G Spot David G interviews Formerly Bucks Fizz
The date was the 4th April, the year 1981 and a little known band were representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest from Dublin.
The band was Bucks Fizz consisting of Cheryl Baker, Jay Aston, Bobby G and Mike Nolan. You may recall (if you're old enough) that they won the contest by the smallest of margins, just 4 points.
The song was 'Making Your Mind Up' which then shot to number one in the UK charts, became a massive hit throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and also became the 47th biggest selling single of the 1980’s by selling 4 million copies worldwide.
After their Eurovision win, Cheryl, Jay, Bobby and Mike went on to have a very successful career in the music industry as Bucks Fizz with 2 more number one singles, several top 10 hits, critically acclaimed albums, sell out tours and numerous television appearances. They were massive and whilst many people criticised them for the type of music they released, they had a legion of fans who adored them.
Everything was going great for the band until the powers that be at the record label made that fateful mistake that they have made with so many bands and solo artists over the years. They got greedy and over saturated the market with Bucks Fizz songs. Fans grew tired of them, turning to other acts instead. Their popularity started to decline helped with some poor choices with further single releases it appeared the end of Bucks Fizz was near.
Now to cut short what has basically been a very long intro, the band had a few more hits, they were involved in a horrific coach crash (which left Mike Nolan in a coma for 3 days), Jay Aston sensationally quit to be replaced by Shelley Preston and then they all eventually went their separate ways leaving Bobby G to hire 3 new members so he could carry on touring.
Now nearly 35 years since that famous Eurovision victory there are 2 version of the band. We have Bobby G with Bucks Fizz and then we have Cheryl, Jay and Mike who, thanks to a ruling in Bobby G’s favour, have to go by the name 'Formerly of Bucks Fizz' which you’ll be pleased to hear, brings me to the subject of this piece.
I love Bucks Fizz…there you go, I’ve said it and I am not ashamed to admit it. I have most of their albums, many of their single releases and I used to have posters of them on my bedroom wall (please note the posters thing was several years ago, it would be quite creepy if I still had them up now).
You could say that I'm a Bucks Fizzer through and through. I follow Cheryl, Jay and Mike on Twitter and it’s actually thanks to my Twitter stalking that I found out they were touring this year on their the 'Paradise Regained Tour' which started a few weeks ago. The tour itself continues right up to September if you are a Bucks Fizzer too!
Moving on, as soon as I found out about the tour I knew that I had to go see them. I thought to myself “I wonder if I could get an interview for my radio show”? I thought it was worth a try and I’m happy to say it paid off. Cheryl, Jay, Mike and their special guest Bobby McVay all said yes to an interview so off I went to the Theatre Royal in Lincoln.
Twenty five minutes and several photos later and my interview was in the can. Thrilled is hardly the word to describe how I felt, it was like having a bucket (fizz) list and being able to fulfill one of your dreams off that list.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before interviewing them, would they have massive ego's, would they answer every question, would Mike be able to answer at all? It is common knowledge that even after all these years, he still carries the scars of that horrific crash I mentioned earlier. I am happy to say that my fears and doubts that I had disappeared as soon as I saw the group.
Jay was ironing a costume whilst ever the professional Cheryl was chatting with the stage manager, the guys were nowhere to be seen. After introducing myself to Cheryl and Jay, Bobby and Mike made their appearance and before I knew it, we’d all been introduced and they were ready to talk.
It’s fair to say I got off to a shaky start due to the fact that I had stupidly not realised that I only have one pair of hands (I should know this at my grand age) and they were needed for the microphone and recorder which meant my neat,y written prompt notes needed someone else to hold them.
Thankfully Cheryl stepped in and offered to help with my promo note situation, though I do believe she just wanted to see which questions I would be asking before I actually asked them (I caught her reading ahead several times).
Never the less, she was an enormous help and the interview commenced with my first question. Cheryl was the first to answer followed by a hilarious response from Mike which put us all at ease. All four of them are so down to earth with no airs and graces about them, I asked them about their time as Bucks Fizz, favourite albums and singles of which they all agreed it was 'Land of Make Believe'.
No interview with them could pass me by without including a question about Eurovision. It was with this in mind that I asked the ex Eurovision winners about this year’s entry for the UK by the group Electro Velvet titled 'Still in Love With You'. Did they like it? I'm please to say that Bobby, Cheryl and Jay all like it (for the record so do I). Mike was adamant he had not heard it to which Cheryl confirmed he had after reminding him it was very similar to the Cantina music from Star Wars. All four were universal in saying that it would not win which I have to admit I agree with them on that, hopefully it will finish in the top 5 though.
The interview was going really rather well, so I thought I would throw a rather risky question into the mix. I was nervous as I was sure they would not want to answer this one but I went ahead anyway. Just what were there thoughts on not being able to use the name 'Bucks Fizz' anymore and did they still talk to Bobby G? They were very diplomatic and dignified with their answers but it was obvious they were extremely upset about the court ruling in Bobby G’s favour. Mike being the most vocal, but due to legal reasons, I cannot repeat what he said word for word but it was in my opinion very valid stuff.
My time with the legends was nearly over, I finished with the usual what is next for them question to which the sweetest answer came from Jay who just wants to finish decorating her living room.
But decorating will not be their only future plans, they admitted that there is a possibility of a tour in Europe and South Africa which shows there is still a huge fizz fan base out there.
So that was it the interview was over but as such a huge fan, I could not leave without a photo. That younger me was screaming from inside wanting proof that I had spent twenty minutes with them. They graciously agreed to a couple even though I had gone far over my allocated time with them and then that was it, I left via the stage door to be greeted by a group of fizz fans wanting to meet their idols.
An hour later I was back at the very same theatre watching Cheryl, Jay, Bobby and Mike performing hit after hit to a very enthusiastic audience. Hits such as 'Land of Make Believe', 'I Hear Talk', 'My Camera Never Lies' and of course the song that started it all…'Making Your Mind Up'.
If this has given you an appetite for more from Cheryl, Jay, Bobby and Mike, you can catch 'Formerly of Bucks Fizz' on their current tour which includes a date at Leeds City Varieties in September.
Go to www.cityvarieties.co.uk for more details.
And don't forget that you can listen to the full interview along with some of brilliant tracks from all their albums and more on my regular slot the G Spot radio Show.
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Until next time
David G xXx
(the G Spot)