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Isle of Man Bay Festival Triumphs

With the massive success of the recent Isle of Man Bay Festival, organisers have confirmed it will be back in 2011.

Over 25,000 people attended the festival over the three days, with the Sunday afternoon ‘X-Factor meets Britain’s Got Talent’ show pulling in a capacity crowd of almost 8,000 people. Based on police estimates, that is a bigger crowd than the one that descended on the prom for the busiest night of the TT entertainment.

The acts, which included a surprise performance from UK chart top-ten artist DJ Ironik, were a hit with the local crowd. Many of them expressed their desire to return to the Isle of Man, with some of them having stayed with local families during their visit.

Between the acts and the fans, the atmosphere in the ‘Valhalla’ tent – the biggest temporary venue in Europe – was electric. Even outside the tent there was a carnival atmosphere that was enjoyable for entire families, with bars, fairground rides and vendors filling the field.

The Festival organisers were ecstatic about the outcome of the event. Jonathan Irving commented: “We are delighted that the people of the Isle of Man got behind the festival and really enjoyed themselves, and we are proud that we could play a part in bringing it to them. We really want to thank everyone who was involved, from the fans and the acts to the army of staff and volunteers who made it all such a success. We would also like to thank Douglas Council for all their constructive assistance”.

As a result of its success, the organisers have already announced that the Festival will definitely return in 2011 on the weekend of the 17th, 18th and 19th of June in Nobles Park, subject to final ratification by the full Douglas Council. It has been confirmed that following on from the total success and popularity of the ‘X-Factor Meets Britain’s Got Talent’ that will make a definite reappearance again on the Sunday afternoon based on its huge popularity with fans. Due to an overwhelming demand to purchase tickets now for next year, with one couple changing the dates of their wedding to fit in next year’s festival!, tickets for the X Factor/BGT will go on sale on 6th July along with ‘Early Bird’ offers for the other shows.

Further news and updates will be available from and a further press release will be issued on 30th June.


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Club V3 announce a strategic alliance with Green Leaf Film Studios

Isle of Man-based social network games and media specialist, Clubv3, has announced a far-reaching strategic alliance with Chengdu-based Chinese film studios, Green Leaf Film Studios.

The two companies are working together on the creation of social network games based on Green Leaf’s TV and film properties for Western and Asian social networks, including the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Netlog, Mixi, RenRen, QQ, Orkut and Hi5. Development is already underway on a number of initial products based on Clubv3′s platform.

Green Leaf is further providing Clubv3 with access to its team of artists in Chengdu for the rapidly expanding art requirements of the social games publisher.

Clubv3 is run by a management team with extensive video games and casual games experience. The company has grown rapidly in the two months since formation, with a team of social network games specialists based in the Isle of Man, Romania, Canada, Ukraine, the UK and now China. Clubv3 has a complete system in place for social network games with an integrated micro-transaction system, full 3D avatar system and a highly flexible and dynamic development system, allowing long-lasting playability and adaptability of games. The first large scale games are to be released initially on Facebook during the month of June, whilst the company is also working with a number of brands to bring their products to social networks globally.

Green Leaf is a Chinese Film & TV Studio, set up by film industry specialists. The company is the world-wide partner for Terry Deary, one of the highest selling modern children’s authors with his “Horrible Histories” series broadcast on the BBC, and is currently marketing a 26 part series entitled “Terry Deary’s True Time Tales” amongst a vast stable of projects and brands.

“The expertise at Clubv3 makes them a natural partner for a company such as ours with intellectual property to take to the world of social networks, both to build the profile of our TV and film brands, as well generating additional revenues and fans for our franchises across the world in this exciting new market”, said Jean Sebastien Laurenson, Sales Director at Green Leaf Film Studios.

