find out where all those beats and sounds came from, and if you were around it’ll bring all those memories flooding back.
First revisiting Joy Division’s seminal albums “Unknown Pleasures” back in May 2010 for a commemorative charity concert and following it each year with new albums performed live from the repertoire of Hooky's bands, New Order and Joy Division, Peter Hook & The Light have now moved through each of the albums from those bands to arrive at Factory Records "Substance" compilation albums which they are currently touring world-wide.
Hooky's dedication to his back catalogue has seen him move through “Closer”, “Still”, “Movement”, “Power Corruption & Lies”, "Low Life" and "Brotherhood" to arrive at the seminal compilations and having toured extensively with the band, The Light have come to amass some 450 shows in the seven years since their first concert
Reintroducing Hooky’s early repertoire to a host of new audiences across festivals and dates in the The Light have taken headline slots at Bestival, Primavera Sound, Benicassim, 1234, and other European and world festivals. The band have also toured Europe, North and South America, China, H Australia, New Zealand and Japan to great success and reactions from fans and critics.
The band have also begun to play festival “hybrid” sets of the well and lesser known material from both bands which they have played so far along their journey. With the band having performed every Joy Division and New Order song ever released up until “True Faith” in 1987, these sets are far from just a greatest hits but , a selection of little heard fan favourites alongside the instantly recognisable classics.
Ever since bulldozing his way onto the scene with unforgettable tracks like ‘Cuddly Toy’ and ‘Family Man’ in the late 80s, Andrew Roachford’s maverick take on music has spread far and wide. As the first artist to sign a staggering seven-album deal with Columbia Records, it heralded the beginning of something big. “Getting signed and being a black British artist gave me a sense of pride” enthuses Andrew.
Like any artist worth their salt, Andrew Roachford’s music is the result of many things. Raised in south London to West Indian parents, as a child of the 70s and 80s, it’s no wonder that his music sounds the way it does. Influenced by everyone from Al Green, Michael Jackson to David Bowie Andrew’s formative years were also spent listening to Radio One, reggae and jazz. Pinpointing the beginning of his musical career as a child he vividly remembers being mysteriously drawn from his bed to play the piano in his living room. “There was always a piano in the house and I just got up and started playing even though I’d never played before. There was something quite surreal and magical about it.” Looking at Andrew Roachford’s family history, though, it shouldn’t come as any surprise.
Born into a musical dynasty, his uncle Bill Roachford was a virtuoso saxophonist. The musical ball really started to roll however, when Andrew hit the road with his uncle. Playing gigs on the jazz circuit in those days, gave him a good grounding for things to come. “I got lucky enough to start gigging when I was about 14. I was in the middle of that whole jazz scene which was an interesting education. It taught me musically, how to listen and how to entertain. My uncle always told me that you had to give people a show.”
SOMETHING OLD… The Skids formed in 1977 in their home town of Dunfermline, Scotland by Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson, Bill Simpson & Tom Kellichan. After releasing an independent single the band were played by John Peel, supported The Clash in concert and then were signed to Virgin Records in 1978. Their first singles were ‘Sweet Surburbia’, ‘The Saints are Coming’ and ‘Into the Valley’ - the latter reaching the UK Top Ten in early 1979.
Their seminal debut album ‘Scared to Dance’; came out in 1979 and was quickly followed by two chart singles – ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Working for the Yankee Dollar’. Both singles were taken from the Bill Nelson (Be Bop Deluxe) produced second album ‘Days in Europa’. The album also featured new member Rusty Egan of Rich Kids & Visage fame after the departure of Tom Kellichan. The band released two more albums ‘The Absolute Game’ (1980) and ‘Joy’ (1981) before splitting. Stuart Adamson went on to have worldwide success with his new band Big Country.
Skids briefly reformed in 2007 to celebrate the band's 30th Anniversary with concerts in their native Scotland at T in the Park and in their hometown of Dunfermline.
Skids are: Richard Jobson, Bill Simpson, Mike Baillie, Bruce Watson & Jamie Watson.
This year sees the band preparing to undertake the ‘Last Night Of The Electrics’ tour of the UK. Francis Rossi, Andrew Bown, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, Leon Cave and Richie Malone will plug back in and bring their thunderous electric live show back to the nation’s venues once more. Packed with hits, both new and old, taken from that unbelievable back catalogue. If you love Status Quo, you need to be there; if you’ve never before seen this truly legendary act play a full full-throttle no-nonsense electric set, you need to be there!
