w/Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English, Tony Lewis from The Outfield. Kajagoogoo's Limahl
SUN, 22 JUL 2018 at 07:00PM PDT
Ages: All Ages
Doors Open: 05:00PM
OnSale: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 at 10:00AM PDT
Announcement: Mon, 2 Apr 2018 at 08:00AM PDT
Belinda Carlisle Biography Belinda Carlisle, born Belinda Jo Carlisle on August 17, 1958 in Hollywood, California, was and occasionally still is the lead vocalist for the pop rock band The Go-Go's and also a phenomenally successful solo artist who still tours and, eventually, records to this day. Belinda’s first venture into music was as the drummer for the LA punk band The Germs, under the name Dottie Danger, it didn’t last long what with dr...umming not being her natural forte and all so she left and joined The Go-Go's. After the initial breakup of The Go-Go's in 1985 Belinda picked herself up, dusted herself off and embarked upon a solo career. Her first solo album, Belinda, was released on I.R.S. Records in 1986 and it was also that year Belinda married Morgan Mason, son of the British actor James Mason. Morgan made appearances in Carlisle's videos "Mad About You" and "Heaven is a Place on Earth".
Belinda flaunted her glamorous image on the cover of her second album 1987's Heaven on Earth, her second solo album (released in the United States through MCA but in the United Kingdom through Virgin). Critics and fans noticed that not only was Belinda’s image more glamorous than during her time with the Go-Go's, but also her solo music was more polished and ‘professional’. The new sound was certainly due in part to producer Rick Nowels, who had previously worked with Stevie Nicks and would later work with Madonna amongst many others. The first release from Heaven on Earth was "Heaven is a Place on Earth", an enormous international hit, topping the charts not only in the U.S. but also in the U.K. and several other countries. It is to this day probably her best known song. The success of the song was furthered by its video, which, under direction of American actress Diane Keaton, showcased Belinda's glamour that included her new red hair colour, part of an image change possibly inspired by Ann-Margret. The next song released from Heaven on Earth was "I Get Weak", which also had a video directed by Keaton followed promptly by "Circle in the Sand", both were big hits. "World Without You" was well-hyped but didn't sell as well, peaking outside the Top 30 in the US and December 1988's follow up "Love Never Dies" also peaked outside the Top 30 in the UK.
Belinda's next album after Heaven on Earth was 1989's Runaway Horses. This album hit number four in the UK and number three in the US so proving that she was still much in demand. The first single "Leave a Light On" just missed the Top Ten in the U.S., peaking at eleven, but in the UK it hit the Top Five. The second single, "Summer Rain", missed the Top Twenty (#23) in Spring 1990, but spent a long time in the Top Seventy Five and was, perhaps surprisingly, one of the biggest selling singles that year. Belinda had even better success in the U.K. that autumn when she went to number six with the remixed "(We Want) The Same Thing", another track from Runaway Horses. This underscored perhaps that Belinda's popularity in Europe now far surpassed both her and the Go – Go’s success in America. In 1991, Belinda released her fourth solo album, Live Your Life Be Free, to be candid the album did not sell as well as her two previous albums, though it did reach the Top Ten in many European countries. Shortly thereafter her son, James Duke Mason, (named for James Mason (Morgan's father) and Duke Kurczeski (Belinda's stepfather), was born and not long after the now notorious 1992 Los Angeles riots to place. A few months afterwards virgin seized the moment and released her first greatest hit albums, the British release of which compilation topped the U.K. album charts.