“Working with Green Leaf gives us access to a vast array of content properties to work with, as well as access to the vast Chinese marketplace of 1.2 billion+ social gamers. The virtual goods market in Asia was at US$5bn (2008) and US$7bn (2009) and will increase in 2010” added Dominic Mason, Director at Clubv3, “Our technical expertise in bringing these properties to social gamers and creating compelling products will allow Green Leaf to reach a large audience.”

All followers of Clubv3 on Facebook ( and Twitter ( receive regular updates on the company’s progress as well as exclusive access to and gifts within the company’s latest product releases: be the first to know and get something to show!

ABOUT CLUBV3 – Club V3 Ltd is based in Douglas, Isle of Man (British Isles). Clubv3 develops for all the major social networks including Facebook, MySpace, Netlog, Mixi, RenRen, QQ, Orkut, Hi5 and others. For additional information on Clubv3, in-depth information on the technology and upcoming range of products, please visit the website at or email Clubv3 can be followed on the company Facebook fan page at and on Twitter at

ABOUT GREEN LEAF FILM STUDIOS – Green Leaf Film Studios is a Film, TV and Animation studio based in Chengdu, China. Alongside in-house international productions, Green Leaf also offers Co-production, Digital Assets and VFX services. The team is a perfect blend of western management and creative direction, with a low cost, high quality Chinese workforce. For any detailed information please visit or email

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Boy George biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.

Flamboyant British new wave singer was born George O’Dowd in Kent, England in 1961. During the ’70s George became a big fan of glam rock, especially David Bowie and began attending hip London clubs in flashy women’s clothing. His outrageous style encouraged Sex Pistols manager Malcolm Maclaren to recruit George for Bow WowWow, a new wave band he was producing. George performed with the band for only a short time before forming his own group, Culture Club, with guitarist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig and ex-Adam Antdrummer Jon Moss.

In 1982 Culture Club signed to Virgin, but its first two singles failed to chart, despite growing fashion interest in Jesus. Finally, the band reached No. 1 in the U.K. with their third single, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” A 1983 debut album, Kissing to Be Clever, followed, and several singles reached the Top 10 in the U.S. and Britain. Culture Club’s fall 1983 follow-up, Coulour by Numbers, made them worldwide pop stars with the No. 1 hit “Karma Chameleon.” The band became MTV favorites, largely due to George’s androgynous dress, and Jesus soon found himself a cultural icon, known for his witty interviews.

Unfortunately the next few Culture Club albums did not sell as well as expected,and the group began experiencing problems. George and Jon Moss, who were lovers, began having relationship problems and George became addicted to heroin. During the summer of 1986 George was arrested in Britain for marijuana possession; several days later Culture Club’s session keyboardist, Michael Rudetski, was found dead of a heroin overdose in George’s home. As George underwent treatment for his addiction, Rudetski’s parents filed a wrongful death suit against him, and Culture Club broke up.

Jesus returned to music in 1987 with his first solo album, Sold.Seven singles charted in Britain over the next year, but George was virtually ignored in the U.S. His 1988 follow-up, Tense Nervous Headache, and the 1989 dance album Boyfriend were not even released in America. Instead, Virgin released a U.S. album called High Hat, composed of songs selected from his second and third U.K. albums. In 1991 George released a dance remix album called The Martyr Mantras, originally credited to the group Jesus Loves You, but the record was largely ignored, even in Britain.

George made a minor comeback in late 1992 with the title song from the movieThe Crying Game, his first U.S. hit since the days of Culture Club. Capitalizing on renewed attention to his career, George released a frank autobiography, Take It Like a Man, in 1995, along with a new, more rock-oriented album called Cheapness and Beauty.

In 1998, putting their differences behind them, George reunited with Moss, Hay and Craig for a Culture Club reunion tour that kicked off with an appearance on VH1’s Storytellers series.

Jesus plays DJ on his latest effort, the remix album Essential Mix, released in 2001.

