Roland Gift

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Roland Gift
Roland Gift 1990.jpg
Gift pictured at a Grammy rehearsal in 1990
Born Roland Lee Gift
(1961-05-28) 28 May 1961 (age 53)
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Musician, actor
Known for Member of Fine Young Cannibals and Akrylykz

Roland Lee Gift (born 28 May 1961)[1] is a British singer and actor. He was the lead singer of the band Fine Young Cannibals.

Biography[edit]

Gift was born in Sparkhill in Birmingham[2] to a white mother and a black father,[3] and lived in the city until the age of 11.[4] He then moved to Hull, where his mother, Pauline, ran several second-hand clothes shops. He was educated at Kelvin Hall School in Hull. He has three sisters, Helga, Ragna and Jay and one brother, Paul.

Akrylykz and Fine Young Cannibals[edit]

His first recording on which he played the saxophone[3] was with Hull ska band Akrylykz, the second release on nearby York's Red Rhino Records.[5] Although this record was unsuccessful, it did bring him to the attention of Andy Cox and David Steele of The Beat. The Akrylykz toured with The Beat,[6] which led to them in around 1985 asking him to be the lead singer of their new band Fine Young Cannibals after their old band, The Beat, had broken up. He also was a guest artist on the Ska City Rollers' "Time Is Tight" single.

In 1990, he was named by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world.

Solo career[edit]

Gift contributed a cover of That's How Strong My Love Is for the soundtrack of the 1996 film Beautiful Girls

In 2002, Gift released a self-titled solo album, featuring the single "It's Only Money". In 2007, Gift was in a recording studio working on a follow-up album.

Gift has played again as a solo artist, an initial gig scheduled at the O2 Bubble (part of the British Music Experience) was cancelled.[7] He did, however, appear at the Rewind Festival in Henley.[8] On 13 February 2012, Gift appeared on BBC Radio Solent promoting the gigs and announced a potential new album in 2012. This will be a soundtrack to a film Gift is involved with. "The Prisoner" was played on the show and Roland said this would probably be included in the soundtrack.

He also appeared in Jools Holland's 20th annual 'Hootenanny' show, which aired overnight on BBC2 on 31 December 2012 / 1 January 2013,[9] the last to be recorded at BBC Television Centre. Gift sang the Fine Young Cannibals hits 'Good Thing' and 'Suspicious Minds'.

Gift was a guest vocalist on Jools Holland's 2013 tour.[10]

In August 2014 Gift announced four live UK dates in August and September 2014: Hare & Hounds Birmingham, Freedom Festival Hull, Sage Gateshead and Café de Paris, London.

Acting[edit]

Roland Gift singing at Guilfest 2011

In 1987, Gift had his first screen role in the film Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. In 1990 he did his first stage work, playing Romeo in the Hull Truck Theatre's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a production which had a brief run in the United States at the Staller Center for the Arts.[11] He also appeared as a lounge singer (singing songs that were included in the Fine Young Cannibals album The Raw and the Cooked) in the film Tin Men, directed by Barry Levinson.

In 1989, he appeared in Scandal as Johnny Edgecombe, Christine Keeler's boyfriend.

In December 1992, he began the first of five appearances as the evil Immortal Xavier St. Cloud in the television series Highlander: The Series, and appeared in an episode of the Yorkshire Television series Heartbeat. He also had a small role as the jazz saxophonist Eddie Mullen in the mini-series The Painted Lady (1997), starring Helen Mirren, and appeared in the movie The Island of the Mapmaker's Wife (2001).

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Information UK Album Chart
2002 Roland Gift

Singles[edit]

Year Single UK Singles Chart Album
2002 "It's Only Money"
123
Roland Gift
2009 "Crushed"
*(as Roland Lee Gift)
Non-album single

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roland Gift at AllMusic
  2. ^ Coleman, Andy (15 March 2002). "Good Thing, Where Have You Gone?: Interview – Roland Gift". Birmingham Evening Mail (Trinity Mirror Midlands). Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Roland Gift Biography". Musicianguide.com. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  4. ^ Robertson, Peter (10 August 2002). "Home truths: Roland Gift.". The Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  5. ^ "(obituary) Tony Kostrzewa: Founder of Red Rhino Records". The Independent. 9 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "The Rebel Magazine: Q & A with Roland Gift". Therebelmagazine.blogspot.com. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  7. ^ "Web Page Under Construction". Britishmusicexperience.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  8. ^ "Roland Gift – Rewind 2012". Absolute Radio. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  9. ^ "BBC Two – Jools' Annual Hootenanny, Jools' 20th Annual Hootenanny – 2012". Bbc.co.uk. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  10. ^ "Official Web Site | Tour Dates". Jools Holland. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  11. ^ "Review/Theater; Pop Star as a Nontraditional Romeo". The New York Times. 14 July 1990. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 

External links[edit]