Belinda's fifth solo album, Real, was released 1993 on the Virgin label in the U.S. as well as Europe. Produced without Nowels, the album departed from her previous polished pop music formula, indeed some critics welcomed the change and noted that the new album was similar to her sound with The Go-Go's. The week it was released "Real" reached number nine in the UK unfortunately, the album's first single, "It's Too Real (Big Scary Animal)", failed to make a big impact in the U.S. but again achieved a respectable number twelve in the UK. After the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, and after the turmoil of the riots shortly beforehand, Belinda, Mason and Dukey moved to the South of France. Belinda returned to the recording studio and started working again with Rick Nowels. In 1996, she released her sixth solo album, A Woman and A Man, on the Chrysalis Records label. This album revitalized her solo career in Europe and included several hits. Leadoff single "In Too Deep" returned Carlisle to the U.K. Top Ten for the first time in seven years, reaching number six. "Always Breaking My Heart", written and produced by Roxette's Per Gessle, was another top ten smash, peaking at number eight. The album spawned two more U.K. hits, "Love in the Key of C" and "California"; the latter being a bittersweet reflection on why the singer left her home state. In 1997, Belinda also released a cover of "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" from Disney's Hercules as part of that movie's distribution in Europe. The single was only released in France and Germany. In her career, Belinda had the opportunity to work with musicians from the 1960s. Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas did backup singing for Heaven on Earth; Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys helped with the recording of the "California" track on A Woman and A Man. Although George Harrison did guitar work on two tracks from "Runaway Horses," Belinda did not meet him or go into the studio with him.
She is set to return to the spotlight in 2006, with the release of her long awaited 7th album Voilà, her first studio album in ten years. The album is produced by John Reynolds and it's a mix of French chanson and modern pop songs. Voilà is to be released on February 5th 2007 via Rykodisc.
Limahl won the hearts of millions of teenage girls in the 80s as the lead singer of Kajagoogoo who stormed to the top of the charts with ‘Too Shy’ and ‘Kaja Mania’ was born. After two more top 20 hits with Kajagoogoo, Limahl and the band parted ways and suddenly found he had another huge global hit on his hands with ‘Never Ending Story’ from the film of the same name.
With five top 20 hits to his name, Limahl is no on-hit wonder. Into the 90’s and Limahl co-formed a music production team called ‘Jupiter’ and worked with Kim Appleby, Kim Wilde, Peter Andre and Worlds Apart to name a few. The 00’s saw Limahl branch into theatre to star in the Bruno Tonioli directed feel-good show ‘What A Feeling’ which toured the UK to huge success. Thanks to VH-1, Kajagoogoo were reunited for the first time in 20 years and performing at The Scala which was filmed as part of the same channels ‘Bands Reunited’.
Since 2005 Limahl has appeared on TV in ‘Comeback’ (screened in Germany, Austria & Switzerland), released new material with Kajagoogoo culminating in tours of Germany & the UK, released a Christmas single, ‘London For Christmas’, appeared on ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ and ‘Pointless Celebrities’ as well as becoming a firm fixture at many festivals.
He continues to be in demand as a performer recently touring both Australia and Japan to acclaim and after more than 30 years in the business Limahl still loves to get up and sing!
Bands are like families, bound by something deeper than friendship – and liable to implode just as irrevocably. Yet that familial bond can equally draw you back, and so it is that four-fifths of the original Modern English have recorded their first album together in 30 years.
Funded by PledgeMusic and released via Kartel Music Group, Take Me To The Trees not only reconnect the band to their roots, in the fervent and fecund world of late 1970s/early 1980s post-punk Britain, but they have co-produced it with Martyn Young of Colourbox and M/A/R/R/S fame, whose last production job was 1986. Moreover, the album’s beautiful cover is by venerated art director Vaughan Oliver, whose very first sleeve design was Modern English’s ‘Gathering Dust’ single in 1980.
Original members Robbie Grey (vocals), Mick Conroy (bass), Gary McDowell (guitar) and Steven Walker (keyboards) first reunited in 2010, to tour the US, UK and Paris, before accepting an invitation to re-record ‘I Melt With You’ for Mark Pellington’s film of the same name. The band’s most famous track was a US Top 50 single in 1984 after being featured in the rom-com film smash Valley Girl following Sire licensing its parent album After The Snow from their UK label 4AD. “It all went haywire from there, in a Beatles and Stones way, with all the trappings that went with it,’ Grey recalls.
