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Formed in 1975 in Dublin, The Boomtown Rats were once famously described as 'licentious, festering reprobates' and 'leprous anti-establishment scumbags' and banned from playing in their home country.The band played their first UK shows with the Ramones and Talking Heads and fought the punk wars alongside the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers. They were one of the biggest bands of the late '70s and '80s, and their string of top ten hits and platinum albums earned them Brit Awards, Ivor Novellos and Grammy's. They made history as the first Irish band to have a UK no 1 hit with 'Rat Trap'. The original line-up featured Garry Roberts (lead guitar), Bob Geldof (vocals), Johnnie Fingers (keyboard), Pete Briquette (bass), Gerry Cott (guitar) and Simon Crowe (drums). The original Rats broke up in 1986, but reformed in 2013, without Johnnie Fingers or Gerry Cott.
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Wet Wet Wet
80s pop sensations, Glaswegian quartet Wet Wet Wet had a meteoric rise to fame and success from humble beginnings. Renowned for their brilliant soulful ballads, perfectly hand crafted songs and exceptional live performances, the Wet's went on to sell in excess of 15 million records, enjoying three number one hit records; With a Little Help From My Friends, Goodnight Girl and Love Is All Around from the film Four Weddings And A Funeral which spent a staggering 15 weeks at the number one position. In 2018 Graeme, Tommy and Neil welcomed Kevin Simm as the new singer of Wet Wet Wet. Kevin is best known for his time in Liberty X and as winner of the 2016 series of The Voice.
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ABC were one of those groups who come along once a decade to effect a paradigm shift in the way music is heard and made, one of those groups who move the music forward, alerting us to the possibilities of strange combinations, employing radical ideas yet never confusing arrogance with ambition. They kick-started the Eighties with their own brand of pop for the new decade. Fusing dance floor finesse with a post-punk attitude they released their first single, ‘Tears Are Not Enough’, in the autumn of 1981. More hits followed in rapid succession. ‘Poison Arrow’, ‘The Look Of Love’ and ‘All Of My Heart’. On its release in May 1982 their debut album ‘The Lexicon of Love’ crashed straight into the album charts at number one. Although they continued to release more albums over the years, they eventually made an acclaimed sequel to their debut, releasing 'The Lexicon of Love II' in 2017. ABC continue to tour extensively throughout the world, playing sell-out concerts from London‘s Royal Albert Hall to California’s Hollywood Bowl. Whether performing as a band, or performing with an Orchestra, Martin Fry remains the consummate show man.
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A respectable face of eighties pop with strong feelings on animal rights and life's excesses. His catchy chart-topping tunes with erudite and meaningful lyrics have earned him a fans and respect the world over. He scored a string of worldwide hits including 'New Song', 'What Is Love?' and 'No one Is To Blame'. Best known for his synth work, Jones is also a classically trained pianist and released 3 albums in 2007, including 'Piano Solos volume 2'.
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As lead singer of Spandau Ballet, Tony Hadley has, over the years, earned the accolade of being one of pop music’s greatest vocalists. Pioneers of the '80s Romantic movement, Spandau Ballet had numerous chart topping singles and albums all over the world, the most memorable being the singles "Gold" and the international number one "True", the latter famously sampled by PM Dawn in 1991. As a solo artist in his own right who has continued entertaining audiences with his stunning rich voice that has lost none of its power. He released his first solo album back in 1992 and has continued to release albums sporadically, including a jazz/swing album and a Christmas album.
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Daughter of the evergreen Marty Wilde, Kim's debut single 'Kids In America' was released in 1980 and was a massive hit single. Kim took a break from music when she developed green fingers as a presenter on the BBC's programme 'Garden Invaders'. She later rejuvenated her singing career, with regular appearances at 80's festivals and new albums including 2013's 'Wilde Winter Songbook', a collection of Christmas and Winter-themed songs, and 2018's sci-fi themed 'Here Come The Aliens', which gave Kim her first UK Top 30 album since the early 90s.
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Sister Sledge, the original female pop act that paved the way for so many of today's girl band megastars, performing all their classic hits including We Are Family, Lost In Music and Frankie. Joni sadly passed away in March 2017, but Debbie and Kim announced they would carry on with pre arranged shows.
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Betty Boo (born Alison Clarkson) is a singer, songwriter and pop rap artist. After cutting her teeth in hip hop trio She Rockers and collaborating with The Beatmasters. Betty Boo had a string of top forty chart hits in the early '90s with her feisty beat-heavy pop and accompanying cartoonish tinsel-wrapped videos. Betty Boo went onto write songs for the likes Girls Aloud, Dannii Minogue, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor interspersed by collaborations with Alex James, The Feeling, and Jack Rokka.
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Hue & Cry
Brothers Pat and Greg Kane from Glasgow whose compositions and performances took the best of American jazz and soul and made it hip and trendy. Supporting everyone from Madonna and U2 to Ray Charles and James Brown, they set the charts alight with a string of hit singles and albums in the late 1980s.
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Formed in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1975, The Undertones became renowned for combining lyrical invention and musical flair with intelligent simplicity. Their anthemic Teenage Kicks, much loved by John Peel, was one of the most influential songs of the post-punk era. Reformed in 1999 without the influential Feargal Sharkey, they are still pumping out their classics hits with some new material.
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Then Jerico first found fame in 1986 with the release of their debut album 'First (The Sound Of Music)'. The record featured hit singles 'Muscle Deep' and 'The Motive' which remained in the UK Top 40 chart for three months, becoming the most-played record on BBC Radio 1 in 1987. The track brought Then Jerico worldwide recognition and saw them selling out headline shows along with support tours with Iggy Pop and Propaganda, amongst others. Their follow-up album, the critically acclaimed 'The Big Area', cemented their status as one of the greatest bands of the 1980s. Selling over 100,000 copies within the first 40 minutes of its release, 'The Big Area' immediately attaining Gold status and consequently reached Platinum sales.
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One of the brightest stars in the 80s new wave sky, Altered Images are best remembered for their no.1 single 'Happy Birthday'. Their bubbly lead singer Claire Grogan originally shot to fame in the film 'Gregory's Girl', then later went on to appear in 'Red Dwarf', 'EastEnders', 'Skins' and was a presenter on music station VH1. Altered Images continue to wow crowds at various 80's festivals around the country and in 2018 Cherry Red Records released a 4-CD box set of their complete recordings on the Epic label.
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American actor and singer, best known for his late 80s UK hits 'If Only I Could' and 'Sit And Wait'.
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The Gibson Brothers
Famous hits include 'Cuba'.
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Perth New Wave band, best known for their 1983 no.6 UK hit (Feels Like) Heaven.
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Fun Punk from Edward Tudor-Pole and the boys, best known for their 1981 no.6 hit 'Swords of a Thousand Men'.
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Modern Romance emerged in 1981 from the remnants of UK punk band, the Leyton Buzzards. Their initial attempts to blend in with the new romantic wave were unsuccessful, although the connections they made on the London club scene during this time were to aid their developing sound. After a second flop, they introduced Jaymes' brother Robbie on keyboards, Paul Gendler on guitar, Andy Kyriacou on drums and crucially John Du Prez on trumpet. They quickly recorded 'Everybody Salsa', which gave them their first UK Top 20 hit and set them at the fore-front of the emerging Latin-American salsa craze which broke out that summer. In 2001 Andy Kyriacou reformed the band, joining the burgeoning 80's revival scene and whilst being the only original member, has put together a line-up of top flight musicians, to make Modern Romance the perfect 80's band for the 21st Century.
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