Big Bang (British band)
|Genres||Big beat, electronica, synthpop, alternative dance, nu-disco|
|Labels||WM Records, Swanyard Records|
|Associated acts||You You You|
Teresa Revill (1989-1991)
Jasmine Ventura (1989-1991)
Big Bang are a British electronic music duo that came to prominence in the late 1980s. The band consists of Laurence Malice (founder of Trade nightclub) and Iain Williams (writer). Based in London, the duo were signed to Swanyard Records and spearheaded the music genre known as big beat.
- 1 Musical history
- 2 2014: Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising (EP)
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
1988: Formation and early years
Big Bang were formed during the latter part of 1988.
Laurence and Iain had previously been in a band together called You You You along with the vocalist Karen O'Connor and backing vocalist Alice Shaw. You You You gave their first concert at a secret location in Charing Cross Road, London, in early January 1987. So secret was the venue, members of the band have since forgotten what it was called. The show was arranged as an unannounced warm-up gig before their debut at the Camden Palace on 13 January. The band billed their first series of concerts as ‘Stage 1’ of their ‘World Domination Tour' and enlisted the help of illustrator Mark Wardel to design their publicity. Their appearance at the Camden Palace attracted over 1,000 people on what the Met Office recorded as probably being England's coldest night of the 20th Century.
You You You built up a strong following performing concerts on the club scene including three nights at the Hippodrome, London (23 January, 9 February and 6 April), a show at Le Palace in Paris, which the performance artist Leigh Bowery hosted, and performances at The Fridge in Brixton where they appeared on stage on a huge white staircase with a troupe of synchronised dancers (filmed for Japanese TV), at Anarchy Club at London Astoria, at The Zap Club in Brighton (as part of the event ‘Return of the Django goes to Brighton’ on 18 April), at Paradise Lost in Watford and at The Limelight. The band received an invitation to appear at The Party (a benefit concert held at Wembley Arena on 1 April for the first ever World AIDS Day). On the bill were some of the best known names in the music industry including Elton John, George Michael, Bob Geldof, Meat Loaf, Ben E. King and Kim Wilde. The show was televised to over 100 million viewers worldwide. Due to the volume of acts who performed at the event, You You You were allotted an appearance at the After-Party show held at a theatre in London’s West End. The band appeared on stage alongside several pop stars including George Michael, members from the cast of TV’s Coronation Street and EastEnders and performers from several West End musicals including 42nd Street (musical) and Nunsense. On 12 July, You You You made a guest appearance on the Channel 4 TV show Network 7. Their pop video for Head over Heels directed by Steven Chivers was premiered on the show and Karen was interviewed by presenter Magenta Devine inside a specially built caravan. On 17 December, You You You gave a special Christmas Show at the Hippodrome, London (their 4th appearance at the venue that year). It would become the band's last ever live performance.
In February 1988, You You You signed a deal with Orinoco to record a single for Major Productions under the guidance of Orinoco Studios owner Tom Astor. The Lager Brothers - Ken Thomas and Zeke Manyika (from the band Orange Juice) - produced two tracks with the band. In July the project came to a halt after Karen quit the band to concentrate on her acting career. Soon after the split Laurence and Iain created Big Bang as a duo using session vocalists for recordings and live performances. The single You You You recorded titled 'How Can This be Love' was never released.
Prior to You You You, Laurence had hosted the Pyramid Club at Heaven nightclub, London  and Iain had been a member of several London-based bands including Dance on a Telephone and One by One (with which he recorded the single I Kept My Promise released in 1984 on Discovery Records.) In January 1984, Iain recorded the dance track Love Is (Suicide) at Trident Studios, Soho, under the provisional title, Iain Williams & the 1984 Project. The track was penned by Williams and co-produced by Fiachra Trench and Iain Williams. The 9-minute recording based on repetitive chord structures was an experiment in producing a rhythmic, minimalistic dance track aimed specifically for the dance clubs. Iain cited his inspiration for the recording as coming from, "various components, including the 'music with repetitive structures’ principle of American composer Phillip Glass along with a lyrical essence of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four’ - the songs lyrics are an observation of the S&M-style relationship between the novels two main characters, Winston and Julia.” An impressive line-up of musicians appeared on the recording including Hans Zimmer (on Fairlight CMI synth and LinnDrum), guitarist Alan Murphy (later of the band Level 42), lead vocals by Lelo (of the band Lelo and the Levants), with backing vocals by Shirley and Dee Lewis, and the famous Trident Studio grand piano (on which Rick Wakeman played on David Bowie’s recording of Life On Mars (song)) was played by Iain Williams. In 1985, Iain produced and co-wrote the single The Boys Were There released on the Fridge nightclub indie label, Latex Records, for London-based performance artiste Yvette the Conqueror. 
