The Flying Pickets
In 2006, only a year after relocating to the U.K I was lucky enough to become a member of one of Europes leading pop/rock a capella groups, The Flying Pickets. The band was established in 1982 by members of socialist fringe theatre group, “7:84 Theatre group”, who used a cappella singing in a production called One Big Blow, the story of the 1982 miner’s strike in England. Virgin Records signed the group in 1983 and their very first single “Only You”, a cover of a song by Yazoo, went straight to Number 1 in the UK charts and was to remain there for five weeks taking the coveted Christmas Number One in 1983. Over 30 years later, ‘Only You’ remains the only a cappella track to stay at Number 1 in the mainstream singles charts for more than one week. Even though the line-up has changed throughout the years, the band has never died; and joining the Pickets meant I was becoming part of alumni of one of the pioneers of contemporary a cappella groups. With a dedicated following still in Europe, I got a chance to perform in many theatres, jazz clubs and some fantastic musical festivals, along side artists such as Susan Vega, Paul Young and Bonnie Tyler in countries including Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Germany along side long time members Andy Laycock, Simon Foster, Micheal Henry and Andrea Figallo. My vocals appear on the albums “Big Mouth” and “Only Yule” recorded in 2010 produced by legendary a cappella producer Bill Hare in San Jose.