Big Bang (British band)

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Big Bang
Big Bang .jpg
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Big beat, electronica, synthpop, alternative dance, nu-disco
Years active 1988–1991
2013-present
Labels WM Records, Swanyard Records
Associated acts You You You
Website bigbanguk.co.uk
Members Laurence Malice
Iain Williams
Past members Vocalists
Teresa Revill (1989-1990)
Jasmine Ventura (1989-1990)

Big Bang are a British electronic music duo that came to prominence in the late 1980s. The band consists of Laurence Malice (founder of Trade nightclub) and Iain Williams (writer). Based in London, the duo were signed to Swanyard Records and spearheaded the music genre known as big beat.[1][2]

Musical history[edit]

Formation and early years[edit]

Big Bang were formed during the latter part of 1988.

Laurence and Iain had previously been in a band together called You You You[3] along with the vocalist Karen O'Connor and backing vocalist Alice Shaw.[4][5][6][7][8] You You You gave their first concert at a secret location in Charing Cross Road in early January, 1987. So secret was the venue, members of the band have since forgotten what it was called. The show was arranged as an unannounced warm-up gig before their debut at the Camden Palace on 13 January.[4][9] The band billed their first series of concerts as ‘Stage 1’ of their ‘World Domination’ Tour and enlisted the help of illustrator Mark Wardel to design their publicity.[10][11] Their appearance at Camden Palace attracted over 1,000 people on what the Met Office recorded as probably being England's coldest night of the 20th Century.[4][12][13][14]

You You You built up a strong following performing concerts on the club scene including three nights at the Hippodrome, London (23 January,[15] 9 February and 6 April),[16][17][18] a show at Le Palace in Paris, which the performance artist Leigh Bowery hosted,[19] and performances at The Fridge in Brixton where they appeared on stage on a huge white staircase with a troupe of synchronised dancers (filmed for Japanese TV),[4][20] at Anarchy Club at London Astoria, at The Zap Club in Brighton (as part of the event ‘Return of the Django goes to Brighton’ on 18 April),[21][22] at Paradise Lost in Watford and at The Limelight.[23][24][25] The band received an invitation to appear at The Party (a benefit concert held at Wembley Arena on 1 April for the first ever World AIDS Day).[4][26] On the bill were some of the best known names in the music industry including Elton John, George Michael, Bob Geldof, Meat Loaf, Ben E. King and Kim Wilde. The show was televised to over 100 million viewers worldwide. Due to the volume of acts who performed at the event, You You You were allotted an appearance at the After-Party show held at a theatre in London’s West End. The band appeared on stage alongside several pop stars including George Michael, members from the cast of TV’s Coronation Street and EastEnders and performers from several West End musicals including 42nd Street (musical) and Nunsense.[27] On 12 July, You You You made a guest appearance on the Channel 4 TV show Network 7. Their pop video for Head over Heels directed by Steven Chivers was premiered on the show and Karen was interviewed by presenter Magenta Devine inside a specially built caravan. On 17 December, You You You gave a special Christmas Show at the Hippodrome, London (their 4th appearance at the venue that year). It would become the band's last ever live performance.

In February 1988, You You You signed a deal with Orinoco to record a single for Major Productions under the guidance of Orinoco studios owner Tom Astor. The Lager Brothers - Ken Thomas and Zeke Manyika (from the band Orange Juice - produced two tracks with the band.[28] In July, the project came to a halt after Karen quit the band to concentrate on her acting career. Soon after, Laurence and Iain created Big Bang as a duo using session vocalists for recordings and live performances. The single You You You recorded titled 'How Can This be Love' was never released.[29]

Big Bang signed to Swanyard Records at the start of 1989. The label was founded by Margarita Hamilton owner of Walton Castle and Big Bang were the first artists to be signed to it. They released their first record on Swanyard Records (SYRTR 1)[30] in June 1989, an Arabic inspired version of the ABBA classic "Voulez-Vous" b-side "Cold Nights In Cairo".[31][32] It reached #101 in the BBC national chart.[33] The single was produced by Big Bang and Steev Toth. Both 7” and 12” versions (plus an 'Imagine Mix' 12" extended version) were released. The band used session vocalists on all their recordings. Lead vocals on "Voulez-Vous" were shared by Jasmine Ventura and Teresa Revill, backing vocals were shared by Iain and Laurence. Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor played guitar on the track. A 12" white label had previously been released several months earlier.[34][35] Mixed by Democratic 3, it reached #1 in certain club charts throughout the UK and #27 in a Record Mirror chart.[36]

