Geisha (band)

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Also known as Geisha Detail
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Pop rock, glam rock, New Romantics
Years active 1983 (1983)–1988 (1988), 2007 (2007)–present
Labels EMI, Diamond Dog, Almacantar
Members Chris Doheny
Tom Hosie
Alby Stefani
Past members Donoghue Doheny
John Nyman
Peter Robertson
Ken Sheppard
Brett Luton
Steve Carter
Laurence Maddy
Rob Dean
Joe Matera

Geisha are an Australian pop rock band, which formed in 1983 as Geisha Detail with founding mainstay Chris Doheny on lead vocals and guitar (later also on bass guitar). Their highest charting single, "Part Time Love Affair" (1986), peaked at No. 24 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart. They issued two albums, Geisha (October 1985) and Midnight to Dawn (October 1987), before disbanding in April 1988. Geisha briefly reformed in April 1998 and released a compilation album, The Very Best of Geisha, late that year. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their style as "1970s glam rock and early 1980s English New Romantic bands such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet". Another version of Geisha was established by Doheny in 2007.


In 1983 Geisha were formed in Melbourne as Geisha Detail with Chris Doheny on lead guitar and vocals; his younger brother, Donoghue Doheny, on bass guitar and backing vocals; John Nyman on keyboards; Peter Robertson on drums; and Ken Sheppard on guitar.[1] They shortened their name to Geisha and signed with EMI Records.[1] In April 1985 the group released their debut, "Fool's Way", which appeared on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[2] It was produced by Dave Marett (The Exponents) and was written by Chris Doheny.[3][4]

Later that year they had two more charting singles, "Rainy Day" (July) and "Kabuki" (September).[2] Their singles sold well in the local market – "Kabuki" reached No. 20 on the Melbourne charts – as they had developed popularity on the suburban pub circuit.[1] Nationally they had less chart success, where "Kabuki" reached the top 50.[2] Their debut self-titled album appeared in October 1985, other than "Fool's Way", it had been recorded from May to June with Peter Dawkins (Dragon, Australian Crawl and Air Supply) producing and Richard Lush engineering.[1][5] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their style as "1970s glam rock and early 1980s English New Romantic bands such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet".[1]

In March 1986 Geisha re-released "Rainy Day" and followed with "Part Time Love Affair" in August, which reached No. 24 on the Kent Music Report and No. 3 on the Melbourne charts.[1][2] Another single was issued, "Girl Like You", which also charted nationally.[2] However by the end of the year they had become a three-piece with Chris Doheny and Sheppard joined by Brett Luton on drums.[1] In 1987 Geisha's line-up was Doheny joined by Steve Carter on bass guitar; Rob Dean on guitar (ex-Japan); Tommy Hosie on drums (James Freud's Berlin) and Laurence Maddick on keyboards (ex-Strange Tenants).[1] In August they issued another single, "Calling Your Name", which reached the top 100.[2] They followed in October with their second album, Midnight to Dawn, and another charting single, "Normal People".[1][2] The album's tracks were produced by David Courtney except "Normal People" by Kevin Beamish and "Part Time Love Affair" by band members.[6] Geisha broke up in April 1988.[1]

After Geisha disbanded Chris Doheny played in cover bands: Diamond Dogs, All the Young Dudes and Dragonfly.[1] All the Young Dudes released a mini-album in 1991. In 1993 his hard rock project, Dragonfly, with Craig Harnath (ex-Kids in the Kitchen, Chocolate Starfish), released two extended plays, River of Love and Black Money. In 1994 Doheny provided lead vocals for "More Than a Game", the opening theme song for Nine Network TV program, The Footy Show,[1][7] which charted in the top 60 of the ARIA Singles Chart,[8][9] becoming his first appearance on Australian charts as a solo artist. In September 1997 he released a solo single, "Can You Hear the Rain" (Roadshow Music).[1] In April 1998 Geisha temporarily reformed with the 1983 line-up: Chris and Donoghue Doheny, Nyman, Robertson and Sheppard; for a live performance and EMI Records released a compilation album, The Very Best of Geisha, in August.[1][10][11]

In 2005 Chris Doheny performed acoustic versions of Geisha material on Chart Busting 80s on Melbourne TV station, Channel 31.[12] From February in the following year he began work on an album, Acoustic Memoirs of Geisha, at his own Dragon Lair Studio.[12] It was produced and mixed at Lincoln Road Studios by Bill Kio.[12] The album appeared in September on Doheny's independent label, Diamond Dog Records,[13][14][15] and in the US on Almacantar Records.[12] The next month Chris Doheny and Friends performed Geisha material.[12] In the same year Doheny supervised the release of another Geisha album, No Second Prize, which had been recorded in the late 1980s. In 2007, he formed a new line-up of Geisha with Joe Matera on guitar.[16][17][18] I Heart Guitar '​s Peter Hodgson reviewed a March 2010 gig, "Matera’s playing is obviously informed by the great 70s guitar gods" whereas "[Doheny's] tone delved a little further back in music history, to London in the 60s" and Hodgson was "particularly impressed by Doheny’s vocal power".[16]

In January 2010 Geisha released another compilation album, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, which provided two singles, "Birthday" (previously an iTunes release), and the double-A sided "Mystery Writer" / "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band". Two additional tracks are cover versions of Small Faces' "Tin Soldier" and The Beatles' "Come Together". In late 2010 Matera left the group to focus on his solo career. In 2011 the Geisha line-up of Doheny on vocals, guitar and bass guitar; Tom Hosie on drums (previously in the 1987 line-up); and Alby Stefani on bass guitar, guitar and keyboards; recorded material for a proposed new studio album, Dysphasia. The lead single, "Sailing", was issued in July 2011.[19] According to Chris Doheny's website the album was due before Christmas in 2011.[19] Early in 2012 Doheny released a solo single, a cover of Foo Fighters' "Times Like These".



