The Lightning Seeds

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The Lightning Seeds
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Alternative rock, pop rock, indie pop, Britpop
Years active 1989–2000, 2006–present
Labels Ghetto, Virgin, Epic
Associated acts Ian Broudie, Big In Japan, The Icicle Works, The La's, The Zutons, The Coral, Echo And The Bunnymen, Care
Website www.thelightningseeds.net
Members Ian Broudie
Martyn Campbell
Riley Broudie
Sean Payne
Past members Chris Sharrock
Ali Kane
Paul Hemmings
Mathew Priest
Zak Starkey
Paolo Ruiu
Rob Allum
James Bagshaw
Raife Burchell
Angie Pollock

The Lightning Seeds are an English alternative rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1989 by Ian Broudie (vocals, guitar, producer), formerly of the band Big in Japan.[1][2]

Originally a studio-based solo project for Broudie, the Lightning Seeds expanded into a touring band following Jollification (1994). The group experienced commercial success throughout the 1990s and are well known for their single "Three Lions", a collaboration with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner which reached No. 1 in the UK in 1996 and 1998.

History[edit]

1989–1993: Formation and early years[edit]

In 1989, Ian Broudie began recording alone under the name "Lightning Seeds". Broudie had previously been a member of the band Care[3] in the mid-1980s, but by 1989 was much better known as a producer for Liverpool-based chart acts Echo & the Bunnymen and many other independent labels at the time.

Working as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, Broudie (in his guise as "The Lightning Seeds") achieved success with the psychedelic hit "Pure" from the album Cloudcuckooland, which reached the UK Top 20. "Pure" had some success in the United States Billboard Top 40 reaching No. 32. Both "Pure" and "All I Want" also reached the Modern Rock Tracks top 10.

Broudie resumed his production career after the success of the first Lightning Seeds album, but returned to song-writing in 1991 and moved labels from Rough Trade to Virgin. He then resumed his Lightning Seeds recording career, drafting Simon Rogers as his studio partner in terms of production, arrangements, and instrumentation. Rogers, who had also helped with programming on the first Lightning Seeds album, would continue as Broudie's in-studio partner throughout the rest of the Lightning Seeds' career.

The album Sense (1992) featured the song "The Life of Riley", written by Broudie for his son, which reached No. 28 in the UK Singles Chart. An instrumental version of the song later became better known as the BBC TV theme for the "Goal of the Month" competition. The album Sense would mark Broudie's first Lightning Seeds song-writing collaborations with former Specials singer Terry Hall. The album's title track "Sense", co-written with Hall

1994–1998: Touring years[edit]

Broudie's contract expired with Virgin and he signed the Lightning Seeds to Epic Records. Broudie put other projects on hold and embarked on a touring schedule:

By the end of 1993 Broudie had finished the Jollification (1994) album, which included contributions from Terry Hall and Simon Rogers as well as Ian McNabb. A promotional tour began in August 1994 with their lineup consisting of guitarist Paul Hemmings, drummer Chris Sharrock, bassist Martyn Campbell and keyboardist Ali Kane. The tour benefited from the success of the second single from the album "Change", which reached No. 13 in the UK Singles Charts, becoming the band's second UK top 20 hit. The song was also featured on the soundtrack for the hit movie Clueless. The album Jollification became a critical success [5] and the singles taken from this album, "Lucky You", "Marvellous" and "Perfect" made noticeable impact. Mark Farrow's album cover featured the use of computer graphics to create an enormous strawberry and depicting seeds with superimposed human faces.

During this period a number of songs were recorded at a private river barge studio located at Eel Pie Studios, then owned by Pete Townshend for the fourth studio album Dizzy Heights.[6] The single "Ready or Not" was released ahead of the album and reached No. 20 in the UK Singles chart.

In 1996 The Football Association commissioned Broudie to write an England song for the upcoming Euro '96 football tournament. Broudie agreed on the condition that comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, who had presented the late-night television show Fantasy Football League participated. The resulting song, "Three Lions", became a No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and was adopted as a football chant, not only in the UK but also in countries such as Germany, where the single and accompanying video reached No. 16 in their charts.

During this period the band achieved three more UK Top 20 hits, including a cover version of The Turtles "You Showed Me", which became one of their biggest hits.

1997 gave the Lightning Seeds international exposure with the song "You Showed Me" included on the Austin Powers Soundtrack. The release of Like You Do... and a UK promotional tour followed. In 1998, Broudie reworked and recorded an updated version of their hit football anthem for the FIFA World Cup in France. "Three Lions '98", reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart and became the first song to top the charts on two separate occasions with different sets of lyrics.[7] In 1998, The Lightning Seeds also performed on the Main Stage at both the Glastonbury Festival and the V Festival in the UK.

1999–2005: Tilt and hiatus[edit]

Their album Tilt (1999) was dance-oriented and featured collaborations with Stephen Jones. The single "Life's Too Short" was heralded by BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles as "one of the band's strongest singles to date" and rose to No. 27 in the UK Singles Chart.[8]

2006–present: 2006 - Present[edit]

The band's second greatest hits album The Very Best of the Lightning Seeds was released on 12 June 2006, followed by the re-release of "Three Lions", which rose to No. 9 in the UK Singles Chart. In 2009 the band released a new collection of songs under the title Four Winds

In 2014 the songs and career of Ian Broudie were celebrated in a concert held at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, featuring the Royal Liverpool philharmonic orchestra and performances by Ian McCulloch (Echo And The Bunnymen), Miles Kane (The Last Shadow Puppets), Terry Hall (The Specials), James Skelly (The Coral) and Broudie himself with a band featuring musicians Sean Payne (The Zutons), Bill Ryder Jones and Nick Power (The Coral) and Broudies son, Riley. The event was filmed but is yet to be released.

On 22 August 2014, the Lightning Seeds were joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Liverpool's Sefton Park for a show in front of 30,000 people, reprising the Philharmonic show without the special guests.[9]

Band members[edit]

  • Ian Broudie – guitar, vocals (1989–2000, 2006–present)
  • Martyn Campbell – bass (1994–2000, 2009–present)
  • Riley Broudie – guitar (2009–present)
Former members
  • Chris Sharrock – drums (1994–1997)
  • Ali Kane – keyboard (1994–1996)
  • Paul Hemmings – guitar (1994–1998)
  • Keith York – drums (1997–1998)
  • Mathew Priest – drums (1997)
  • Zak Starkey – drums (1997–2000)
  • Paolo Ruiu – bass (2006)
  • Rob Allum – drums (2009–2010)
  • James Bagshaw – keyboards (2010)
  • Raife Burchell – drums (2010)
  • Sean Payne – drums (2011–2012)
  • Angie Pollack – keyboards (1998–2000, 2009)


Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Lightning Seeds biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  2. ^ The Lightning Seeds Biography Retrieved 20 July 2011
  3. ^ "Ian Broudie’s pop life was Joy, Marvellous and Perfect...but then came Three Lions". Herald Scotland. 
  4. ^ "The works of Ian Broudie". www.lightning-seeds.co.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Lightning Seeds reviews". lightning-seeds.co.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "madasafish". lightning-seeds.co.uk. 
  7. ^ "England's Euro 2004 Song released". BBC News. 31 May 2004. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Lightning Seeds biography". lightning-seeds.co.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Dave Simpson. "The Lightning Seeds' Ian Broudie: 'People didn't know what was on the England badge before Three Lions'". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]