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Belinda Carlisle biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.
Belinda Carlisle pursued a solo career after leaving the Go-Go’s in 1984. As her solo career progressed, Carlisle removed any of the rough edges remaining in her style, transforming from a new wave rocker to a polished adult contemporary pop singer. The change was evident on her first album, 1986’s Belinda. Featuring the number three hit single “Mad About You,” the record went gold and established her as a viable hitmaker. The following year, Carlisle released Heaven on Earth, her greatest solo success. Continuing the immaculately produced mainstream pop of Belinda, the record featured the number one title track, the number two single “I Get Weak,” and the Top Ten ballad “Circle in the Sand.” Runaway Horses, released in 1989, was another successful album, spawning the hit singles “Leave a Light On” and “Summer Rain,” yet it showed signs that her audience was shrinking. That suspicion was confirmed by the dismal performance of 1991’s Live Your Life Be Free, which failed to make the charts. Real, released in 1993, didn’t revive Carlisle’s career and she subsequently joined the re-formed Go-Go’s in 1994. The Go-Go’s reunion was short-lived, even though it was widely praised. Carlisle returned to solo recording in 1996 with A Woman and a Man, which failed to gain much attention. A myriad of collections and compilations followed, as well as another Go-Go’s reunion. Carlisle released a new solo album, Voila, in 2007. Source: Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Filed under: music

Rick Astley biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.

Richard Paul “Rick” Astley (born 6 February 1966, Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire) is an English singer-songwriter and musician. Astley is married to producer Lene Bausager and has one daughter. Astley has released or appeared on recordings that have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. He is best known for his 1987 hit single in 16 countries, “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

After fading into obscurity in the 1990s, Astley made a comeback in 2007 when he became an Internet phenomenon, as his video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” became part of a popular Internet meme known as “Rickrolling”. Astley was voted by Internet users “Best Act Ever” at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008.


In 1985, Astley was playing the club circuit as a drummer with a soul band named FBI when he was noticed by the record producer Pete Waterman, who persuaded him to come to London to work at the PWL recording studio. Under the tutelage of the production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known as Stock Aitken Waterman, Astley was taught about the recording process and groomed for his future career, supposedly starting off as the recording studio ‘tea boy’.

During much of his career, due to his deep bass-baritone voice, many listeners assumed he was African-American. In one instance, the comedic entertainer Sinbad discussed him with a talk-show host, expressing his surprise that Astley was not “one of the brothers”. In another, it was widely believed for years that he was the voice behind the chorus of Cathy Dennis’ song “Just Another Dream”, when in fact the true singer was an African-American disc jockey known as Dancin’ Dan Hartzman. Even after his visual appearance, it was still popular belief that he was miming for a black American singer. His brother Mike Astley helped to refute this assertion.

His first single was the little-known “When You Gonna”, released as a collaboration with Lisa Carter, but his first solo offering was “Never Gonna Give You Up”, released in 1987. It became an immediate success, spending five weeks at the top of the British charts and becoming the year’s highest-selling single. It was the first of 13 (worldwide) top 30 hit singles for him.

The 1987 album Whenever You Need Somebody also reached number one in the UK, and the hit singles continued, including the title track and a cover of Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love”.

On 12 March 1988, “Never Gonna Give You Up” also topped the U.S. singles chart and was followed by a second U.S. #1 on 18 June with his second U.S. single release, “Together Forever”. In 1989 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist of the Year. He lost to Tracy Chapman.

The group FBI, from left to right, Kevin Needham, Rick Astley, Will Hopper, Peter Dale, & Greg Smee, in 1984.
In late 1988, Astley released his second album, Hold Me In Your Arms. While the album sold well in Europe, with all its 3 singles becoming top 10 hits in the UK, his success in the US waned, with only the first single, She Wants To Dance With Me, making an impact, peaking at #6.

By the end of the decade, Astley had parted company with Stock, Aitken, and Waterman. He achieved one more major success with the 1991 ballad “Cry for Help”, which reached the top 10 in both the UK and the US. The song was taken from his third album, Free, which featured a move towards soul music, leaving his synth-pop days behind. The album was not as successful as his previous two.

