“The oddest thing about the Chameleons’ comeback is that they’ve carried on exactly where they left off, with their devoted fanbase still intact (the Verve and the Gallaghers reputedly among its members) and new album Why Call It Anything? picking up their trademark sound as if it were something they’d left in the garage. The gig has an eeriness that makes for an untypical but thoroughly hypnotic two hours… the band mostly ditch the rockier numbers in favour of a stream of introspective songs. Of the old, the heroin-haunted Caution (from 1987’s Strange Times, their sole work for Geffen) is particularly stunning. But the newer songs, with Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding’s interlocking guitars at their telepathic best, have a positivity to match their melodies. The Chameleons may have missed the commercial boat in 1987, but they have still made a fascinating voyage.” – Dave Simpson, The Guardian ****
Dave does some keyboards (and didgeridoo!), as did Alastair Lewthwaite and then Andy Clegg. Brian Schofield was their original drummer and Martin Jackson replaced John when he took a year off in 82-83. They were managed by Tony Skinkiss until May 1985, and thereafter by Tony Fletcher until his death in 1987. Following the reformation (no… not Martin Luthers protestant one,) the band have been managed by Simon Lawlor.
The debut album, “Script of the Bridge”, was recorded in Rochdale during a six-week period. The band was really pissed when they found out about the reduced version which was released by MCA in the US. They then became unhappy with Statik and tried to get away from them, but were bound by contractual obligations. After their second album, “What Does Anything Mean? Basically”, they signed with Geffen. While signed to Geffen, the band released what was to be their last album together for fifteen years, “Strange Times” as the band literally fell apart, acrimoniously, with grief after Tony’s death.
The dawning of a new millennium saw an ending to the ‘hostilities’ as the band buried hatchets, kissed and made friends once more, culminating in a reforming of the group, and a new ‘unplugged’ album entitled ‘Strip’. A triumphant, sold out, 5 day residency at their old stomping ground ‘The Witchwood’ in Ashton confirmed their old reputation for being one of the tightest live outfits ever.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).