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After the Kids - Gary's music career

Gary Holton's Gems...

​Own Band Launch By Gary Holton - Sounds Magazine​

Gary Holton, former lead singer with the now defunct Heavy Metal Kids, re-emerges this weekend with his own band The Gems. They're already in the studio recording their debut album tentatively called "Shooting The Singer Is No Way To Stop The Opera" under the supervision of Chris Tsangarides.

They'll be going on a nationwide tour in April to coincide with the album's release, but beforehand they're playing several warm-up gigs including the London Kensington Nashville, London Covent Garden Rock Garden, London Camden Dingwalls and Cromer West Runton Pavilion with a few more to be set.

Holton was frontman with the Heavy Metal Kids for most of their five year career, prior to their official break-up last year. SInce then, he's been sorting out his future plans and attempting to get it together with various musicians while keeping the wolf from the door by taking several small film roles and TV ads.

The new band finally came together when he met up with Irish outfit Pretty Boy Ffloyd & The Gems, whose lead singer subsequently left - and Holton found that he gelled with them. They are, from left to right, Martin Hughes (drums) Mark Robbins (Keyboards, Sax & Guitar) Gary Holton (Lead Vocals) Dennis Forbes (Lead Guitar) and Don McNeilly.

Paul Du Noyer of the New Musical Express - "Say 'allo to the new Gary 'Olton"

"Poseur's night at the Nashville" as the waggish Holton christened it. This evening saw the return of the one time Heavy Metal Kid supremo (that group now one year's rust encrusted) on a new year with a new band.

Say 'allo to the new Gary 'Olton, still the same diminutive cockney theatric all wrapped up in a big girl's blouse and suggestive of a Spanish waiter entertaining with Rod Stewart impressions. But now he's in partnership with a Irish and Birmingham combination, The Gems, adopted by the singer following the loss of their previous frontman One Pretty Boy Ffloyd.

This occasion being one of the first public try-outs prior to the new act's formal launching, judgements might be premature; allowances must be made and all that. Just the same, by the set's conclusion, it was a relieved Mr. Holton, who took his leave of a well won crowd...the audition had been passed.

At least half the credit should go to The Gems, a shrewd and fortuitous choice on Holton's part because of their hard and attractive style of Rock, though too conventional to be especially interesting, proves itself equal to the vocalist's domineering and demanding presence.

Instrumentally the sound gains it's character from the interplay of Mark Robbins' full-boddied keyboards with the abrasively aggressive of Steve Jones pose-alike Dennis Forbes. Backing up are Don McNeilly on bass and drummer Martin Hughes. It's chunky, traditional stuff for the most part - Stones and Faces comparisons cross the mind - but rescued from anonymity by the quality of the material.

There's the lively "Aeroplane Food" "Soho So Good" and a song called "Problem" (which Holton candidly admitted, "sounded like one") as well as the slower and sincerely sung "I Need A Drink". Equally lovely is the mesmeric "Fade Away; Holton's haunting performance underscored with a muted paramilitary beat, followed by the debut album title-cut "Shooting The Singer Is No Way To Stop The Opera". It's another slow almost grandiose number and maybe the best medium for the vocalist's plaintive rasp.

I like it, the Nashville love it - and so, unfortunately, does Rat Scabies. Evidently tired and emotional, the ex-celebrity commandeers a microphone to make certain we "Fucking bozos" know about it, too.

If tonight's momentum can be maintained over the month's to come then Gary Holton should get a second shot at the kind of success that eluded his last, turbulent incarnation.

Step aside Oliver, the Artful Dodger's back for more...

Gary Holton & Mick Rossi "Sing It To Me"

This collection of songs was composed over a period of eight months working with Gary, although my friendship goes back some ten years. The vibes and presence he brings can be heard throughout this album. One of the most original and innovative singers and performers of his time. A funny and also sensitive man who has such a lust for life. My friendship over many years with Gary still holds great memories.

I dedicate this album to Gary...

It's time to go...

Love, Mick Rossi

"Murphy's Mob"

You'll no doubt recognise the chorus from "Gary's Back in Town" as Gary wrote and performed the theme tune to the cult kids' TV series "Murphy's Mob".

Murphy's Mob was a "Grange Hill" style drama set in and around Dunmore United FC's Junior Supporter's Club, delivering a usual mixture of football, snogging, mild swearing and low-key violence. Mac Murphy was the downtrodden manager, "Rasputin" Jones the president, and the Mob included Boxer, copper's son "Wurzel" Glossop, Charlotte "Charlie" Masters, The Hulk, Pacman, Mugsy and Moran. It wasn't very original, but all the more accurate for it, and it touched a nerve with a generation disillusioned with life and unimpressed by Grange Hill's fallow post-Tucker, pre-smack 'n' Kendall period, and Gary's "Sham 69" style theme was a recreation ground staple for ages.

Gary Holton's Villains

"Gary Holton's Actors"

Gary Shail, Denis Stratton & Dave John
You'll Never Walk Alone by The Crowd

This charity recording was made in solidarity with Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire, when 56 spectators died and many more were seriously injured. Gary featured on the song along side his "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet" colleague Tim Healy, Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney and Rolf Harris, among others.

The Crowd was a "supergroup" formed specifically to produce a charity record for the Valley Parade football disaster, in which 56 people died on 11 May 1985. The group consisted of singers, actors, television personalities and others.

Gerry Marsden of Gerry & The Pacemakers had decided to make a charity record to aid the families of the victims of the disaster. The re-recording of the hit song "You'll Never Walk Alone", already a football anthem for Liverpool F.C. supporters, entered the UK charts at No. 4, and reached Number 1 on 1 June 1985.

The single gave Gerry Marsden a first in British recording history, by becoming the first person ever to top the charts with two versions of the same song.

"Gary Holton" The Album - 1985

Track list: People In Love - Blackberry Way - That's How The Story Goes - Catch A Falling Star - Candy - No Communication - I Wish I Was An Angel - Baby, I Love You - Holiday Romance - Ruby - Tearaway.

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