In 1991 the RIAA certified that two million copies of Whenever You Need Somebody had been sold. Total world sales of Astley’s records (including singles, albums and compilation inclusions) have since reached 39.9 million.

His next album, Body and Soul, was released in 1993. The album did not chart in the UK but managed to make the Billboard 200, peaking at #182. The two singles, “The Ones You Love” and “Hopelessly”, performed very well on the adult contemporary chart, peaking at #19 and #4 respectively. “Hopelessly” also crossed over and peaked at #31 on the Top 40 Mainstream chart.

For much of the 1990s and early 2000s, Astley remained largely out of the spotlight.

Almost 10 years after Body and Soul, Astley finally returned to the music world and released “Keep It Turned On” in 2002. The album featured the single “Sleeping”, which became a minor club hit, thanks to a set of remixes from U.S. house producer Todd Terry.

In March, 2005, Astley released the album Portrait in which he covered many classic standards such as “Vincent”, “Nature Boy” and “Close to You”.

In early 2006, Astley withdrew unexpectedly at the eleventh hour from appearing on the BBC TV celebrity/pro duets show Just the Two of Us after committing to do so. This led to criticism from those in the entertainment industry and media. His place was filled by singer Russell Watson, who eventually won the competition. The BBC failed to explain that Astley’s withdrawal was due to his girlfriend Lene Bausager being nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for the Sean Ellis film Cashback, where she was the main producer. Astley would have missed a crucial part of the show by attending the awards ceremony and so withdrew before the show began.

Astley at a festival in Singapore.
Based on various music charts in the UK, US and Canada, Astley has charted a grand total of 14 different hit singles and 6 different hit albums, as of March 2006. In April 2008, the album “The Ultimate Collection: Rick Astley” was released by Sony BMG and by early May it had reached #17 on the UK Top 40 Albums Chart.

In September 2008, Rick was nominated for the ‘Best Act Ever’ award at the MTV Europe Music Awards The push to make Astley the winner of the award continued after the announcement, as well as efforts to encourage MTV to personally invite Astley to the awards ceremony. On October 10, Astley’s website confirmed that an invitation to the awards had been received. On November 7th, following a massive internet campaign by fans, Rick won the award in Liverpool, but was not there in person to receive it. Perez Hilton collected the prize on his behalf.

In 2008, Astley was a headlining act at the Northampton Balloon Festival. In April 2009, he wrote an article for Time Magazine about moot.

