Four of the 80s most memorable artists will be headlining a night of nostalgia and big hits at St George’s Hall on Thursday 3 March. The 80s Invasion tour features Big Country, Midge Ure, Nick Heyward and Curiosity Killed The Cat and is the first time they have performed together on the same bill. With record sales of over 20 million and numerous awards between them, this is a must see for 80s music fans. Here is a reminder of what made them so popular in their heyday:
BIG COUNTRY: Formed in 1981 and with their debut album release two years later The Crossing broke the band massively worldwide with their classic singles Fields Of Fire, Chance and signature song “In A Big Country”, which went on to become massive worldwide hits, selling over two million copies and driving the record to three prestigious US Grammy nominations. The run of success continued throughout the 80s with the anthemic single Wonderland and the second album Steeltown (1984), which debuted at No 1 in the UK and contained the hit singles East Of Eden, Just a Shadow and Where The Rose Is Sown. In 1985, Big Country appeared at Live Aid in London followed by further successful album releases The Seer (1986), which included the bands biggest UK hit Look Away. At the start of the 90s Through A Big Country, featuring all the bands classic hits was released, followed by the fifth studio album No Place Like Home (1991) taking the band’s total record sales to well over five million copies. Further studio albums Buffalo Skinners (1993) and Why The Long Face (1995) followed, which saw Big Country landing the special guest slot on the Rolling Stones ‘Voodoo Lounge’ European tour. In August 1998 they were once again invited to open for the Rolling Stones on their “Bridges To Babylon” tour of Europe prompting Mick Jagger to say that Big Country were “one of the best opening bands we ever had”.
MIDGE URE: Recipient of many awards that include Ivor Novello and Grammy awards along with a flotilla of gold and platinum records, Midge Ure needs very little introduction. Musical success is seldom measured in time spans of more than a few years, so the fact that by the time Midge’s single “If I Was” went to No 1 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. Ultravox 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, All Stood Still, The Voice, Hymn, The Thin Wall 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.
NICK HEYWARD – His music career began when he formed Haircut 100 in 1981. The band had four UK Top 10 singles – Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) (No 4), Fantastic Day (No 9), Love Plus One (No 3) and Nobody’s Fool (No 9) and turned Nick into a major pop pin up. Their debut album, Pelican West, reached No 1 in the UK charts. Nick’s solo career began in 1983 with his debut album North of a Miracle, which reached no. 10 in the UK charts and included three UK Top 14 singles – Whistle Down the Wind, Take That Situation and Blue Hat for a Blue Day. In 1993 his single Kite, taken from the album, From Monday to Sunday, made No 3 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.
BEN VOLPELIERE-PIERROT – Curiosity Killed The Cat instantly became one of the hottest and most popular bands of the late eighties after forming in 1986. While gaining a large teen following, Curiosity Killed The Cat’s appeal was far wider, their cool, funky, distinctive music being a very long way from typical teen fodder. Curiosity Killed The Cat’s many hit singles include Down to Earth, which peaked at number two in the charts and sold 1.5 million worldwide, Misfit Ordinary Day, Hang On In There Baby and Name and Number, which later went on to be a hit single for De La Soul. Curiosity Killed The Cat’s debut album Keep Your Distance went straight in to the UK album charts at number one, selling over 1.5 million copies while Curiosity’s second album, “Get Ahead,” also made the top ten. In addition, Curiosity Kille The Cat were well respected within the music industry and won a BRITS nomination for the Best New Act of 1987 as well as winning the Music Therapy Best New Act award.