Tiger Lily (UK band)

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Tiger Lily
Origin London, England
Genres Glam rock, art rock, rock
Years active 1973–1975 (later they changed names)
Labels Gull Records
Associated acts John Foxx, Billy Currie, Ultravox, Visage
Website www.ultravox.org.uk
Past members Dennis Leigh
Chris St. John
Stevie Shears
Warren Cann
Billy Currie

Tiger Lily was a short-lived glam rock band and the seed of Ultravox! (later changed to Ultravox). It was founded in London in 1973 by Royal College of Art student Dennis Leigh (vocals), who left his northern industrial environment in Lancashire, Chris St. John (bass) (born Christopher Allen), another college student who previously played with Stoned Rose, and Stevie Shears (guitar), a Dagenham based musician.[1] In 1974 British-Canadian drummer Warren Cann (drums), who recently was rejected as a band member by Sparks,[2] and later William Currie (violin, keyboards), named Billy Curry, who was in a theatre band.

In 1974, still as a four-piece band, without Curry, Tiger Lily made their first gig in Chorley, Lancashire, hometown of Leigh.[3][4] The band wore clothes like New York Dolls, who influenced them. However, their true first show was in the Marquee Club, London, supporting Heavy Metal Kids.[5] Later, Billy Currie joined originally as violinist.

The band had a glam style influenced by Rolling Stones, Beatles late era, and the current glam artists (like David Bowie, Roxy Music, New York Dolls and Steve Harley). Gull Records released on 14 March 1975[6] their only 7" single named "Ain't Misbehavin'", which was a cover of the Fats Waller song, while the B-side was "Monkey Jive". After a number of live concerts, the band changed names many times: The Damned, The Zips, Fire Of London, etc. until 1976, when they decided on Ultravox!. During the pre-Ultravox! era (including Tiger Lily years), they composed many songs later to appear on their first album in 1977, Ultravox!. By that time Leigh adopted the stage name John Foxx, and Chris St. John became Chris Cross.

Their version of "Ain't Misbehavin'" was released on CD in 2000, in a compilation album of glam rock and pre-punk bands called Glitterbest - 20 Pre Punk 'n' Glam Terrace Stompers. The 1975 single, "Monkey Jive", was never released on CD.


  1. ^ "Until then (when Warren Cann joined the band), there was only Dennis, Stevie Shears, and Chris Allen (later aka Christopher St. John, then Chris Cross)". Discog.info. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  2. ^ "We (Warren Cann, Dennis Leigh, Chris Cross and Stevie Shears) became a band when I (Cann) joined which was in May-ish, 1974". Discog.info. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  3. ^ Warren Cann (1998). "Our very first gig of any kind was in Chorley, Lancs.(...)Dennis had a home-town connection, arranged a gig in a local youth club's hall, and a week or so before the Marquee date we drove up there for our first public appearance.". Discog.info. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  4. ^ Dennis Leigh (now known as John Foxx), Mojo music magazine, 2006. "l told a friend in Chorley about my - nameless - band and he set up a gig for us about two months after we ó formed. We were very excited, hired a van to drive the 250 miles to Lancashire and just had enough money for the petrol. It was in a church hall and we set up, rehearsed a bit and went out to get a drink before the gig. It was bizarre as we were dressed like the New York Dolls with eyeliner, Cuban heels and tight-fitting clothes, walking around the cobbled streets of Chorley.". Astradyne.org. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  5. ^ Warren Cann (1997). "We needed a warm-up/ice-breaker of some description just before our first official gig which was at the London Marquee supporting the 'Heavy Metal Kids' (week of Aug.24/74).". Discog.info. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  6. ^ ""14 March 1975 - the only 'Tiger Lily' single "Ain't Misbehavin'"". Discog.info. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 

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