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Kim Wilde biography

Kim Wilde was born in Chiswick, West London on November 18th, 1960 under the starsign of Scorpio. She moved with her family to Hertfordshire at the age of 9 where she was educated at Presdales School, Ware, before completing a foundation course at St Albans College of Art & Design in 1980. Kim was signed to Mickie Most’s RAK Records in 1980 and released her first single Kids in America in January 1981.
The debut album ‘Kim Wilde’ followed later that year and spawned a further two hits, ‘Chequered love’ and ‘Water on glass’. Kim recorded a total of three albums for RAK Records before signing to MCA Records in the summer of 1984.
Seven subsequent albums for MCA Records have included international hits such as ‘Another Step (closer to you)’, ‘You came’, ‘Never trust a stranger’, ‘Four letter word’, ‘If I can’t have you’ and a remake of the Supremes classic ‘You keep me hangin’ on’ – Kim’s first USA Number 1 single in 1987 – all of which have contributed to total worldwide album and single sales in excess of 7 million and 12 million respectively. This same period corresponded with Kim’s development as a songwriter having written or co-written the majority of the MCA LP’s including many of the above hit singles.
Kim received the Best Female Vocalist Award from the British Phonographic Industry in the United Kingdom in 1983 and has subsequently received two further nominations in this category. Also, she has received numerous silver, gold and platinum records from all over the world.
Between 1982 and 1994, Kim undertook five solo tours and has performed as opening act for Michael Jackson in 1988 and for David Bowie in 1990.
Adding a new dimension to this highly successful career, Kim appeared in the English production of the musical Tommy from February 1996 to February 1997.
On September 1st, 1996, Kim got married to Hal Fowler. On January 3rd, 1998 she gave birth to her first child, Harry Tristan. Two years later, Rose Elisabeth was born.
Having followed a horticultural course at the prestigious Capel Manor college, Kim was spotted by ITV talent hunters. In 1999, Kim recorded a series of programmes entitled ‘Better Gardens’, functioning as garden designer. Subsequently, she starred as one of the garden designers on BBC Television’s ‘Garden Invaders’ and wrote gardening columns for The Guardian, Prima magazine, Healthy magazine and Period House magazine. In 2005, Kim published her first book entitled ‘Gardening with children’. A year later, ‘The first-time gardener’ followed. When she participated in the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, her ‘Cumbrian Fellside Garden’ won a gold medal, ‘best in show’ and the BBC’s People’s Award.
Meanwhile, Kim was returning to music as well. On January 13th, 2001 she was singing live again for the first time in four years, as a guest star in a live show by Fabba. This prompted a return to the music stage in November of that year, during the first Here & Now tour, in which seven acts from the 1980’s provided a full length live show. During the three following years, Kim would successfully repeat this tour in December, as well as live dates during the summer on the European continent.
Meanwhile, a new track on 2001’s compilation album ‘The very best of Kim Wilde’ entitled ‘Loved’ was released as a single and became a top 10 hit in Belgium. In 2003, more European success followed when Kim recorded a duet with German singer Nena, ‘Anyplace, anywhere, anytime’, a number one hit in Austria and the Netherlands, and top 10 in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
This experience prompted Kim to record a whole new album. ‘Never say never’ was released by EMI Germany in 2006 and after encouraging sales figures, Kim went on the biggest solo tour of her musical career in 2007. She played over 40 live concerts on the European continent and, for the first time ever, in Russia. Touring went on in 2008 and 2009 with many festival dates and a spring tour in 2009.
In 2010, Kim Wilde will release her eleventh studio album after having signed a worldwide recording deal with Starwatch.

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The Real Thing biography

The Real Thing, a Liverpool based vocal group, had its origins in the Merseybeat boom of the 1960s. Eddie Amoo was a former band member of The Chants, whose beat singles gathered considerable critical acclaim, although they failed to chart. After continuing to record for various record labels, the band split.
The Real Thing were formed in 1972 by Chris Amoo, Ray Lake, Dave Smith, Kenny Davis and Edward Ankrah. They got their big break following an appearance on the Opportunity Knocks ITV talent show.

They were spotted by an ex-Radio Luxembourg DJ, Tony Hall, who played a significant part in their early career development. Even so, success was not immediate, and recording contracts they signed with a couple of major record labels came to nothing. Then, in 1975, they signed to Pye Records. Touring as backing singers with David Essex for a spell also helped to increase their profile. Davis and Ankrah dropped out and Eddie Amoo joined in 1975 as an additional vocalist.

With a song written and produced by Ken Gold and Mick Denne, The Real Thing finally emerged in 1976 when “You to Me Are Everything” sailed up to the number one slot in the UK Singles Chart. The track provided them with their only tangible success in the United States, reaching number 28 on the Black Singles chart, and number 64 on the Pop Singles equivalent.

The same song would be re-released as ‘The Decade Remix’ in 1986 and achieved a UK chart position of number three, being remixed by Froggy, Simon Harris and KC.

