|Labels||Thumb Print (2013-present)|
The Mend are a British boy band consisting of members Kris Evans, Dean Kelly, Jay Kontzle and Craig Worsley. They originally auditioned for The X Factor in 2011, but failed to get any further than bootcamp due to having a management deal. They went on to audition for Britain's Got Talent in 2012, and reached the semi-finals but after the public vote was revoked due to the judges' split decision, they failed to go through to the finals. They were then brought back by the judges for the final as a result of a wildcard, and finished in eighth place overall. They released their debut single "Where Were You" on 24 March 2013 independently.
In 2008 Nigel Martin-Smith, former manager of boy band Take That, formed a new vocal group after auditioning boys from the North West. The initial line up consisted of Lewis Conroy, Dean Kelly, Jayme Kontzle and Craig Worsley. The band was initially called ASBRO, a play on words related to an ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order), and were described by Danny McFadden in The Guardian as the new East 17.
Martin-Smith stated in an interview that, in seeking members for the band, he, "wanted them to be ‘streetwise’ as well as having bags of personality, a good voice and looking good in front of a camera."
In early 2010 Martin-Smith auditioned for a fifth member, which resulted in the addition of Kris Evans to the group. At this point Lewis Conroy left the line up and the group became a four piece consisting of Evans, Kelly, Kontzle and Worsley.
In 2011, due to the negative associations linked to the name ASBRO, the group became known as The Mend. Of the change, Dean Kelly stated in an interview, 'We loved the name Asbro, but we felt it was holding us back because there was negative feedback about it. We thought ‘we need to mend this’, hence how we came up with The Mend.' Jayme Kontzle added of the name change, "No record label has seen us as The Mend so it’s like a new start for us. It also stands for The Manchester End."
They stated during their first appearance on Britain's Got Talent in early 2012 that they had been together for three years.
2012–13: Britain's Got Talent
The Mend auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in front of judges David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell. They performed "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", receiving a standing ovation from the audience. They also received rave reviews from the judges, praising their own 'twist' on the song. They received four "yes" votes and were put through to the next round. A few weeks later they were shown being put through to the live semi-finals.
The Mend performed for a second time during the first semi-final on 6 May 2012, singing a mash-up of "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" and "Written in the Stars", and once again received rave reviews from the judges, with Cowell stating that there is a market for the band, and praising their vocals. The Mend were in the top three for the voting that night, and with dog act Ashleigh and Pudsey (the eventual winners) being the highest ranked act of the night with the highest number of votes, it was down to the judges to choose between The Mend and Only Boys Aloud for the next place in the final. Walliams and Holden opted for Only Boys Aloud, while Cowell and Dixon opted for The Mend, leading to a split decision. It was then revealed that Only Boys Aloud had the higher amount of votes and were through to the final.
However, Ant & Dec announced at the start of the first semi-final that the judges had a wildcard and would be able to send a previously-eliminated act through to Saturday's final. The judges eventually narrowed the choices down to three: The Mend, Four Corners and Twist and Pulse Dance Company and it was announced at the beginning of the final that The Mend would take that wildcard. They then went on to perform "Without You" and despite getting praise from the judges and a good response from the audience, The Mend finished in seventh place with 2.6% of the vote.
2013–present: Post Talent
The Mend were the support act for Little Mix on their 2013 DNA tour. They released their debut single "Where Were You" on 24 March 2013. The single reached #67 in the UK Singles Chart. In July 2013, they embarked on their first headline tour, performing in Birmingham, London and Manchester. Their next single will be called "Oxygen" and by September 2013 they were in the studio recording their debut album.
Kris Evans, born 22 August 1990, is from Middleton, Greater Manchester. Evans is a producer, songwriter and rapper with the group.
Dean Kelly, born 16 November 1989, is from Stockport, Greater Manchester. Kelly credits being part of The Mend as the reason he has stayed out of jail, a fate that befell one of his older brothers, stating in an interview, "This group has given us a lifeline. Obviously, if I hadn’t got into this group I’d have got into trouble. I am not doubting that."
Jayme 'Jay' Kontzle, born 12 August 1990, was raised by his grandparents in Crewe, Cheshire after his mother was killed in a car crash when he was aged four. Kontzle is a songwriter, producer and singer with the group.
Craig Worsley, born 30 August 1989, is from Preston, Lancashire. Worsley is the lead singer of The Mend and a former choirboy. Simon Cowell stated that Worsley had "a great recording voice."
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions|
|2013||"Where Were You"||67||10||-|
- The Guardian, ASBRO: Cutting edge or cynical marketing exercise?, Danny McFaden, 16 July 2008" http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2008/jul/16/asbrocuttingedgeorcynical
- "Manchester Evening News, Search for boyband member, 18th April 2010" http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/showbiz-news/search-for-boyband-member-959828
- Boyband ASBRO take on pop world - Manchester Evening News
- Video: Boy band on The Mend - and on the up - after name change - Manchester Evening News
- Official Singles Chart UK Top 100 - 4th January 2014 | The UK Charts | Top 40
- The Mend Head Out On UK Tour Dates, http://glasswerk.co.uk/concerts/article/18486/The+Mend+Head+Out+On+UK+Tour+Dates/
- The Mend, https://twitter.com/TheMendUK Twitter. Retrieved 28 October 2013
- Oxford Mail, On The Mend, Tim Hughes, 7 February 2013 http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/leisure/musics/music/10213407.On_The_Mend/
- The Mend star Jayme Kontzle says he can feel his mum’s presence when he sings, Lynn Connolly, 7 May 2012, http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/reality-tv/britains-got-talent-2012-the-mend-star-jayme-kontzle-says-he-can-feel-his-mums-presence-when-he-sings/
- Independent Singles Top 40 - 4th January 2014 | Official Charts
- 2010-10-23 Top 40 Scottish Singles Archive | Official Charts