Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kajagoogoo - Islands/Extra Play

In 1984, the mainstream New Wave band Kajagoogoo (think "Too Shy,") released an album that could have competed with early christian alternative bands like the 77's in the "fringe" Christian bookstores where such material was sold.  Islands, (titled "Extra Play" in the U.S.,) was the second album from the band, and featured blatantly Christian content. Bassist (and by this time lead singer) Nick Beggs had become a Christian when he was in his late teens, after the death of his mother.  Beggs would join the band Iona for a couple of albums in the mid 90's before returning to solo work, and eventually back to Kajagoogoo.

Nick Beggs interview:  http://kajafax.co.uk/2011/07/12/kajagoogoo-on-kajagoogoo-no-1-magazine-feature-1983-nick-beggs/

Monday, July 9, 2012


This past Saturday, July 7, was an historic day in that it was the final day of the final Cornerstone festival.  In appreciation, and "in memoriam," here is a remarkable video shot at the very first Cornerstone in 1984.  It includes sets from three of my favorites; The 77's, Daniel Amos and Steve Taylor.  It is not my video, I'm only sharing it from YouTube.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

After The Fire

After The Fire was originally formed in 1971 by keyboard player Peter Banks.  Guitarist Andy Piercy would join in 1974.  Piercy and Banks would be the core of ATF for the rest of the first phase of their career.  The band would go through many personnel changes, even disbanding once, before recording their first album.  1978's "Signs Of Change" was a Progressive Rock album, very reminiscent of the material bands like Yes, Genesis and Nektar were performing at the time.  In 1978, ATF signed with CBS Records, and released three excellent New Wave/Pop records while with the label: Laser Love (1978,) 80-F (1980) and Batteries Not Included (1982.)  Only one album was released in the U.S., a compilation titled ATF, which included the best songs from the previous three UK albums, plus their recording of Austrian musician Falco's song "Der Kommissar."

Der Kommissar would be ATF's only hit in the U.S.  The band had broken up by the time the single was released, so that is the song they are known for.  That's a shame, not that it's a bad song, (it's an anti drug song,) but their original material was so inventive, and lyrically was a refreshing change from the banal stuff that was around in the Disco era.

Andy Piercy went on to become a producer, producing modern Worship albums by Delerious? and Matt Redman.  In 2004, Peter Banks reformed the band, and is the only original member still in ATF.  They are currently still active touring, though no new material has been recorded.  A groundbreaking Christian band that really was not a part of the "CCM culture," ATF does not need to fall through the cracks.

(Laser Love is a single from 1978, but the video shows current band members.)
Band web site: http://www.afterthefire.co.uk/