With a career spanning four decades, and a voice instantly identifiable the world over, Bonnie is the international first lady of rock. Born in Skewen, Neath, South Wales, Tyler grew up listening to, and being influenced by, the legendary female artists of the day, especially Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.
Bonnie’s breakthrough hit was her second ever single “Lost In France” which climbed to No.9 in the UK charts. The track was then released in Europe and became a huge hit, staying in the Top Ten in Germany for over six months. “It’s A Heartache”, Bonnie’s next single was her first hit in the USA, reaching No. 3 in the Billboard chart, and was a massive hit all over the world.
The 80’s saw even greater success. A burgeoning collaboration with epic rock pioneer Jim Steinman garnered both Grammy Nomination and phenomenal international recognition with the album “Faster Than The Speed Of Night”, and multi-platinum selling power ballad “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”. Continuing their working relationship – “Holding Out For A Hero”, from the soundtrack to the film “Footloose”, proved similarly popular and has also featured in several other movies since including the Shrek series.
In the 90’s Tyler worked with “the German Simon Cowell” writer/producer Deiter Bohlen giving rise to albums including the monster German hit “Bitterblue”.
Bonnie was impacting the European market so much that in 2003 she recorded a dual-language cover of “Total Eclipse”, with French artist Kareen Antonn titled “Si demain (Turn Around)” which topped the charts in Belgium, Poland and France, the latter for ten weeks.
Both "It's a Heartache" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" are among the best-selling singles of all time, with sales in excess of six million. Bonnie’s work has earned her twoGrammy Award nominations and three Brit Award nominations, among other accolades.
Bonnie’s current album, Rocks and Honey, which was recorded in Nashville and Produced by David Huff, is now available from iTunes and amazon.co.uk.
An artist who has received Ivor Novello, Grammy, BASCAP awards along with a flotilla of gold and platinum records, really needs very little introduction. Musical success is seldom measured in time spans of more than a few years, if not Andy Warhol's often quoted "fifteen minutes", so the fact that by the time Midge's single "If I Was" went to No1 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 by then all had the guiding hand of his musical navigation.
Then you have to take account of Midge's musical directorship of a series of rock concerts for The Prince's Trust, Night of the Proms, Wicked Women for Breakthrough and in honour of Nelson Mandela; record production for Phil Lynott, Steve Harley and countless others; his video direction of memorable hits by the Fun Boy Three, Bananarama and others, or a whole swathe of landmark singles by Ultravox; TV, theatre and film music credits ranging from 'Max Headroom' to stage and big screen.
Midge appeared to the wider public in a moment of heady teen success with Slik. Their sway-along single 'Forever And Ever' took over at No.1 in the UK from Abba's 'Mamma Mia' on Valentine's Day 1976. Soon outgrowing Slik's pop dimensions, Midge was snapped up by ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock the following year for his new outfit, the Rich Kids, who charted amid an avalanche of press with a self-titled EMI single early in 1978. By 1979, with his name being added to many musicians' contact book, Ure had been asked by Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann to become the new frontman in Ultravox.
The band was a major influence on the new romantic and electro-pop movements of the early '80s. Their successful trademark was combining Midge's powerful guitar riffs with sweeping synthesiser motifs, enigmatic imagery and state-of-the-art visuals. Tracks like 'Reap the Wild Wind', 'Dancing With Tears in My Eyes', 'Love's Great Adventure' and 1981's timeless 'Vienna' were all massive hits the world over as they charted with awesome regularity, not only on single, but with seven consecutive top ten albums in just six years. Indeed, Vienna recently was voted the Nation’s favourite number 2 single of the 80’s, finally granting it a coveted Number 1 position!
Even by then, the Midge Ure story had some individual chapters, of course. He wrote and produced “Fade to Grey” for Visage in 1980, then hit the top 10 in the summer of 1982 with his first release under his own name, an atmospheric take on the Tom Rush song made famous half a dozen years earlier by the Walker Brothers, 'No Regrets'.
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.
Within months, a staggering £8 million had been raised for the starving in Africa, and Geldof said that without Ure's initial enthusiasm for the idea, not to mention his rapidly penned sketch for the single, neither Band Aid nor Live Aid could have happened.