It was Iain Williams who coined the musical term big beat to describe the band's sound and explained the concept during an interview with the French journalist Alex Gerry for an article in the London magazine Metropolitan (issue 132, page 9, 6 June 1989) under the heading, 'BIG BANG IN CLUBLAND. Could BIG BEAT be the 1989 answer to ACID HOUSE?'.[37] Big Bang's sound consisted of various experimental musical elements including heavy hard rock drum beats and synthesizer-generated loops as well as an added suggestion of European influences that at times had a trance-like quality. Their agent 10 x Better released a press release detailing their musical influences that included Dalida, Warda Al-Jazairia, ABBA, Tamla Motown and 70s Euro disco.[38] Big Bang always stated "Cold Nights In Cairo" gave a better impression of the big beat sound they were aiming for than their recording of "Voulez-Vous" did. Club DJs picked up on this and both tracks became club floor-fillers. The concept of the big beat sound was later picked up on and adapted by many club DJs and went on to become widely used by many successful musicians throughout the 1990s.

1989: Arabic Circus Tour[edit]

Laurence Malice (left) and Iain Williams (right) of Big Bang performing on stage during their 1989 Arabic Circus Tour

During 1989, Big Bang performed several concerts to publicise the release of 'Voulez-Vous' with their lavish Arabic Circus Tour that consisted of various circus acts including acrobats, one-wheel bicycle riders, fire-eaters, jugglers, flying trapeze artists and a belly-dancing troupe.[39] Big Bang were joined on stage by the vocalists Teresa Revill and Jasmine Ventura.

Big Bang on stage during their Arabic Circus Tour, 1989

Shows were performed at the Hippodrome, London in Leicester Square where Steve Strange hosted the night and it was said Grace Jones threatened to jump on stage to upstage the band [40] and at the Paramount City in Soho (formerly the Windmill Theatre), at the Hammersmith Palais in Hammersmith, and at Heaven nightclub with DJ's Mark Moore (creator of the band S'Express) and Colin Faver who on his Myspace page cites Big Bang as being one of his many musical influences.[33][39][41][42][43][44] The Arabic Circus Tour also performed at a special Ball held in a massive disused West London warehouse hosted by the performance artist Leigh Bowery with experimental musician/vocalist Danielle Dax and American punk singer and former Andy Warhol protégé Jayne County appearing as supporting artists on the bill.

1990 – 1991[edit]

1990: Throughout 1990 Big Bang concentrated on writing and recording new material with the intention of releasing an album. In October Laurence opened Trade nightclub at Turnmills in London. Trade was the first all-night after-hours nightclub in Britain and became legendary.[45] On 16 November 1990, Big Bang accompanied by vocalist Jasmine Ventura were flown over to Ireland to represent the United Kingdom in the 13th International Song Festival where they performed their self-penned song "One More Chance." It was the first time the song had been heard in public. The festival, held in Cavan, lasted for two days and was compered by the Irish commentators George Hamilton (commentator) and Larry Gogan. The Romanian singer Ricky Dandel gave a guest performance during the festival.[46] The final was held on 17 November. Big Bang came No. 2 in the competition and No. 1 for performance. During their stay in Ireland Big Bang gave several radio, TV and newspaper interviews.

Upon their return to London, Big Bang parted company with Swanyard Records over musical differences. The band immediately secured interest from London Records who commissioned them to record a single at The Music Station in Fulham. With a new producer at the helm, Big Bang laid down the backing track to "One More Chance."

1991: Although Big Bang never officially disbanded, in 1991 Laurence and Iain decided to concentrate on their careers away from the band. The new material they wrote and recorded for their intended album titled Theory was never released.

2010[edit]

Interest in the band has recently increased. In 2010, digitally remastered bootleg CDs of 'Voulez-Vous' & 'Cold Nights in Cairo' by Big Bang began to appear in America selling for as much as £45.[47] In November, 2010, in Tokyo, Japan, the DJ's Dr. Rob & Matt Best of RightRightRight included Cold Nights in Cairo in their Dr. Rob - Lonely Acid 2010 mix No. 36.[48] In December, 2010, The Groove Room included a mix of 'Voulez-Vous' by Big Bang in their Party Mix 1 [49]

2012[edit]

2012: The original 1989 12" 'Imagine mix' version of 'Voulez Vous' by Big Bang is included on the 2012 EuroNixMix Dance Mix 4. The mix is available on YouTube[50]

July 2012: Big Bang - "Voulez Vous 2012" the 'rare mix' [51]

2013[edit]

Big Bang - "I Really Miss U" (ft. Teresa Revill) [52]

On 26 August 2013, Big Bang issued a press statement announcing the release of their first single in over two decades. The emphatically catchy 'I Really Miss U' features lead vocals by Teresa Revill. The single was released on 26 August 2013 and is available worldwide as a download from iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon [53] etc. The media immediately dubbed it a nu-disco track. A lyric video to accompany the song can be seen on YouTube.