Apart from “You To Me Are Everything” charting in the US. Their other chart hit was “She’s a Groovy Freak” which made the US hot dance/disco singles chart in 1980 reaching No 55

This first success led to nine hits on Pye over a three year period, including “Can’t Get By Without You”, and “Can You Feel The Force”, both of which were Top 5 successes.
Their brand of commercial sweet soul music, mixed with disco influences, established their popularity with the British audience. They were the UK’s best selling black group of the late 1970s. Their first album, titled The Real Thing, contained their chart busters and previous singles. The group wanted to call their second LP ‘Liverpool 8’, the name of the racially mixed section of Liverpool (Toxteth) where they grew up with Asians, Africans, Chinese, Irish, and anyone else who could not afford more opulent surroundings.

Pye Records did not like the name, so they compromised with Four From Eight, which meant nothing to anyone outside of Britain. A switch to the Calibre record label in 1980 slowed the momentum. Subsequent material fared less well, although remixes of their first two hits charted some ten years after their original release.
In 1999 Eddie Amoo appeared in the ‘Identity Parade’, in the fifth series of the BBC Television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

The group, with three of the founder members still on board, continue to perform and record to this day. A reissue of their second album, 4 From 8, will be released on CD on Cherry Red label RPM in October.
The Real Thing’s vocalist, Chris Amoo, is also a regular on the dog show circuit. His highlight came in 1987, when his Afghan Hound, Champion Viscount Grant, was crowned Supreme Champion at Crufts. Dave Smith is a black belt in Karate.

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Curiosity Killed The Cat biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.

They appeared out of nowhere, as if they were transported from a parallel universe wherein blue-eyed soul was seen as rock & roll’s salvation in the late 80s. Likeminded groups like Johnny Hates Jazz, Waterfront, Living in a Box, and Curiosity

Killed the Cat all debuted and disappeared at the same time. Of the four Curiosity Killed the Cat leaned more towards the teen girl population that hung “Smash Hits” posters on their bedroom walls. The band’s lightweight funk and photogenic looks rewarded them with mainstream acceptance in their native England but America didn’t budge. Curiosity Killed the Cat was formed in 1984 by Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot (vocals), Julian Godfrey Brookhouse (guitar), Nicholas Bernard Throp (bass), Michael Drummond (drums), and Toby Anderson (keyboards). While in art school Volpeliere-Pierrot met Throp, who was then in a post-punk group called Twilight Children with the other future members of Curiosity Killed the Cat. After inviting him to sing Volpeliere-Pierrot became the band’s new lead singer. They recorded a track entitled “Curiosity Killed the Cat” which caught the interest of businessman Peter Rosengard, who eventually renamed the band after their song and became their manager. In 1985, Curiosity Killed the Cat was signed to Phonogram, and the group began making their first LP. However, producers Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare were taken off the project, replaced by Stewart Levine; as a result, the album was delayed for nearly a year. The toe-tapping single “Misfit” was released in July 1986, but it was not successful. The band gained much attention after Andy Warhol became a fan; he even did a cameo for the “Misfit” video. In early 1987 “Down to Earth” became a Top-10 hit in the U.K. Two years later the group shortened their appellation to Curiosity. 1992’s “Hang On In There Baby” peaked at No. 3 on the British charts, and the band disappeared from the music scene until they joined the 80s nostalgia Here and Now tour in 2001. ~ Michael Sutton, All Music Guide

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The Cutting Crew biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.