Just two months after Live Aid, Midge was back at No.1 in Britain, this time under his own name, with 'If I Was', and by the autumn he had a No.2 solo album to accompany it, entitled 'The Gift'. Further solo albums followed with “Answers to Nothing” in 1988 and “Pure” in 1991 on BMG.
Delivered in 1994, the new 'Breathe' album was followed by further extensive touring. The Swatch campaign brought spectacular renewed international activity for the record in 1998. The album and eponymous single were subsequently in the top 20 throughout Europe for much of that year, and No.1 in Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 'Breathe' sold over half a million copies in Europe alone. Respected German composer Eberhard Schoener invited him to perform at the re-opening of the Potzdamer Platz in Berlin, in front of an estimated audience of 500,000.
Soon after Midge was busy producing and writing with and for various artists, both established and unsigned, at his studio in Bath, and writing music for films. Other duties included the 'Music for Montserrat' benefit at the Royal Albert Hall alongside Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John and Eric Clapton.
In 2005 Midge undertook both extensive acoustic tours of Germany and the UK as well as performing with the long standing "Night of the Proms" in Germany. This 21 date sell out tour of arenas saw a massive production with full orchestra and also starred Roger Daltry and Manfred Mann
He then went on to be executive producer for the Band Aid 20 single working with the likes of Paul McCartney, Joss Stone and Fran Healey.
Midge's services to both music and charity were finally recognised in the Birthday Honours list in 2005, when Midge was awarded a long overdue OBE. He also released his autobiography "If I Was" through Virgin books.
He's also received honorary doctorates from both Edinburgh and Dundee Universities, mainly in recognition for his work with Band Aid and Live 8. Midge actually managed to fit in a performance at the Edinburgh Live8 show in Murreyfield in July where he played with Eddie Izzard on piano! Surely a first!
Midge had long held an ambition to record an album of cover versions of songs that influenced him. He managed to record his own version of No Regrets in 1982, but it was to take 25 years and a change of format from LP to CD before he would record a full set of his favourite songs.
TEN was recorded in a log cabin in Eastern Canada during the long snow bound winter of 2007 - 2008 and was released again by German label Hypertension in September 2008.
The CD contains songs that influenced the teenage Ure when growing up in Glasgow in the 60s and 70s, so alongside the obvious (David Bowie) are the less obvious - The Carpenters...Lulu. These were the songs that had shaped him as a songwriter.
April 2009 saw the unthinkable happen - ULTRAVOX REFORMED and subsequently released a new album in 2012 and toured the UK and Europe culminating in the band being Special Guests of Simple Minds on their UK arena tour, ending at a sold out show at the O2 Arena, London.
Even with huge amounts of Ultravox activity, Midge still continued to perform in his own right, including tours of Australia and the US in 2013. The US tour was recorded and released as “Live in Chicago”. He also recorded an updated audio version of his autobiography “If I Was” and as someone who always enjoys pushing the boundaries of technology, this was released on flash drive in 2014. His radio work with Trevor Dann has also received a pat on the back with prestigious gold & silver New York Awards.
Fragile was released in 2014 and was a return to his progressive synth roots with soaring melodies and introspective lyrics. With collaborations by Schiller and Moby,was playlisted by Radio 2 for 3 consecutive weeks.
2015, being the 20th anniversary of Breathe being completed, Midge decided to perform the album in it’s entirety for the first time. Ably accompanied by the boys from The India Electric Company, who had caught Midge’s attention at a show in 2013, the songs took on a new dimension and the show was a total success both with the critics and audiences throughout the UK and Europe. A live CD of the show was released by Oblivion/SPV.
Midge enjoyed playing with Joe and Cole so much that it seemed a natural progression to continue the format into 2016 with the Something from Everything tour, that went to Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Ireland as well as the UK.
"I really enjoyed playing Breathe in it's entirety and there were some surprising successes! Album, tracks that I didn't really expect people to be aware of became the stars of the show, and this started me thinking about revisiting some older material that I never envisaged playing again as well as a raft of hits. Then I decided it would be a fun idea to play something from every album I have recorded right from the Rich Kids, via Visage and Ultravox, to my latest solo album, Fragile"
Britain’s Best Part Time Band was a series filmed and aired by the BBC during 2016, which Midge co-hosted with comedian Rhod Gilbert. He also started work on re-recording his classic hits rearranged for a live orchestra which is due to be released by BMG later this year.
Now it's time to go back to the electronic roots.
Time to lay down the acoustic setup and reunite with the synthesisers and electric guitars.