  • Geisha (October 1985) – EMI Records
  • Midnight to Dawn (October 1987) – EMI Records
  • The Very Best of Geisha (August 1998) – EMI Records
  • Acoustic Memoirs of Geisha (2006) – Diamond Dog Records
  • No Second Prize (2006) – Diamond Dog Records
  • Demo Sessions 1984-85 (2008) – Diamond Dog Records
  • Demo Sessions 1986-87 (2009) – Diamond Dog Records
  • Rainy Day The 12 Inch Mixes (2009) – Diamond Dog Records
  • Geisha "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (2010) – Diamond Dog Records
  • Dysphasia


  • "Fool's Way"/"Heartfall" (1985) – EMI Records – (AUS No. 53)[2][20]
  • "Rainy Day"/"Not the Same" (1985) – EMI Records – (in 1985: AUS No. 95, in 1986: AUS No. 59)[2][20][21]
  • "Kabuki"/Moving to the Rhythm" (1985) – EMI – (AUS No. 42)[2][20]
  • "Part Time Love Affair"/"Twilght Love" (1986) – EMI Records - (AUS No. 24)[2][21]
  • "Girl Like You"/"Part Time Love Affair" 12 inch double A side (1986) – EMI Records – (AUS No. 62)[2][21]
  • "Calling Your Name"/"Don't Come Knocking" (1987) – EMI Records – (AUS No. 57)[2][22]
  • "Normal People"/"Paranoid Street" (1987) – EMI Records – (AUS No. 92)[2][22]
  • "Never Tell Why"/"Shining Star" (1987) – EMI Records
  • "Nobody's Angel" (2006) – Diamond Dog Records
  • "No Second Prize" (2007) – Diamond Dog Records
  • "Birthday" (2009) – Diamond Dog Records
  • "Mystery Writer"/"Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" Double A side (2010) – Diamond Dog Records
  • "Sailing" (2011)

Chris Doheny solo:

  • "More Than a Game" (Theme to Network Nine's The Footy Show) CD single (1994) – Fable Music (ARIA No. 54)[8]
  • "Can You Hear the Rain" CD single (1997) – Roadshow Music
  • "Times Like These" (cover version of Foo Fighters track) (2012) – Diamond Dog Records


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Geisha'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  3. ^ "Fool's Way" (Media notes). Geisha. EMI Records. 1985. EMI 1456. 
  4. ^ "'Fool's Way' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Geisha; Lush, Richard; Dawkins, Peter; Doheny, Chris; Doheny, Donoghue; Sheppard, Ken; Nyman, John; Robertson, Peter (1985), Geisha, EMI Records Australia. National Library of Australia, retrieved 5 July 2013, Credits: Produced by Peter Dawkins for The Giant Production Co. Performer: Chris Doheny, vocals; Donoghue Doheny, bass; Ken Sheppard, guitar; John Nyman, keyboards; Peter Robertson, drums. Notes: EMI: EMX-430031. Engineered by Richard Lush. Recorded and digitally mixed at Studios 301, May and June 1985 .
  6. ^ Midnight to Dawn (Media notes). Geisha. EMI Records. 1987. EMX 430057. 
  7. ^ "'More Than a Game' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Savage, Grant (20 December 2012). "Top Singles of 1994". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Silver, Harvey (1997). Behind The Footy Show. cartoons by Andrew Fyfe. Five Mile Press. ISBN 978-1-86463-159-3. 
  10. ^ Stewart, Paul (26 July 1998). "Geisha's second coming". Sunday Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times (News Corp)). 
  11. ^ Adams, Cameron (23 July 1998). "Q&A with Chris Doheny (Geisha)". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times (News Corp)). 
  12. ^ a b c d e Cashmere, Paul (14 September 2006). "Vintage Geisha and New Doheny Released in USA". Undercover (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman). Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Going back to '80s". Progress Leader. 17 October 2006. 
  14. ^ Frederick, Matthew (20 October 2006). "Doing a Kerouac to Kyneton". The Age (Fairfax Media). 
  15. ^ Adams, Cameron; Sutherland, Claire; Johnson, Neala (26 October 2006). "Memoirs of '80s Geisha". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times (News Corp)). 
  16. ^ a b Hodgson, Peter (2 March 2010). "Gig Review: Geisha @ SpensersLive, Melbourne". I Heart Guitar (Peter Hodgson). Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Eliezer, Christie (March 2009). "Geisha". Beat Magazine. 
  18. ^ Dowling, James (29 July 2008). "Geisha's intimate stage". Progress Leader. 
  19. ^ a b Doheny, Chris (31 July 2011). "Geisha News: New Single 'Sailing' Is Out Now!". Chris Doheny Official Website. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c Ryan (bulion), Gary (20 February – 31 March 2010). "1985 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c Ryan (bulion), Gary (31 March 2010). "1986 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Ryan (bulion), Gary (31 March 2010). "1987 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 5 July 2013.