Although the band has only been together a few years, it took years of individual experience to make them collectively, what they are today. Lead vocalist Nick Van Eede’s musical background stretches back to the late seventies, when he was managed by ex-Animal Chas Chandler, who sent him on a tour of Poland as support for Slade. Nick recalls “I went with a kazoo and an acoustic guitar and opened for Slade in amphitheatres in front of 18,000 people. I went down as a storm and had the loudest kazoo in Europe, because Slade took their own PA on the road!” His career continued with tours supporting headliners like David Essex, Hot Chocolate and Alan Price… but there was always the desire for his own band. The Drivers seemed for a while to be that band, and in the early eighties, they took off for Canada, to a new life and a promising deal. Things were looking good, The Drivers had a couple of hits and went on the road, this time with a support of their own… and it was around this time that Fate came up trumps, with the introduction of Kevin MacMichael.
Canadian Kevin was at that time in a band called Fast Forward… the band that was to support the Drivers on the tour. He had gained invaluable experience in Halifax, Nova Scotia, working the cabarets that go on seven nights a week, until three in the morning! Kevin remembers the tour; “By the end of it, I knew The Drivers’ songs really well and Nick used to say, ‘why don’t you come up and sit in?’ They were a three piece band and had always wanted to work with another guitarist.”
Commitments meant that a musical relationship got no further than the discussion stage at that time, and after the tour, the pair went their separate ways. However, shortly after their return to the UK, The Drivers disbanded and with nothing to stop him, Nick returned to Canada and began working on his own music. He approached Kevin and more or less told him that if they didn’t get together now, they might as well forget it… but Fast Forward were about to tour again and it looked like there was no solution. It was now that Fate really took an upper hand, for on the brink of the tour, the band were involved in a serious car crash… and Kevin was the only one who escaped unhurt. It meant freedom for Kevin and Nick to begin working together and soon after they began writing songs and working on demos in Toronto… but because of existing contracts it was some months before they were able to drop everything else and form a group. “We said it was time to stop talking about it and do it, so we set ourselves definite goals and began auditioning players,” says Kevin.
Here Martin Beedle comes into the story. Martin is from Hull and drummed his way around the world before emerging as drummer for Cutting Crew. When he was seventeen, he landed a job in the resident band on the QE2, went wild in many ports in many countries, and followed up with stints backing artists like Dennis Waterman, The Three Degrees and more recently, John Parr. While playing in a pub in Lewisham, he was spotted by the fourth member of the band, Colin Farley.
Bass player Colin grew up with his family encouraging his interest in music, and reckons he got the music bug from his Dad who played in a show band for many years. He turned professional as a teenager and the early days found him working in various studios as a session musician. He was discovered a few years later, by Kevin and Nick, serenading senoritas in a castle in Spain. When Colin happened upon Martin in the pub, he dragged him in quick… “I just knew he was going to be the guy for the band.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Cutting Crew signed to Siren Records at the end of 1985, and the first fruit of the relationship was the stunning “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”, which took Europe and Britain by storm, and reached number four in the UK national charts. The second single, “I’ve Been In Love Before”, was released to coincide with the release of the album, “Broadcast”. The band’s first nationwide tour, which ended triumphantly at the Astoria in London’s West End, could only be deemed a huge success.
Cutting Crew have only just begun to edge their way into the international music scene… today it’s Europe, tomorrow without any doubt and if there is any justice, it will most certainly be the world.

Filed under: music, Uncategorized

The Coronas biography

3 Days/ 30 Bands – 18 – 20th of June, Bay Festival, Isle of Man. Info & Tickets – here.


Their debut LP – 2007’s Heroes or Ghosts – achieved platinum sales in Ireland, and spawned massive singles such as “Grace, Don’t Wait!”, “Heroes or Ghosts” and especially “San Diego Song” which became an anthem in clubs and radio stations all across the country.
The Dublin quartet quickly followed its’ release with sell-out shows nationwide, two meteor award nominations and a spellbinding set on the main stage at Oxegen. All this along with tours in the U.S., UK and Asia, has enabled the Coronas to establish themselves as one of Irelands’ biggest new bands.
“We’ve worked really hard for the last two years but taking a break never really occurred to us”, says lead singer Danny O’Reilly. “We wanted to continue to build on what we had going and we knew the only way to do that was to go into the studio and record an album that we felt blew Heroes (or Ghosts) out of the water”.
“We were quite young when we recorded Heroes or Ghosts”, concurs guitarist Dave McPhillips (indeed they had all just turned 21). “And, although we were so proud of it, we really didn’t expect it to do as well as it did. The last couple of years on the road, constantly gigging and developing our sound, left us with a better idea of the album we wanted to make”

Indeed anyone who has become accustomed to the Coronas own brand of pop-rock tunes will have plenty of reason to cheer when it comes to their new album, Tony Was An Ex-Con, recorded over 6 weeks in the prestigious Sawmills studio in Cornwall. This time round the guys teamed up with esteemed producer John Cornfield (Muse, Razorlight, Oasis). “Working with John in the mill (Sawmills) was an amazing experience”, says bassist Knoxy. “We thought that, with his resume, he’d be telling us exactly what to do but he was really cool and just let us do our thing. It was a really chilled-out, productive atmosphere.”