2014 Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising (EP)[edit]

Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising (Big Bang EP)

On 1 July 2014, Big Bang announced via their website that they'll be releasing a new six-track EP (extended play). [54] Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising [55] was officially released as a digital download (mp3) on 4 August 2014 on WM Records and is available worldwide. [56] This is Big Bang’s first EP and is a collection of songs/tracks taken from the soundtrack to their Arabic Circus. It is 21 minutes in length. On 2 July, Big Bang released a promotional video short on their website and YouTube to accompany the EP’s release [57] using a remixed version (The Symphonic Mix) of their track Trail of the Bedouins to accompany the video soundtrack.

Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Arrangement Length
1. "Voulez Vous"   B. Andersson / B. Ulvaeus B. Andersson / B. Ulvaeus Big Bang / Steev Toth 3:48
2. "Tell Me"   I. Williams / L. Malice I. Williams Iain Williams / Simon Thomas 4:07
3. "Higher and Higher" (Democratic 3 mix) I. Williams / L. Malice I. Williams Iain Williams / Simon Thomas/ Democratic 3 4:06
4. "Cold Nights in Cairo" (S. Proctor mix) (instrumental) I. Williams / L. Malice Big Bang / S. Proctor 3:40
5. "TM2" (Sahara City mix) (instrumental) I. Williams Iain Williams / Simon Thomas 3:59
6. "Trail of the Bedouins" (The Badawī (بدوي) Mix) (instrumental) I. Williams Iain Williams 1:23
Total length:
21:03

Release history[edit]

Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising will be released on WM Records in various countries worldwide in 2014.

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Australia, New Zealand 4 August 2014 WM Records Digital download WMR0003
Japan 4 August 2014 WM Records Digital download WMR0003
United Kingdom, Europe 4 August 2014 WM Records Digital download WMR0003
United States, Canada 4 August 2014 WM Records Digital download WMR0003

