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Steve Askew – Smalltown Elephants Billboard Poster

September 12, 2014

Smalltown Elephants were Steve Askew, Andy Fitzgerald, and Paul Turley.

STE Logo

The band were signed by Polydor Records in the summer of 1988, and soon after released debut single ‘Walking on Ice’.  Alas, the business end of things overtook them, and despite a support tour with A-ha on the UK leg of their world tour, Smalltown Elephants soon disbanded.  Footage of the band is notoriously difficult to come by, and despite the A-ha gigs being heavily bootlegged, nobody seems to have support slot recordings. The guys even got some VT airtime on ‘The Tube’ which again seems to be impossible to find.  Needless to say, if we ever stumble across any footage, KajaFax readers will be the first to benefit.

What we do have however – the Raison d’être of today’s article – is this rather wonderful photo.  Taken in London back in ’86, the image was emailed to us by KajaFan and friend of KajaFax Cris, who takes up the story:

“….I personally took the picture in London in December 1986, in a small street somewhere around the city centre. It is a possession that I am very fond of and I really hope you like it!  it is nothing special I know, but… to share it with you, as a friend and fellow fan, it brings back good memories….”

As always, KajaFax extends a huge ‘thank you’ to Cris for being kind enough to send this image to us!

Billboard Poster Smalltown Elephants

For those who are interested and so far as we know, during their lifespan, Smalltown Elephants played these dates:

30th September 1986: The Marquee Club, London, UK

4 December: Capitol Theatre, Aberdeen, UK

5 December: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK

7 December: Playhouse, Edinburgh, UK

8 December: City Hall, Newcastle, UK

10 December: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

11 December: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

12 December: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK

13 December: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK

15 December: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

16 December: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

17 December: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

18 December: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

19 December: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

20 December: Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

22 December: Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK

23 December: Guildhall, Portsmouth, UK

24 December: International Centre, Bournemouth, UK

29 December: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

30 December: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

31 December: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

2nd December 1986: The Marquee Club, London, UK

This list is by no means complete – did you attend a gig by the band that is not on this list?

If so, we would love to hear about it!

Thanks for visiting KajaFax :)

 

2014 KajaFax

Limahl – Tonight’s TV Appearance

September 6, 2014
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Earlier this evening, Limahl appeared on MDR TV in Germany as a featured artist in their retro-extravaganza show ‘Die 80er Jahre Party’.

Limahl 1985 (1)

For those people both here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe without access to German TV, we thought it would be nice to bring you footage of this evening’s broadcast.  So, we got busy with our satellite equipment and here are the results!  Limahl on stage.

Enjoy!

Thanks for watching!

2014 KajaFax

Limahl Interview – ‘The Split’ – Melody Maker 1983

September 3, 2014

 As promised, here is our follow up article to the one published a week or two ago in which the individual members of Kajagoogoo discussed the events surrounding the break-up of the band.

Today, it’s Limahl’s turn to speak to the reporter from Melody Maker

* Back in 1983, Melody Maker was published in a format similar to a modern day tabloid newspaper  – we have tried our best to scan the pages on a standard A4 scanner.  This was quite a tricky task, so please excuse any obvious joins, smears, or other blemishes *

**Click on the below image to open a large scale, fully readable version in your browser**

Limahl 1983 Melody Maker

Thank you for visiting KajaFax and making us the #1 Kajagoogoo website!

2014 KajaFax

Limahl Update: TV Performance and Album Re-Issue

August 27, 2014

As promised, KajaFax returns today with a double-whammy of Limahl related updates.

Firstly, we share our views on the newly re-issued Don’t Suppose CD double-pack.

 Looks impressive doesn’t it?  Well, it sounds impressive too. Great mastering when listened to at volume through my TEAC amplifier, and with lots of delicious extras to get stuck into, this has to be considered the definitive version of this album to hit the stores to date.  There is but one flaw –  the disc seems to suffer the same issues with ‘Oh Girl’ that the Gold Legion one did!! (but don’t let that put you off)  Still not convinced? Already have the Gold Legion issue?  Well, be assured that this CD is worth the cost of its purchase for the extra demo tracks alone.  How on earth ‘Heart of Gold’ has not seen the light of day before now is a mystery!  Both Heart of Gold and Heartbeat would seem a little out of place on the album as we know it, but would have been great bonus tracks on a ‘B’ side or a 12″ single – in the case of the former, possibly a single in it’s own right. Then Suddenly is the original recording of a song we all know – later recorded in the late 1990’s.  With a completely different feel to the reworked version the original track takes on a whole new ambience.  Marvellous stuff.  The booklet is, at 36 pages, a terrific companion to the two discs and features lots of text – no filler here – it’s all content and a great read.  A massive thanks needs to go out to Barney Ashton at Strike Force Entertainment for making this project come to fruition, and also to Limahl for yet again pulling out all the stops to help produce a first class product.

Click on the Amazon logo to purchase your copy – we at KajaFax highly recommend it!

