Friday, August 12, 2005

The British rock n' roll invasion to the island goes on... now it is Simply Red.

Simply Red, the important pop rock English band, will visit Cuba by the end of August.
According to the official website of the band, the concerts will take place on Friday 26th, and Saturday 27th, at 8:30 pm in the Great Theater of Havana. The objectives of this journey are to make a DVD about their performance in the island (just like Audioslave and Rick Wakeman have already done last May) and to share the stage with local musicians.

It was known that their director Mick Hucknall, was recently in Havana to prepare the trip. It will coincide with the end of the summer vacation and the popular parties that always accompany the hot farewell of August in Cuba.
Before their arrival to the Caribbean island, Simply Red will present its new LP and a documentary of 10 minutes about Mick Hucknall's recent visit to Cuba. The presentation will be in the Shepherd's Bush Empire of London, on August 19th. This ten-minutes film will be included in the DVD, whose coming out is scheduled for November, 2005.

Mick Hucknall, founder and principal figure of the band, was born on June 8th, 1960 in Manchester. Here, in the early 80's, Hucknall enter the punk movement playing this polemic kind of music, which made lots of fans in the english underground scene during Margaret Tatcher's repressive government.
Hucknall joined the punk band Frantic And The Elevators. They recorded many singles. Among those we can mention the nostalgic ballad "Holding Back The Years", which was later included in the first record of Simply Red.

In 1983, with the effervescence of the New Wave, (a tendency that bets for dancing rhythms) the band fell apart, leaving behind Huckbnall's punk expressions. Then he founded another band together with Sylvan Rycharsond (guitar) y Fritz Mclntyre (keyboards). Tony Bowers, bass, Tim Kellett and Chris Joice (drumms) came soon after, and so the first line-up of a successful band was set up.
In 1985 Simply Red's first record saw the light. Made with Elektra records, it was titled "Picture Book" and it reached the second best position of the English hits, during 30 successive weeks.

The single "Holding Back The Years", included in this first work, was a number one hit in the United States and it gave Simply Red a very good presentation card to the doors of the tough North American musical market.
Another of the popular compositions of the album would be Money's Too Tight to Mention, a version of Valentine Brother's song. In 1987 Simply Red shot its second album, "Men & Women", with a new sonority based on an explicit soul sound, which evidently influenced the harmony of the band. Of this album we remember "The right thing", a song that situated the band on the top the audiences again. Later, the guitarist Richardson left the group and he was replaced by Azíz Ibrahim, who would eventually be also replaced by the current guitarist, the Brazilian Heitor Pereira.

One of the most famous albums of Simply Ret was "A New Flame”, 1989, which went up toward the summit of the lists of successes. To this album belong the two singles "It's only love" and "If you don't know me by now", which reached the second place in the United Kingdom. At the same time, the album won the German prize to the best song "Rhytm&Blues."
Two years later, in 1991, a new album came out: "Stars". It sold 9 million copies that year in Great Britain and it won twelve times Platinum in that country. It was definitively the most popular album of the year. In this moment Shawn Ward joined the band as a bassist and the Japanese Gota Yashiki was added too as the new drummer. About the new members of the band, Hucknall expressed “we seem a force of peace of the United Nations."
Twelve months later, "Blue", was considered by the specialized critics as an overturn toward their origins.

At the end of the 90's, a decade full of worldwide changes, they presented "Love & The Russian Winter", a creation marked by the new contemporary sounds as, for example, the electronic music or dance. The result were songs like "Ain't That a Lot Of Love.
Simply Red welcomed the new century with the launching of "It's only love", an album with the gratest hits of the band.
Four years later, in 2004, Simply Ret promoted "Home". This recent production includes, "Fake", "Sunrise" and, "Home". The versions "Money In My Pocket", "You Make Me Feel Brand New" and the famous "Positively 4th Street" of Bob Dylan are some other songs of the album. From their beginnings until today, Simply Red has sold more than 45 million albums.

After their performance in Cuba, on September 4th the band will be in the Festival of Sopot (Poland), its last presentation before the beginning of its tour. This Tour will start on October 25th in Belfast, Ireland, coinciding with the presentation of its new album “Simplified” preceded by the promotional single “Perfect Love.” The journey includes several cities of the United Kingdom as well as concerts in Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Holland, Luxemburg, France and Italy.

The presentation of Simply Red in Cuba will be added to the growing list of British bands that have chosen the island during the last years to make special performances. For instance Manic Street Preachers, Dub Seized Foundation, Rick Wakeman with New English Rock Ensemble (NERE).