"I want to revisit some material that I've not really been able to perform with the recent acoustic line up, so you can expect to hear songs that haven't been aired for a while as well as the classics and a couple of surprises! I've really enjoyed touring with a band and now I want to expand back to a four piece and return to a more electronic based format"
Heaven 17, please remember, were not even intended to be a group. In the beginning was the British Electric Foundation, or B.E.F., for short. Born out of the collapse of the original Human League, and the brainchild of Martyn Ware, that band’s leader, B.E.F. was less a record label, as a portfolio of future musical projects of which Heaven 17 would be just one. Ian Craig Marsh, co-founder of the Human League, would join Ware along with Glenn Gregory as lead vocalist the man who would have been the original Human League singer had he not been unavailable.
B.E.F. would produce the now iconic Music For Stowaways, and Music Of Quality and Distinction 1, and provided a template that subsequent artists would use from The Assembly in the Eighties, Electronic in the Nineties, and most recently, the Damon Alban and Jamie Hewlett project, Gorillaz. But its Heaven 17 which would endure and help shape the future of modern music for over thirty years. Their first album, Penthouse And Pavement, is, and remains, a modern classic.
A defining feature of Heaven 17 was their total artistic control over their music. Whereas the sound and the success of the Human League’s Dare was very much a collaboration between the band and Martin Rushent, Heaven 17 were performers, writers and designers creating not just their own music but every aspect of the music’s presentation and packaging.
Heaven 17 and B.E.F. were unique and completely radical. Simultaneously, a critique and a postmodern embodiment of early-Eighties corporatism, they were too clever by half for many who didn’t get the joke. B.E.F., and Heaven 17 made it all into a straight-faced spoof of oppressive and unimaginative corporate industry, by creating one based on fun and intelligence’, says John Foxx, another electro pioneer of the Eighties:
One of the most unique, genre defining and flamboyant soul groups of the past three decades Imagination will return on 7 October 2013 with Flashback: The Very Best of Imagination via Sony Music. Featuring 13 uplifting soul classics that helped cement Imagination’s dominance of the charts in the early 1980’s, the album also contains two brilliant new Imagination tracks, the first recorded as Imagination in over 25 years.
From the very opening bars of the oozing soul of ‘Body Talk’ through the sparkling and uplifting ‘Flashback’ and ‘Just An Illusion’, Imagination presented perfect pop songs for a more daring and experimental age. As lead singer and co-songwriter Leee John dressed in gold lame crawled his way on all fours, through the audience, and onto the Top Of The Pops stage, he secured Imagination’s position as essential 80’s crossover soul-dance hit-makers and influencers for future generations of pop stars.
Over the years, Leee John, the North London soulboy-made-good has created an impressive inventory of top-drawer projects as solo artist, songwriter and performer. However, for the release of Flashback: The Very Best of Imagination, he has returned to his roots, adding to the Imagination legacy of ‘Music and Lights’ and ‘In and Out of Love’ with the first new Imagination tracks for 25 years, bringing the story full circle. Ably demonstrating John’s rare vocal versatility, ‘The Truth’ is a bold and romantic ballad with gospel overtones, while ‘Krash (All Nite Long)’ echoes the vibe of Imagination’s hedonistic heyday.
Leee John is one of the hardest working men in music, touring both as Imagination and as Leee John dipping into the pop and jazz pool, he has his own radio show, has recorded songs for charity and is currently producing Flashback, a film of the history of British black music for which more than 80 interviews are already in the can, including Beverley Knight, Eddy Grant, Trevor Nelson, Omar, Geno Washington, Shalamar’s Jeffrey Daniels, Boney M’s Bobby Farrell and Ruby Turner.
WENDY JAMES, born in London, is an English singer-songwriter notable for her work with band Transvision Vamp, collaboration with Elvis Costello, Solo work and further collaboration with James Williamson from Iggy & the Stooges, Lenny Kaye from The Patti Smith Group and James Sclavunos from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
Once famously described as ‘licentious, festering reprobates’ and ‘leprous anti-establishment scumbags’ and banned from playing in their home country, it’s difficult to overestimate the shock and awe The Boomtown Rats inspired in late 70s Ireland. Fronted by “one of Irelands greatest lyricists" (Hot Press), they set out to “disrupt, disturb and question what it meant to be young in the Ireland of the mid-70s”.