Discography[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Label
UK
1989 "Voulez-Vous" 12” single #27 (Record Mirror chart)[58] White Label
"Voulez-Vous"/"Cold Nights in Cairo" 7” single #101 (BBC chart)[59] Swanyard Records
"Voulez-Vous"/"Cold Nights in Cairo" 12” single #14 (end of year club chart) [60] Swanyard Records
Year Single Peak positions Label
UK US
2013 "I Really Miss U" (ft. Teresa Revill) single download single download WM Records
Year EP Peak positions Label
UK US
2014 "Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising" EP download EP download WM Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ Big Bang UK website [1]
  2. ^ Big Bang (Google page) https://plus.google.com/109624757875466956519/posts
  3. ^ "You You You - British Band 1987 Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  4. ^ a b c d e The BUZZ magazine, issue no.5, Spring 1987, page 87. Article ... ‘You You You - It's What She Likes’ (text by Nicky Heywood, photograph of You You You by Andrew Czezowski)
  5. ^ "youyouyouband". YouTube. 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  6. ^ "January 1987". Blondesearch.ru. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
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  8. ^ "You You You Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  9. ^ Evening Standard, Ad Lib, page 10, 13 January 1987, You You You play live at Camden Palace tonight
  10. ^ "You You You - Band Illustrated By Mark Wardel, 1987, Copyright Mark Wardel Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  11. ^ "Trademark/Scene - Portraits". Trademarkart.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
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  13. ^ "Regional Climate: South West England". Met Office. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  14. ^ Melody Maker LIVE! review, 24 January 1987, page 19, You You You, Camden Palace, London. Live concert review by Joy Press and a photograph of Karen performing on stage at the Camden Palace, ‘There is always a need… for a band like You You You’
  15. ^ "You You You concert ticket for the Hippodrome, 23 January 1987, containing a Mark Wardel illustration of the band". Photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  16. ^ Evening Standard, Ad Lib, 22 January 1987, page 27, Beauty and the Beast, Karen and You You You with photograph of Karen
  17. ^ City Limits, 29 January 1987, JIVETALK, music-nightclubs, page 53, Laurence Malice interview by Rose Christie, article contains a photograph of Laurence
  18. ^ Melody Maker, 7 February 1987, Blondes have more fun page 7, article about You You You, with a photograph of Karen and Laurence on stage performing at the Hippodrome
  19. ^ "French Touch". I1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  20. ^ Time Out, page 46, 25 March 1987, You You You, current faves on the club scene appear at the Fridge on Friday, 27 March - ‘special coaches to the venue will be laid on leaving Charing Cross at 10.30pm returning at 1.00am.’
  21. ^ Zap Art. "www.zaparchive.org". www.zaparchive.org. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  22. ^ Time Out, Night Life, Speakeasy, 18 April 1987 - Brighton - the outrageous You, You, You appear at the Zap Club in Brighton
  23. ^ "You You You Invitation For Their Concert At The Limelight, London 1987 Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.beta.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  24. ^ BIZ magazine, (Mail on Sunday) 21 June 1987, page 3, Shooting Stars, You You You interview and a colour photograph - The audience in Watford didn't know what had hit them.'
  25. ^ Daily Express, Court In The Act, 8 July 1987, page 23, Karen O’Connor from You You You sees herself as a sex-bomb in the Jayne Mansfield mould
  26. ^ "You, You, You - It's What She Likes!!". I1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  27. ^ "Kathy's Zak Starkey Site: Stand By Me - Aids Day Benefit 1987". Kathyszaksite.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  28. ^ "EQ Magazine, April 1988, Page 20, Studio Lockout Update, ‘You You You’ Recording Single At Orinoco Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.beta.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  29. ^ "You You You - Unreleased Single 'How Can This Be Love' Recorded At Orinoco Recording Studios Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  30. ^ "Swanyard Records Ltd - CDs and Vinyl at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  31. ^ "Big Bang (7) Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
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  33. ^ a b "Big Bang - Evening Standard, 20 September 1989, Metropolis - 80s Icons (edited By Sorrel Downer), Big Bang Celebrate Reaching No. 101 In The Charts With Their Arabic Inspired Version Of "Voulez Vous" By Appearing At Heaven Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.beta.photobucket.com. 1989-09-20. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  34. ^ Record Mirror, 22 January 1989, page 39, review, "Voulez-Vous" by Big Bang - limited edition white label. ‘Extremely limited white label pressing by Iain Williams and Laurence Malice with Abba sound-a-like female support of indeed that groups obviously still catchy classic in a Democratic 3 mixed Near Eastern flavoured smoothly trotting 126 BPM revival about which we will probably be hearing more’
  35. ^ "Big Bang (7) - Voulez Vous? (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  36. ^ Record Mirror, 4 March 1989, page 40, "Voulez-Vous" (12" white label) by Big Band, #27 in chart
  37. ^ Metropolitan magazine (issue 132, page 9, 6 June 1989)'BIG BANG IN CLUBLAND. Could BIG BEAT be the 1989 answer to ACID HOUSE?
  38. ^ Big Bang press release, 1989, issued by the agency 10 x Better. The press release accompanied promotional copies of their single "Voulez-Vous". It lists Big Bang's musical influences and explains their Big Beat concept.
  39. ^ a b Time Out, 20 September 1989, page 5 & 93, Big Bang Arabic Circus Tour
  40. ^ Capital newspaper, page 15, December 15, 1989
  41. ^ Capital newspaper, page 9, 15 September 1989, ‘Heaven will play host to the first ever appearance of Big Bang on 20 September’
  42. ^ "Colin Faver | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  43. ^ Capital newspaper, 29 September 1989, issue 412, front page (quarter page photograph of Big Bang’s Arabic Circus Tour in concert on stage at Heaven)
  44. ^ Evening Standard, 20 September 1989, Big Bang appear at Heaven with their Arabic Circus Tour
  45. ^ Facebook (2011-10-24). "Laurence Malice Blog Posts | Topic Tags | Independent Blogs". Blogs.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  46. ^ Serpi Lucian. "Official Site - Biographies". Ricky Dandel. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
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  48. ^ "Dr Rob - Lonely Acid | RightRightRight". samurai.fm. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  49. ^ The Groove Room (2010-12-30). "grooveroom - 60s-90s nostalgia radio show: Party Mix 1". Thegrooveroom.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  50. ^ "EuroNick61 Old Skool Dance Mix 12". YouTube. 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  51. ^ "Voulez Vous - Big Bang by Laurence Malice on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds". Soundcloud.com. 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
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  53. ^ "I Really Miss U: Big Bang feat. Teresa Revill: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  54. ^ Big Bang Uk website http://www.bigbanguk.co.uk/#!news/ccca
  55. ^ "iTunes - Music - Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising - EP by Big Bang". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  56. ^ Juno listing of Arabic Circus by Big Bang http://www.junodownload.com/products/big-bang-arabic-circus-the-dawn-rising/2509481-02/
  57. ^ "Big Bang Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising EP". Bigbanguk.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
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  59. ^ "Big Bang - Evening Standard, 20 September 1989, Metropolis - 80s Icons (edited By Sorrel Downer), Big Bang Celebrate Reaching No. 101 In The Charts With Their Arabic Inspired Version Of "Voulez Vous" By Appearing At Heaven Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.photobucket.com. 1989-09-20. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  60. ^ "1989 End Of Year London Club Chart - Big Bang Voulez Vous At Number 14 Photo by Beatrice211 | Photobucket". S1130.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06.