Monday, November 28, 2005

Fake That

I was going to start with the usual explanatory explanation about this week’s newspaper column but my anal retentive side tells me it would be better coming at the end… and I’d never argue with that.

For legions of music fans throughout the country, last week’s announcement was the news they’d waited almost a decade to hear. No more would they have to spend long, dark evenings gazing wistfully at the frayed concert tickets and lipstick-smeared album covers from a bygone era. Gone would be the heartbreaking memories of spending hours on the phone to the special helpline set up after the band went their separate ways. Now, finally, they could get excited about the prospect of seeing their idols take to the stage once more to recreate their mesmerising, musical magic – performances so potent, let’s not forget, that emergency underwear was mandatory not optional.

Because after all the media whispers and music industry speculation, last week’s press conference confirmed that the rumours are indeed true – The Signals are back together and will be touring again in 2006.

For the vast majority of you discerning music lovers, I know this news will have consumed you in recent days and relegated Christmas to “that day we eat turkey” in the excitement stakes. But I also realise that at least one or two of you will be reading this and scratching your heads and making noises like, “Huh? Who?”

You are probably the kind of people who have either Perry Como or The Sugadoll Pussybabes at the heart of your music collection so it’s perfectly understandable that the phenomenon of The Signals may have passed you by. To get you up to speed with the rest of the population then, here’s a brief history lesson.

The Signals were already local legends in the bustling, Central Scotland music scene when I joined them as lead singer in the mid 1980s. Touring relentlessly, we traversed the country in our spluttering transit van breaking hearts and box office records as we went. Who, for example, can forget that memorable night at Glasgow’s School of Art when literally dozens of highly strung students stormed the stage to get a piece of us? And our triumphant chart feud with arch rivals Blurasis will forever be remembered as the era when “real music” won the day.

By the end of the decade though the incessant touring and adulation was taking its toll and the cracks began to show. Playboy drummer Handsome Doug endured a series of botched surgeries attempting to preserve his looks whilst introspective lead guitarist Bill “Slowhand” Gates moved to Seattle and made a modest living from inventing the internet.

My own troubles with pizza addiction have been well documented in the years since but by 1990 I could hide it no longer – the stained shirts and tomato covered stubble were a dead giveaway. Most disturbing of all was the seminal moment during the “No Sleep Till Aberfeldy” tour when stocky bass player “King Thumb” Campbell committed the cardinal rock ‘n roll sins of “falling in love” and “settling down”.

We struggled on, of course, continuing to sell albums by the millions and amassing a record 469 Brit Awards but in truth the magic had gone. As I said to Bono at the time, “It’s time to let you Irish boys have a spell in the spotlight. But remember son, global success and unlimited wealth doesn’t always make you happy.”

So now the years have slipped by and the wounds have healed and the time is right to spread our gift of song once again. The guaranteed £2m we will each receive has absolutely nothing to do with our desire to go on tour – it’s all about the fans and I can guarantee a bigger and better extravaganza then ever before. And if any members of Blurasis are reading this I only have two words for you – take THAT!

Regular readers of this blog need no introduction to The Signals due to the frenzied flurry of renewed interest that took place after THIS exclusive revelation back in April. But I thought it was time to spread the great tidings of musical joy to a wider audience during this season of goodwill.

Pity then that earnest has-been-wanna-be-again pop tarts Take That (think New Kids On The Block but with a bit of talent) chose the same week to announce their own attempted reunion and comeback, albeit without the inclusion of one their founder members – Bobby Somebodyorother. They seem to be back for the money whereas we, of course, are back for good.

I can see another Signals/Blurasis face-off looming on the horizon but I’m calm and relaxed in the knowledge that I could take both Mark and Jason in a fight. Simultaneously.


At 29/11/05 9:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic to see The Signals back, always felt they would have benefitted from a little more Cowbell tho'

Explore that Studio space Edge.

At 30/11/05 8:43 pm, Blogger DC said...


I know it's almost all tr- but I feel that you've been kind to yourself.

Your addiction didn't stop at pizza, and fine you know it. what about the pies, bridies, donuts, Chinese takeaways,blocks of cheese,Cadbury Buttons,Chicken Suppers etc?

As long as you made yourself sound good, that's just fine!


At 5/12/05 8:30 pm, Blogger DC said...


What's happening with the Signals/Quo venture I've read about in Smash Hits ?



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