Living in a Box

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Living in a Box
OriginSheffield, England
GenresPop,[1] funk,[1] sophisti-pop[2]
Years active1985–1990, 2016–present
MembersAnthony "Tich" Critchlow
Marcus Vere
Kenny Thomas
Past membersRichard Darbyshire

Living in a Box are a British band founded in 1985. They are best known for their eponymous debut single, produced by Richard James Burgess. The group currently consists of founding members Anthony "Tich" Critchlow (drums) and Marcus Vere (synthesisers) along with vocalist Kenny Thomas.


Formation and split up[edit]

Living in a Box were formed in 1985 in Sheffield.[3] The group named themselves after the first song they had recorded together in the studio. It was in fact this song that had brought them together in the first place. Vere and Critchlow were recording the demo version of the tune in a studio also being visited by Richard Darbyshire, an independent recording artist at the time. Richard was invited to join his two future bandmates in the studio to record vocals for the track, and the three officially became a band.

Released two years later, "Living in a Box" was their most commercially successful single, peaking at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart and became the band's only single to chart in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the US The single was featured on the group's self-titled debut album, which also included follow-up singles "Love is the Art", "So the Story Goes", and "Scales of Justice". While "So the Story Goes" was the only one of these additional singles to crack the US Billboard Hot 100, all three songs charted in their home country, where the band continued to enjoy more success. Their follow-up album, Gatecrashing in 1989 proved to be even more successful in the UK, generating two Top Ten hits, "Blow the House Down" (which featured Queen's Brian May on guitar)[4][5] and "Room in Your Heart". The album itself peaked at number 21 (four places higher than the first). Artistic differences, as well as changes to their record label Chrysalis, caused the band to break up in 1990 before a third album could be released.

After Living in a Box[edit]

Frontman Richard Darbyshire has continued his long-standing music career, writing songs for artists such as Lisa Stansfield and briefly enjoying modest success as a solo artist . His solo album, How Many Angels (1994) has been re-released a number of times (beginning in 1999, when it was re-issued under the title of Love Will Provide) accompanied by various new and unreleased tracks.

The band's drummer, Anthony "Tich" Critchlow and keyboardist/synthesizer player, Marcus Charles Vere temporarily retired from the music industry after the band split. Tich runs his own company providing bespoke illumination and lighting installations.

After a brief break, Vere changed direction and produced an award-winning series of educational DVDs called Here Comes A ...! for pre-school aged children; topics include live action films about tractors, diggers, trains and fire engines. The business moved online in early 2017 as Kids Trucks TV and has become a phenomenal success on YouTube. In May 2016, Vere was credited with writing the songs "Viva Love", "Flames of Desire", "Kiss Me Goodbye" and "Ten Below Zero" on the Top 5 ABC album Lexicon of Love II.

Living in a Box reform[edit]

In 2016, Living in a Box reformed with British soul singer Kenny Thomas replacing Darbyshire. Since then the band has appeared at live festival events in the UK such as Let's Rock, Rewind and Flashback throughout the summer of 2016 and continued through 2017. Plans to record some new music and tour in 2018 were yet to be confirmed.


The song "Living in a Box" was later covered by Bobby Womack, who had also worked with Living in a Box on the single, "So the Story Goes".


Current members
  • Anthony "Tich" Critchlow (born 1 March 1958) – drums (1985-1990, 2016-present)
  • Marcus Charles Vere (born 29 January 1962) – synthesizers (1985-1990, 2016-present)
  • Kenny Thomas (born 12 September 1968) – vocals (2016-present)
Past members


Title Release Peak chart positions Certifications
Living in a Box
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: Chrysalis Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette, LP
25 22 18 30 10 89
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Chrysalis Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette, LP
21 79 39
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released.


Year Song UK
NOR NZL SWE SWI US Certifications Album
1987 "Living in a Box" 5 11 20 18 18 4 6 18 7 31 4 2 17 Living in a Box
"Scales of Justice" 30 - - - - 35 27 - - - - - -
"So the Story Goes" 34 - - - - - - - - - - - 81
1988 "Love Is the Art" 45 - - - - - - - - - - - -
1989 "Blow the House Down" 10 - 12 - - 28 12 10 - - 15 26 - Gatecrashing
"Gatecrashing" 36 - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Room in Your Heart" 5 27 20 - - - 6 16 - - 20 - -
"Different Air" 57 - - - - - - - - - - - -
"-" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.



  1. ^ a b Sutton, Michael. "Living in a Box – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  2. ^ Inskeep, Thomas; Soto, Alfred. "The Bluffer's Guide – Sophisti-Pop". Stylus. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ "How It All Started For Living In A Box". Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  4. ^ "Brian". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 14 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c "BRIT Certified - bpi" (To access, enter the search parameter "Living in a Box" and select "Search by Keyword"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Living in a Box | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Living in a Box | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 325. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]