Given Modern English’s roots were post-punk icons Wire and Joy Division – dark and austere while still melodic and passionate – it was strange to be treated like the new Duran Duran, and the band split after the third album, Ricochet Days (1986). “4AD was a family-run label, where we felt taken care of,” Grey recalls (he, McDowell and Conroy were part of the first version of 4AD’s so-called ‘house band’ This Mortal Coil, born in 1983 with covers of Modern English songs ‘16 Days’ and ‘Gathering Dust’), “and then we entered the shark-infested waters of the mainstream, but business wasn’t why we got into music in the first place. It wasn’t enjoyable, or creative, but stifling.” Which explains the sense of unfinished business to Take Me To The Trees, a return to the sound and vision of Modern English’s debut single ‘Drowning Man’ (on their own Limp label) and, after becoming just the second band (after Bauhaus) to sign to 4AD, the singles ‘Swans On Glass’ and ‘Gathering Dust’ and the debut album Mesh And Lace (1981), of which James Murphy of LCD Soundystem says, “That record is a sneaky secret that everyone writes off, because they just think it's going to be a ‘Melt With You' but it sounds way scarier than any Joy Division record."
“Scary”, though, was no longer on the agenda, not when Grey and Conroy reformed Modern English for 1990’s Pillow Talk album, or when Grey fronted a new version for 1996’s Everything’s Bad and 2010’s Soundtrack. But when Conroy moved from London to Suffolk in 2008, which turned out to be 20 minutes from where Grey lived (when he wasn’t spending time at his home on the island of Koh Mak in Thailand), the pair met up and realised what they’d been missing: the original band.
McDowell had also been living in Thailand, though in Pattaya: “party central!” says Grey. “He loves riding his motorbike around. While my thing is beaches and the weather.” They hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years; no one had seen Walker either, until they all started rehearsing for the 2010 tour. “It was like the intervening years hadn’t happened,” says Conroy. “And the old songs still sounded as good.”
After the tour, they started swopping new ideas, “some from jamming in a room, like we used to do,” says Grey. “We looked at each other, just laughing. It was amazing.”
Grey vouches for McDowell’s guitar style: “Nobody else I know plays like Gary, maybe John McGeoch [Magazine, the Banshees] is closest, all abstract and interesting. It’s been hard writing Modern English songs without someone like him.” Conroy is equally complimentary about Walker, who’d been working in record retail rather than making music: “Stephen was the non-musician, the Eno of the band, thinking outside the box. Sometimes he’ll do something that none of us would have dreamt of.”
The final part of the jigsaw was Martyn Young, who Conroy had known since school, while Modern English and Colourbox were peers at 4AD, and had stayed in touch. “Martyn saw us live a few years ago, and said that one new song especially affected him,” Conroy recalls. “We said we were recording new material, but it wasn’t happening as we’d hoped, and he said, ‘sounds like you need a producer…’ He’d always said no to us before! Martyn brings an amazing set of ears, and an incredible knowledge of computers and sound. He also understands what we’re doing, and didn’t try and change us. And who else was going to design the cover but Vaughan? We were so relieved when he also said yes!”
The band’s fired-up vitality is palpable in the album’s pulsating opener ‘You’re Corrupt’, laced with Grey’s rant against corporate greed, “and the throwaway nature of modern culture. It’s a time when even the truth is watered down.” ‘Sweet Revenge’ and ‘Flood Of Light’ equally have the “edgy style” Grey reckons, of their Mesh And Lace era, “and lyrically cut up, and strange.” Some lyrics, like ‘Don’t Seem Right’, were written in Suffolk, “so they’re gloomier,” while others were penned in Thailand, like “Moonbeam”, “under starry skies and a full moon.” The album title Take Me To The Trees (a line from the song ‘Trees’) was also inspired by nature: “it seemed like a sister title to [1982 album] After The Snow, and to us getting lost along the way.”