Amazon Kajagoogoo Store

Moving on to another recent topic – Limahl’s recent TV appearance in the UK.  Many KajaFax readers outside of the UK have been unable to view the show broadcast last weekend and as always, we have tried to help :)  A little longer than usual due to a long weekend away from home but better late than never – we have that show in full for you now.

To stream the video directly via MediaFire, click on THIS LINK.

Alternatively, if you would rather download and watch at you leisure, click HERE.

Limahl 1985 (3a)

Thanks for visiting KajaFax!

2014 KajaFax

Kajagoogoo….On This Day in History VI

August 25, 2014

On this day in 1984, and intertwined in the beginnings of the ‘Crazy Peoples Right to Speak’ writing sessions, Kajagoogoo headed out to Poland to play a series of dates behind what was once then called the ‘iron curtain’.  This was not their first trip – the guys had been to the country before in the August of 1983.  The tremendous reception received  and the warmth of the Polish people had assured their swift return.  Poland was (and still is) in love with Kajagoogoo, and Kajagoogoo have always attracted the appreciative audiences on each occasion that they have played there.   Nick Beggs has on many occasions stated that the Polish people, along with the Japanese, are amongst the best audiences in the world, and it was no surprise that the band were keen to return to the country again to promote the ‘Islands’ album in the late summer of ’84.

kajagoogoo 84

Beginning with an open air gig in Wroclaw, the itinerary for this leg of the Islands tour was:

August 26th – Wroclaw; Open Air

August 27th – Zielona Gora; Open Air

August 28th – Poznan Sports Hall

August 29th – Bydgoszcz Ice Rink

August 30th – Gdansk Opera Lesna

September 2nd – Warsaw Sports Hall

September 3rd – Warsaw Sports Hall

September 6th – Opole Sports Hall

September 7th – Zabrze Sports Hall

September 8th – Zabrze Sports Hall

September 9th – Kielce Sports Hall

September 10th – Lodz Sports Hall

The band hit the eastern bloc with their usual behind the scenes entourage of engineers, managers, designers and technicians, as well as front of house augmentation via backing vocalists Annie McCaig and Debi DossJohn Read was on hand as bass support for Nick Beggs who now had full vocal duties in Limahl’s absence.

Kajagoogoo 84 tour crew

The trip was not without it’s unexpected hiccups however an the whole tour crew came down with Gastro Enteritis and, to make matters worse, manager Paul Ryan was hospitalised for a week with appendicitis!

shouldnt do that

As well as some killer live shows, one positive to come from that tour was the future hit single ‘Shouldn’t Do That’.  The track’s origins are rooted in Poland – a series of jam sessions at the sound checks for the Poland shows produced the earliest versions of the song as Steve Askew explains:

“….It started at the sound checks during the bands 1984 Islands tour of Poland.  W e all had recording Walkman cassettes for logging ideas back then – we came up with the chorus section first and experimented with various parts in which Stuart modified a cymbal sample. This became the air breath noise in the middle 8 section.  The single version was very much a cut down version of the actual recorded version we did…..”

Kajagoogoo fans have a lot to thank Polish Kajafans for, and it is no surprise that in recent years, the band have again toured the country to much appreciation by the Polish public and attention by the Polish media.

Thirty years have passed, but the welcome remains just as warm!

See you again next time!

2014 KajaFax

Limahl – UK BBC TV Alert

August 21, 2014
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News today of Limahl’s forthcoming appearance on the BBC TV game show ‘Pointless’.

Pointless Banner

 Renamed Pointless Celebrities, this ‘Boyband Brilliance’ celebrity special airs on BBC1 in the UK this Saturday at 5:40pm.  For those who have never seen the programme, Pointless is a quiz in which contestants try to score as few points as possible – plumbing the depths of their general knowledge to thinks up those elusive answers that nobody else can!

contestants on the show

Presenters Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman preside over some great guest musicians, with appearances by Mark King, Toyah Willcox, Carol Decker, Limahl, Dave Hill, Dave Bartram, Antony Costa and Scott Robinson.

Contestants

The show will also be available via BBC iPlayer in the UK . Just click on the below logo to be redirected:

bbc-iplayer2014 KajaFax

Kajagoogoo Interview – ‘The Split’ – Melody Maker 1983

August 20, 2014

The subject of the Kajagoogoo split of 1983 is one that no fan enjoys to relive, but in nevertheless a major event in the history of the band.  Today, we publish scans of an interview piece originally printed on August 20th 1983, which is of course, exactly 31 years ago today.  The interview is with the remaining four members of Kajagoogoo and broaches the sensitive issue of what actually happened on that fateful day back in early August….

* Back in 1983, Melody Maker was published in a format similar to a modern day tabloid newspaper  – we have tried our best to scan the pages on a standard A4 scanner.  This was quite a tricky task, so please excuse any obvious joins, smears, or other blemishes *

**Click on the below image to open a large scale, fully readable version in your browser**

01 Melody Maker August 20th 1983

KajaFax will soon be publishing scans of the interview detailing Limahl’s version of events, also taken from Melody Maker.

Stay tuned!

2014 KajaFax