1989: Swanyard Records,Voulez-Vous and big beat
Big Bang signed to Swanyard Records at the start of 1989. The label was founded by Margarita Hamilton owner of Walton Castle and Big Bang were the first artist to be signed to it. They released their first record on Swanyard Records (SYRTR 1) in June 1989, an Arabic inspired version of the ABBA classic Voulez-Vous b-side Cold Nights In Cairo. It reached #101 in the BBC national chart. The single was produced by Big Bang and Steev Toth. Both 7" and 12" versions (plus an 'Imagine Mix' 12" extended version) were released. The band used session vocalists on all their recordings. Lead vocals on Voulez-Vous were shared by Jasmine Ventura and Teresa Revill and backing vocals were shared by Iain and Laurence. Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor played guitar on the track. A 12" white label had previously been released several months earlier. Mixed by Democratic 3, it reached #1 in certain club charts throughout the UK and #27 in a Record Mirror chart.
It was Iain Williams who coined the musical term big beat to describe the band's sound and explained the concept during an interview with the journalist Alex Gerry for an article in the London magazine Metropolitan (issue 132, page 9, 6 June 1989) under the heading, 'Big Bang in Clubland. Could Big Beat be the 1989 answer to Acid House?'. Big Bang's sound consisted of various experimental musical elements including heavy hard rock drum beats and synthesizer-generated loops as well as an added suggestion of European influences that at times had a trance-like quality. Their agent 10 x Better released a press release detailing their musical influences that included Dalida, Warda Al-Jazairia, ABBA, Tamla Motown and 70s Euro disco. Big Bang always stated Cold Nights In Cairo gave a better impression of the big beat sound they were aiming for than their recording of Voulez-Vous did. Club DJs picked up on this and both tracks became club floor-fillers. The concept of the big beat sound was later picked up on and adapted by many club DJs and went on to become widely used by many successful musicians throughout the 1990s.
1989: Arabic Circus Tour
During 1989, Big Bang performed several concerts to publicise the release of Voulez-Vous with their lavish Arabic Circus Tour that consisted of various circus acts including acrobats, one-wheel bicycle riders, fire-eaters, jugglers, flying trapeze artists and a belly-dancing troupe. Big Bang were joined on stage by the vocalists Teresa Revill and Jasmine Ventura.
Shows were performed at the Hippodrome, London in Leicester Square where Steve Strange hosted the night and it was said Grace Jones threatened to jump on stage to upstage the band  and at the Paramount City in Soho (formerly the Windmill Theatre), at the Hammersmith Palais in Hammersmith, and at Heaven nightclub with DJ's Mark Moore (creator of the band S'Express) and Colin Faver who on his Myspace page cites Big Bang as being one of his many musical influences. The Arabic Circus Tour also performed at a special Ball held in a massive disused West London warehouse hosted by the performance artist Leigh Bowery with experimental musician/vocalist Danielle Dax and American punk singer and former Andy Warhol protégé Jayne County appearing as supporting artists on the bill.
1990-1991: Recording their album & the International Song Festival
1990: Throughout 1990 Big Bang concentrated on writing and recording new material with the intention of releasing an album. In October Laurence opened Trade nightclub at Turnmills in London. Trade was the first all-night after-hours nightclub in Britain and became legendary. On 16 November 1990, Big Bang accompanied by vocalist Jasmine Ventura were flown over to Ireland to represent the United Kingdom in the 13th International Song Festival where they performed their self-penned song One More Chance. It was the first time the song had been heard in public. The festival, held in Cavan, lasted for two days and was compered by the Irish commentators George Hamilton (commentator) and Larry Gogan. The Romanian singer Ricky Dandel gave a guest performance during the festival. The final was held on 17 November. Big Bang came second in the competition and first for their performance. During their stay in Ireland Big Bang gave several radio, TV and newspaper interviews.
