Marseille (band)

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Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Heavy Metal
Years active 1976 (1976)–present
Labels Mountain Records 1977-1980
RCA Records (USA)
Ultranoise Records 1982-1984
Gas Station Music 2009-present
Members Neil Buchanan
Andy Charters
Nigel Roberts
Ace Finchum
Past members Paul Dale
Keith Knowles
Steve Dinwoodie
Sav Pearce
Marc Railton
Gareth Webb
Lee Andrews

Marseille are a British heavy metal band from Liverpool, England.


Marseille formed in Liverpool in early 1976, and released their debut album, Red, White and Slightly Blue on the Mountain Records label in 1978. Original members were Paul Dale (vocals), Neil Buchanan (guitar), Andy Charters (guitar), Keith Knowles (drums) and Steve Dinwoodie (bass). Marseille were the first band to win "UK Battle of the Bands" with the finals judged by Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen at Wembley Arena on October 31, 1977.[1]

Marseille gathered a small fan base while promoting their first album as support for other groups such as Judas Priest - Nazareth - Whitesnake and UFO.[2] Their debut album had very raunchy lyrics but suffered somewhat from lack in promotion and limitation of release[3] For the single, Kiss Like Rock 'n' Roll the band were produced by Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton.

Their second album release, the eponymous Marseille, received radio airplay, extending their fanbase in the UK. Several tracks off this album featured in the "Alternative Top 20 Charts" published in Sounds (magazine) with other emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Saxon, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden.[4] Marseille were the first NWOBHM band to tour and have an album released in the USA on RCA Records. The band promoted their "Marseille" album on tour in the USA with Scottish rock band Nazareth and American south coast boogie band, Blackfoot during the summer of 1980.[5] Unfortunately the band arrived back in the UK to witness the demise of "Mountain", their record and management company.[6] With all their equipment still stranded in the USA the band were forced off the road and into a two year legal battle with liquidators which precluded them pursuing another recording contract. During this time Paul Dale, Andy Charters and Neil Buchanan left the band. Andy moved to the USA and Neil began a successful career in TV. The two remaining members, Keith Knowles and Steve Dinwoodie later recruited vocalist Sav Pearse and guitarist Marc Railton from local Liverpool band "Savage Lucy" to complete a third album entitled "Touch The Night" on the "Ultra Noise" label in 1984.[7] However industry disinterest in the band caused this iteration of Marseille to split-up soon after. "Touch the Night" was labeled by Kerrang magazine as a closet classic that should have taken the band to higher ground.

In 2003 a two-disc CD aptly titled "Rock You Tonight" became the "Marseille" Anthology" and was released by the Castle Communications, a subsidiary division of "Sanctuary Records Group" The album, containing material from all three of Marseille's previous albums, garnered some critical acclaim being hailed "The best box set of 2003" by George Smith of Village Voice magazine the USA.[3]

The original line up reunited for a handful of gigs in 2008, however, Paul Dale soon left the band and was replaced in February 2009 by Nigel Roberts. The band recorded an EP FourPlay which was released on the Gas Station Music label in 2009. In 2010 Keith Knowles and Steve Dinwoodie stepped down to be replaced by Gareth Webb (drums) and Lee Andrews (bass). The band recorded their first full album in 25 years "Unfinished Business" in early 2010. The album was unveiled at the band's appearance at the Hard Rock Hell festival in December 2010. A full UK tour supported by Exit State followed.

In April 2011 Gareth Webb stepped down and was replaced by Ace Finchum (also a member of Tigertailz) on drums. The band continued a heavy gig schedule throughout 2011 and are currently working on new material for an upcoming release in 2012. Festival appearances are already on the schedule for 2012 to promote this release in the UK and Europe.

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Nigel Roberts - Lead vocals
  • Andy Charters - Rhythm guitar & backing vocals
  • Ace Finchum - Drums

Former members[edit]

  • Paul Dale - Lead vocals
  • Sav Pearce - Lead vocals
  • Marc Railton - Rhythm & Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
  • Steve Dinwoodie - Bass guitar & Backing Vocals
  • Lee Andrews - Bass guitar
  • Keith Knowles - Drums & Backing Vocals
  • Gareth Webb - Drums



  • Red White and Slightly Blue (1978) - Mountain
  • Marseille (1979) - Mountain
  • Touch the Night (1984) - Ultranoise
  • Unfinished Business (2010) - Gas Station Music


  • Rock You Tonight: The Anthology (2003) - Castle Communications


  • FourPlay (2009) - Gas Station Music

7" Singles[edit]

  • "The French Way" (1978) - Mountain
  • "Over and Over" (1979) - Mountain
  • "Bring on the Dancing Girls" (1979) - Mountain
  • "Kiss Like Rock 'n Roll" (1979) - Mountain
  • "Kites" (1980) - Mountain
  • "Walking on a Highwire" (1984) - Ultranoise (10,000 of which were pressed in limited edition silver vinyl)

12" Singles[edit]

  • "(Do It) The French Way" (1977) - Varesse


External links[edit]