The nucleus of KICK UP THE 80s has been in existence as a working band since 1995!!
Dean and original guitarist Rob had been in a band since school days culminating in the formation of Patriot in the late 80s. Recruiting Justin on vocals in the early 90s they changed the name to The Innocence, and in 1995 Mart joined on drums.
But at this time things were, musically anyway, very different…..
The band, The Innocence, were actively writing and recording their own brand of hard rock music, releasing 2 demos, ”Rigmarole” and ”From A Great Height” before changing the name to h.y.p.a and releasing a further 2 recordings, ”Message From The Grey Room” and the eponymous ”h.y.p.a.” in 1999.
Whilst gigging around the country, the band found themselves occasionally supporting various ”tribute” bands. Seeing the reaction that these groups received, they decided to try their luck in the market as a means to fund further recording projects.
Ruling out the idea of a ”tribute” to one particular artist due to the restrictions this creates in song choice, the four hit on the idea of a tribute to a decade! But which decade? Well as they were all of a ”certain age” and remembering the era with fondess, the 80s was the obvious choice. So in late 1999 h.y.p.a. became Kick Up The 80s!!
Starting off learning the more obscure artists with a cooler edge, the band soon realised through playing live, that the audience demanded the full spectrum the 80s had to offer, so in came the big hitters of the time:
- Duran Duran
- Human League
- Culture Club
Peppered throughout the set are the hidden gems: artists you might not be familiar with by name, but tunes that live on in those who were there at the time! Teardrop Explodes, The Vapours, King to name but a few.
They started off playing their first gig at Justin’s brother’s 21st birthday party, but over their many years together, they have played with the likes of ABC, GO WEST, LIMAHL and JAKI GRAHAM, regularly selling out venues across the Midlands and beyond.
In December of 2009, following triumphant celebrations at the Robin 2 to mark their 10th anniversary year, sadly, Rob decided to move on to pastures new. Justin, Dean and Mart spent the next few months holding numerous auditions. Finally, in August, Anthony Green, a long time friend of drummer Mart, having played in their first band, Razor Edge, together back at school, was asked to join the family.
Following rigorous rehearsals Ant made his live debut in November 2010.
With renewed energy and now well into their second decade together, Kick up the 80s go from strength to strength.
As the 80s provides such a wealth of diversity in music and fashion, the set list, stage clothes, guest appearences and audiences continue to grow year on year.
So tell your friends and catch them live for a great party night out.
The rest, as they say, is HISTORY!