The title track comes from an incredible story about the lads on tour in America, involving a psychotic bus driver who left the entire entourage fearing for their lives. “It’s funny looking back at it now, but at the time it was really quite scary”, says drummer Conor Egan. McPhillips: “The song was one of the first new songs that set us off on the writing spree that led to the entire record so it felt like the right title”

In Tony Was An Ex-Con, The Coronas’ fans will once again be reminded of the endearing spirit that made Heroes or Ghosts a true word-of-mouth success, while many will be impressed by how far they’ve come musically.
“We’re so proud of this record”, says O’Reilly. “We realised along time ago that it’s impossible to try to impress everyone. You can only make music that you believe in yourself – be it pop, rock, indie, rap, whatever. Hopefully the tunes will speak for themselves”

The Coronas new album ‘Tony Was An Ex-Con’ is out Sept. 25th.

Band history

When Danny O’Reilly (vocals/guitar) met Graham Knox (bass) for the first time, O’Reilly was only two weeks old while Knox had barely escaped his mothers’ womb. All their lives they were surrounded by music but it wasn’t until O’Reilly began writing songs at the tender age of 13 that they decided it would be cool to start a band. They recruited Terenure College school friends Conor Egan (drums) and another close friend to form Kiros and performed their first gig on a Saturday afternoon in a run-down pub in Dublin’s city centre to about 10 friends. The lads were all of 15, already hooked. Their adventures as Kiros, however, were short-lived as the band broke up before they turned 18. O’Reilly, Knox and Egan, however, continued to create music but soon they began to miss the thrill of live gigging and, calling themselves Corona, they decided to start playing to anyone who would listen.

They recorded a live EP in 2004 entitled “Corona – live at the Voodoo Lounge” and to this day they still get people requesting songs that they played that night as the EP began to get burned and passed around the Dublin college scene. In 2005, they recorded their debut EP in a house in Wicklow and although it was well received and contained some songs that the band still play today, they knew that something was missing from the band’s sound. Shortly after its’ release they met a young man from Monkstown called Dave McPhillips (lead guitar), in a frat house in Vancouver, of all places, and were so impressed with his guitar-shredding ability that they asked him join the band. They locked themselves away in a house for weeks creating their sound and began gigging around Dublin, creating an ever-growing following. In December 2006 they sold out two shows in Whelan’s purely from word of mouth and this led to the band being signed up by independent label 3ú Records.

2007 saw them change their name to “The Coronas” (due to an Italian dance act already called Corona) but this did not hinder their success as they began to take the Irish music scene by storm with their debut single “Decision Time” which reached no.8 in the retail charts in January ’07. Another top 20 single followed entitled “The Talk” which resulted in the band being signed to UK agency Marshall Arts.

Their hit singles “Grace, Don’t Wait!” and “San Diego Song” which spent a staggering 16 weeks in the Irish top 40 and the release of their debut album “Heroes or Ghosts” in October was met with rave reviews and has been lodged in the Irish charts ever since.

“The album is definitely a reflection of our journey as a band so far”, says lead singer and the bands main songwriter Danny O’Reilly. “Our only aim was to make an album we were proud of and we’re delighted to say that we’ve surpassed our expectations.” Heroes or Ghosts is out now in all major stores and on download. Their new single “Heroes or Ghosts” is set for release on the 5th of September 2008

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