Formed in 1975 in Dublin The Boomtown Rats exploded out of Ireland in ’76 and their fast, loud, furious music and their fast loud furious attitude meant they became part of the burgeoning punk scene. Singer Bob Geldof’s defiant motormouth arrogance and flagrant disrespect for authority endeared him and his band to every youth who felt weighed down by the heavy handed blandishments of church and state. In the UK The Boomtown Rats first toured with the Ramones and Talking Heads rocking and mocking the status quo alongside the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers. They became one of the biggest bands of the late 70s/80s with a string of top ten hits and platinum albums, earning them Brit Awards, Ivor Novellos and Grammy Awards. Making history as the first Irish band to have a UK no 1 hit with ‘Rat Trap’, they went on to top the charts in 32 Countries with ‘I Don't Like Mondays’ and racked up 6 era-defining albums: ‘The Boomtown Rats’ (’77), ‘A Tonic For The Troops’ (’78), ‘The Fine Art Of Surfacing’ (’79), ‘Mondo Bongo’ (’80), ‘V Deep’ (’82) and ‘In The Long Grass’ (’84).
In 1984, inspired by a TV report on the famine in Ethiopia, Bob Geldof organized the star-studded Band Aid and co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas," one of the biggest-selling singles in history. The next year he organised Live Aid. In the intervening years Geldof’s profile as a campaigning spokesman may have overshadowed his music career, but the seeds of his activism can be heard in the grooves of all those Boomtown Rats’ hits and in his heart he’s just a humble song and dance man anyway.
Says Bob: “Age,curiosity and cash prompted our interest in getting together again. Curiosity about each other and what we did together in the '70' and 80's. Curiosity about those songs that seem to have endured and the music and band that powered them. When I sang again Rat Trap, Looking After No 1, Mondays, Someone's Looking At You, Banana Republic, She's So Modern etc, there was nothing I would change. On re-hearing, on re-singing them I understood that they could have been written yesterday. The circumstances within which they were written hadn't changed. Tragically and unfortunately I could sing those words with utter conviction. This isn't nostalgia, rather perhaps a time to be angry again. Time to go back to Boomtown. If only for a short while...”
Influential and platinum-selling 2-Tone veterans The Selecter released Too Much Pressure, their debut album, in 1980 and it remains a classic touchstone for a generation of ska lovers. Mixing punk, ska and reggae it contains the irresistible hits "On My Radio", "Three Minute Hero" and "Missing Words". Too Much Pressure successfully reflected the social and political issues of the early Thatcher years in Britain and gave a voice to disaffected youth across the racial divide.
One of the most vital, visceral and important ska acts ever, The Selecter returned in 2011 fronted by the original singing duo of the female icon of the 2-tone era Pauline Black and Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson. The dynamic and impeccable duo take centre stage in what is arguably the band’s best line-up since the original one.
The band released 10 track album ‘Made In Britain’ in 2011 featuring covers of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’ and a hugely popular anti-racist ska/reggae re-working of Woody Guthrie’s ‘All You Fascists Bound To Lose’- re-invented as ‘Big In The Body- Small In The Mind’. Pauline starred in BBC4’s “Reggae Britannia” series, contributing to a 90 mins documentary and a live concert broadcast from The Barbican in London and also wrote a well-received 2-Tone memoir, ‘Black By Design’, that year which has been published by ‘Serpent’s Tail’ and released in the UK and US.
In 2013 they released another new album entitled “String Theory” to rave reviews and toured venues and festivals all over the world playing that album, including the influential Coachella [USA] festival amongst others.
2014 was The Selecter’s 35th Anniversary and not only have they have never sounded better they are also still incredibly exciting and vital. They played “Too Much Pressure” in its entirety plus a selection of other much loved Selecter tracks at tours and festivals around the world in 2014 including Glastonbury and Isle Of Wight.
2015 sees the band touring with new album “Subculture” while still playing all their classic hits live!
The 1980s were a breeding ground for new talent in the UK, with pop music experiencing a figurative renaissance period. Dance music was combining four-to-the-floor beats with pop and becoming the club scene music of choice, taking over from disco and separating itself from the ballads of acts such as Bonnie Tyler and Rod Stewart. Synthesised horns and drums were replacing their real counterparts. Fashion and image were at the forefront.
