Silent Running (band)
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Silent Running are an Northern Irish rock band, who emerged from the Belfast punk scene and were originally called The Setz before changing musical direction in 1982. The original band members were Richard Collett (bass), Peter Gamble (vocals), Tony Scott (guitars) and Ian Gault (drums). Prior to signing to EMI the band recruited George Beavis on keyboards.
Speed of life
The band recorded tracks such as 'Speed of Life' for the proposed first album although Beavis was subsequently dismissed and replaced with Alex White. The resulting album was Shades of Liberty which received a five star review in Melody Maker headlined "Silent Classic". Despite 'near' top forty hits such as 'Young Hearts' and 'Sticks and Stones' the band never achieved the desired breakthrough.
The second album on EMI was prefaced with the release of the double A side single 'No Faith Is Blind'/'Business as Usual'. Despite massive airplay and appearances on television shows across the musical spectrum (including 'Cheggar's Plays Pop') the single failed to chart resulting in the band being dropped by EMI, which led to the situation of their second album on EMI getting cancelled long before its designated release date.
In a major coup the band were subsequently picked up by Atlantic Records, becoming the first British or Irish act to join the roster of this legendary American record label.
White left in 1985 to work with Joan Armatrading, resulting in the band relying on session musicians such as Adrian Lee (Mike + The Mechanics), Clive Gates (New Musik) and Ian Curnow (Talk Talk; he was not really a stranger to the band, since he had already played the keyboards on their 1983 debut single) to record the next two albums (Walk on Fire and Deep).
The first album on Atlantic (Walk on Fire) spawned a minor US hit 'Sanctuary' but again the band could not make the elusive breakthrough.
Gault departed the band after the initial recording of the third and so far final album Deep in 1988 (demos for the unreleased fourth album are widely available) and was replaced by Gary Kirby. Paul Rocks joined the band at this time on keyboards, and the band finished recording the album with the legendary Frankie LaRocka in New York. They toured extensively after the album's release but split up shortly thereafter citing a lack of record company support. The band reunited for one final performance at Belfast's Empire Music Hall to a capacity crowd in 1998.
Recently many of the band's videos, audio tracks and live performances have appeared on many social networking sites raising expectations of a final swan song. Despite this and the re-emergence of many Belfast contemporaries, Gamble seems reluctant to return to the stage
Silent Running supported John Foxx in 1983, Simple Minds on their UK tour in early 1984, and also toured with Robert Palmer and Talk Talk. During September 1984 they performed live on Channel 4 music show The Tube. The band toured the UK during the Autumn of 1985 and played live on BBC Radio 1 for the Radiothon appeal at the Birmingham Powerhouse.
- 1983 "When the 12th of Never Comes" (UK No. 83)
- 1984 "Emotional Warfare"
- 1984 "Young Hearts" (UK No. 92)
- 1984 "Sticks and Stones"
- 1985 "No Faith is Blind" (UK No. 85)
- 1987 "Sanctuary"
- 1988 "Heartland"
Irish Punk and New Wave Directory