The band have also found room for a new, spectral mood in the ballads ‘It Don’t Seem Right’ (“a love song of people forced apart”) and ‘Come Out Of Your Hole’ (which started as a sexual image “before evolving into something else altogether”). As the album finally took shape, the band toured America again in the summer of 2016, playing Mesh And Lace in its entirety, as the album was reissued by the US indie Drastic Plastic. “It’s been brilliant,” says Grey. “The audiences were, in the main, young. I’m out of the loop in the modern world, but the music we used to make is fashionable again. We’ll play the new album next time, and we’re writing new songs.”
The family that is Modern English look like sticking together a while longer.
Tony Lewis, musician; songwriter and record producer is probably best known as co-founder of The Outfield. Together with John Spinks, the two took the 80s by storm with their infectious pop songs, including “Your Love,” “All the Love,” and “Say it isn’t So.” Their debut album, Play Deep, was issued in 1985, and would go on to reach triple platinum sales status and the Top 10 in the US album charts. “Your Love" peaked at No. 6 and is still featured in a number of compilation albums, commercials, and has been covered or remixed over 1,000 times by other artists.
Tony’s love of music started early. Born and raised in London’s East End, a notorious and diverse area. The radio was always on and his first influences were the classic 1960s singles played on an old radio gram. At age 9 Tony first heard the Beatles, and immediately he was hooked. Later he became a huge fan of T Rex and other glam rock bands, even modeling his hair on the great Marc Bolan. Tony knew Alan Jackman at school and they formed a band, with Tony playing bass. Since he could only afford a 3 foot guitar lead, he was never able to sing because he couldn’t reach the microphone. A few years later, Tony put an advertisement in a London music paper and met guitar player John Spinks. They later formed a prog rock band called Syrius B with Alan.
When Punk Rock exploded onto the music scene in London, the group disbanded. Tony went out on his own, playing in various local bands in pubs and clubs all over London, by this time he had a longer guitar lead and stepped up to the microphone to take on the vocals. Tony was playing one night in a pub in East London, John Spinks was there and John said “With your voice and my songs, we could form a great band”. John asked Tony if he could play bass and sing on some demo’s he had written, Alan played drums on the demos and the chemistry felt right and the songs started to flow, so “The Baseball Boys” named after a street gang in the popular film The Warriors became a real band.
While holding down full-time jobs, The Baseball Boys toured the UK, tightening up their act and honing their craft. A local recording studio, Scarf Studios allowed the band to make their demos on a shoestring budget. Their hard work paid off when they were introduced to an American management company. Along with advising a name change, they helped get the band a record deal. In 1984, The Outfield signed with CBS Columbia and began working on their first album, Play Deep. Tony was now officially a professional musician.Play Deep was well received in the United States, eventually becoming a multi-platinum selling album, with the single “Your Love” reaching No. 6 in the billboard charts. The Outfield began touring with bands including: The Hooters; Nightranger; Howard Jones; Asia; Starship; Mike and the Mechanics and Journey. The Outfield toured extensively through the US and South America headlining their own shows on the club, festival and theatre circuit.
After the success of the first album, Tony and John went on to record many more albums with various drummers. The two were great friends and wrote and recorded together until John’s passing in 2014. After the death of his longtime friend and collaborator, Tony took a break from music. He had always written and recorded solo work since before the creation of The Baseball Boys, and eventually Tony was inspired to get back into music. He revisited his early lyric ideas, and even with a body of backing tracks, he just couldn’t seem to find anything that worked. Tony told his wife ‘none of this sounds right’ so she agreed to help him and soon Tony discovered that Carol had a talent for writing lyrics and telling a story. Together with his ability to form song structure and melody arrangements an album emerged.
The new album takes on the spirit of The Outfield, while letting Tony’s own style shine through. On the new album, Tony plays all the instruments, as well as producing and recording everything on his own. After signing with Madison Records, Tony is excited to announce the release of his new CD, Out of the Darkness, in the Summer of 2018, featuring the debut single “Into the Light” mixed by Tanner Hendon and Wyatt Oates of Madison Studios.