The Cherry Boys

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The Cherry Boys was a band from Liverpool, England.

The Cherry Boys formed in 1980 in Liverpool. They are most notable for the single Kardomah Cafe, which missed the top 50 in the UK, but was a top 10 hit in Spain. The band consisted of John Byrne (aka John Cherry) on vocals & guitar, James Hughes on vocals & keyboards, Keith Gunson on vocals & bass, and Howie Minns on drums. Icicle Works drummer Chris Sharrock was part of the band early on and appeared on their first single "Man to Man." Following the band's split in 1984, Hughes and Minns went on to form Exhibit B (most famous for their "It’s Hypothetical" single, and album Playing Dead, which was re-released in Japan in 2007). Hughes is now the main writer/musician in James Clarke Five, whose album Fly My Pretties Fly! was released in 2008.

The Cherry boys achieved a significant local following. This was exemplified in them winning the Radio Merseyside award for Best Local Band in 1982. In the same year they also stripped the board in achieving best band (and individual musician awards) in the local popular magazine, The End. As a live band they were unmatched at the time, each member being highly respected. Attendances at their concerts were nearly always sell out.

John Byrne, the band's chief songwriter, joined The La's following the group's demise and played lead guitar on their international hit "There She Goes". Byrne is now an acclaimed classical guitarist. Chris Sharrock (the original Cherry Boys drummer) joined The La's at the same time. Sharrock had previously played with The Icicle Works and subsequently, Lightning Seeds, The Robbie Williams Band and Oasis.

'Kardomah Cafe' featured on the compilation CD Liverpool Cult Classics Unearthed - Volume Two, which was released by the Viper Label in 2001.

The Cherry Boys' manager, Graham Jones, became a successful author with his first book Last Shop Standing, which was published in 2009. The book deals with the demise of the independent record store, and features a chapter dedicated to his experiences managing both The Cherry Boys and Exhibit B.


"Man To Man" b/w "So Much Confusion" 7″, Open Eye (1981)
"Only Fools Die" b/w "Come That Day" 7″, Cherryoza (1982)
"Kardomah Café" b/w "Airs and Graces" 7″/12″, Crash (1983)
"Shoot The Big Shot" b/w "Falling" 7″, Crash (1983)
"Shoot The Big Shot" b/w "Falling" & "Don't Leave Me That Way" 12″, Crash (1983)
"Kardomah Café" b/w "Airs and Graces" & "Plead Sanity" 12″, Satril, (1984)


  • Schwartze, Klaus. The Scouse phenomenon: the scrapbook of the new Liverpool rock scene. Birkenau: Bitsch, 1987. ISBN 978-3-925014-04-8
  • Jones, Graham. Last Shop Standing. London: Proper Music. 2009. ISBN 978-0-9561212-0-2

External links[edit]

1. Extracts from Graham Jones' 'Last Shop Standing': The Independent
2. Music-isms blogspot
3. Shelflife Records)