Upon their return to London Big Bang parted company with Swanyard Records over musical differences. The band immediately secured interest from London Records who commissioned them to record a single at The Music Station in Fulham. With a new producer at the helm Big Bang laid down the backing track to One More Chance.
1991: Although Big Bang never officially disbanded, at the tail end of 1991 Laurence and Iain decided to concentrate on their careers away from the band. The new material they wrote and recorded for their intended album titled 'Theory' was never released.
2010-2012: Renewed interest
Interest in the band has recently increased. In 2010, digitally remastered bootleg CDs of Voulez-Vous and Cold Nights in Cairo by Big Bang began to appear in America selling for as much as £45. In November 2010, in Tokyo, Japan, the DJ's Dr. Rob & Matt Best of RightRightRight included Cold Nights in Cairo in their Dr. Rob - Lonely Acid 2010 mix No. 36. In December 2010, The Groove Room included a mix of Voulez-Vous by Big Bang in their Party Mix 1 
2013: I Really Miss U single
Big Bang - I Really Miss U (ft. Teresa Revill) 
On 26 August 2013, Big Bang issued a press statement announcing the release of their first single in over two decades. The emphatically catchy I Really Miss U features lead vocals by Teresa Revill. The single was released on 26 August 2013 and is available worldwide as a download from iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon  etc. The media immediately dubbed it a nu-disco track. A lyric video to accompany the song can be seen on YouTube.
2014: Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising (EP)
Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising (Big Bang EP) 
On 1 July 2014, Big Bang announced via their website that they were releasing a new six-track EP (extended play). Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising  was officially released as a digital download (mp3) on 4 August 2014 on WM Records and is available worldwide. This is Big Bang’s first EP and is a collection of songs/tracks taken from the soundtrack to their Arabic Circus. It is 21 minutes in length. On 2 July, Big Bang released a promotional video short on their website and YouTube to accompany the EP’s release  using a remixed version The Symphonic Mix of their track Trail of the Bedouins to accompany the video soundtrack.
Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising track listing
|1.||"Voulez-Vous "||B. Andersson / B. Ulvaeus||B. Andersson / B. Ulvaeus||Big Bang / Steev Toth||3:48|
|2.||"Tell Me "||I. Williams / L. Malice||I. Williams||Iain Williams / Simon Thomas||4:07|
|3.||"Higher and Higher" (Democratic 3 mix)||I. Williams / L. Malice||I. Williams||Iain Williams / Simon Thomas/ Democratic 3||4:06|
|4.||"Cold Nights in Cairo" (S. Proctor mix)||(instrumental)||I. Williams / L. Malice||Big Bang / S. Proctor||3:40|
|5.||"TM2" (Sahara City mix)||(instrumental)||I. Williams||Iain Williams / Simon Thomas||3:59|
|6.||"Trail of the Bedouins" (The Badawī (بدوي) Mix)||(instrumental)||I. Williams||Iain Williams||1:23|
Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising - release history
Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising was released on WM Records in various countries worldwide in 2014.
|Australia, New Zealand||4 August 2014||WM Records||Digital download||WMR0003|
|Japan||4 August 2014||WM Records||Digital download||WMR0003|
|United Kingdom, Europe||4 August 2014||WM Records||Digital download||WMR0003|
|United States, Canada||4 August 2014||WM Records||Digital download/CD||WMR0003|
|1989||"Voulez-Vous"||12" single||#27 (Record Mirror chart)||White Label|
|"Voulez-Vous"/"Cold Nights in Cairo"||7" single||#101 (BBC chart)||Swanyard Records|
|"Voulez-Vous"/"Cold Nights in Cairo"||12" single||#14 (end of year club chart) ||Swanyard Records|
|2013||"I Really Miss U" (ft. Teresa Revill)||single download||single download||WM Records|
|2014||"Arabic Circus // The Dawn Rising"||EP download||EP download||WM Records|
- Big Bang UK website
- Big Bang (Google page) https://plus.google.com/109624757875466956519/posts
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