Two brothers, Patrick and Gregory Kane hailing from Coatbridge, Scotland were active in the explosion of popular culture. Greg was a classically trained pianist who had talents in numerous other instruments, and in the early 80s whilst playing in a few Scottish pop bands, he was simultaneously honing in on a sound with his brother Pat (who at the time was studying English Language, Literature and Film & Television Studies at Glasgow University) that would later become what we now know as Hue and Cry.
After shopping around for a record label (settling on the fledgling London label Circa Records) and releasing a few sleeper singles, the brothers finally hit the charts with a song from their debut album ‘Seduced and Abandoned’ entitled ‘Labour Of Love’. Musically, the song was apropos of the growing dance-pop scene, with Greg hammering a funky piano line beneath Pat’s lightning fast rap-esque vocals. Backed by synths and a huge reverb drenched snare, it retained a soulful edge which would later become part of their signature sound.
‘Labour Of Love’ hit the charts, partly with help from the band Los Lobos failure to perform on Top Of The Pops due to visa problems. Hue and Cry were brought over to fill in, generating massive exposure for them and elevating them to #6 in the charts. The song was a coded anti-Thatcherite anthem, and would become the soundtrack to the General Election campaign in 1987 Britain. Pat and Greg suddenly found themselves shot into the public eye, and opened concerts for Madonna (180,000 over three nights at Wembley), Simply Red and U2 during 1987-88.
‘Labour Of Love’ was followed by two smash hits from their second album ‘Remote’, entitled ‘Looking For Linda’ and ‘Violently’. To the delight and surprise of the Kane brothers, the band had become a commercial success, however Hue and Cry were unfortunately dropped from the label after the release of their third album Stars Crash Down, as Circa went through a shift in ownership resulting in a difference in creative outlook from the band.
Hue and Cry have never been a band governed by the expectations of their followers, so with the freedom to create without the controlling, watchful eye of a record label, the band took an experimental leap forward into the 90’s, creating a number of albums (‘Truth and Love’, ‘Showtime!’ and ‘Piano & Voice’) that infused jazz, drum 'n' bass, R&B and Nuyorican Latin-funk. Later that decade they signed to the Scottish jazz and classical record label Linn Records for their 1996 album ‘Jazz Not Jazz’ and 1999 album ‘Next Move’. These two releases turned out to be the last for Hue and Cry before an amicable split.
The year is 1986 and Glasgow band Hipsway release their self-titled debut album. After a year of solid live performance, and promotion, the album finally achieved gold status, 100,000 copies in the UK. Not quite an overnight success, but rather a slow burn, the album selling through word of mouth and the constant nag of the bands big hit single, Honeythief, playing everywhere on the radio.
So far so good, but all was not well. After a 2 month tour round Europe supporting the Eurythmics, their bass player, Johnny McElhone, leaves to form his own band, Texas. This isn’t such a problem for the band as he was quickly replaced by Edinburgh bassist, Gary Houston, who sets off for America with the boys on their 2 month tour of the states.
The band now have American management and have also garnered a top 20 hit in the states with the now ubiquitous Honythief. It seems to make perfect sense to make the follow up record in New York, which they do.
Unfortunately, their estrangement from the London record label, and the departure of their A&R man, caused problems which took so long to resolve, that the band split up in desperation to get away from them. This meant that the second album was released after the band had split up although one single, Your Love, was released before the split.
Skin (vocals) and Pim (guitar), followed their A&R man to his new label, A&M, and recorded a new album, House Called Love, under the name, Witness, and just as it was about to be released the same thing happened… their A&R man departed, leaving them with no one to fight their corner at the label, and so, another excellent album fell by the wayside.
30 years later, Cherry Red release a deluxe edition of the first album and Skin Pim, and Gary decide to play a one off anniversary show in Glasgow, it sells out in 2 days. As luck would have it the concert hall they are playing, ABC Glasgow, has a cancellation for the night before their gig and ask if the band want to play an extra show, which duly sells out in 4 days. The warm up show in Edinburgh sells out through social media and word of mouth.
The strength of feeling and warmth from the fans to the band is rewarded with three great shows, many people saying it was their favourite gig of 2016. The reaction has prompted Skin and Pim to begin writing together again and they hope to have some new material released by summer 2017.
Cut to February 2017 and Hipsway’s Kelvingrove bandstand show sells out it 2300 capacity in a matter of hours. They have now added two more shows in Scotland, Kilmarnock Grand Hall 11/08/17, and Party at the Palace 13/08/17, with a possible London show to come.