The ‘New Roxette’ Magazine interviews Stuart Croxford Neale
Since we first went online in 2010, KajaFax has strived to bring you the best and most comprehensive coverage of all aspects of Kajagoogoo’s career. There is however one band member that for one reason or another we have never really managed to feature, and both Steve and I have always felt incredibly guilty about it!
In an attempt to rectify this, we are proud to present highlights of an interview given to the ‘New Roxette’ magazine by ‘Goo keyboards wizard and all round nice chap Stuart Croxford Neale.
How do you all feel about being back in Kajagoogoo once again?
It’s been a personally rewarding and fulfilling experience. It’s like being whole again, and even to the point like we never were apart. In the end it has made so much sense to do this. Yes you get all the clichés about bands reforming or “cashing in” for a commercial project, but in addition to those reasons, we genuinely have got so much out of being the 5 piece band we once were on many levels. For instance, the live production of songs from “White Feathers”, “Islands” and “Crazy Peoples Right To Speak”, plus Limahl songs from his successful solo career has been stepping back in time – we even had to learn the parts again, re-create the sounds, re-work the vocal harmonies – all culminating in our 90 minute live show. This same show was really well received on our recent German dates so now has been stress tested ready for many more dates…we hope! I believe a true test of a band that is destined to survive is when they can continue to sit in the same room and create music in the same way for which they first became famous. This is what has happened since we reformed. Not immediately though as the first priority was to cement the live set ready for gigs. We then inserted a 4-day writing session – in fact it was just 4 evenings – to create what was the nucleus of 4 brand new Kajagoogoo songs. Ideas came thick and fast with the same spark and chemistry flowing through us all.
Everyone contributed, and a new 4 track EP was born – “Death Defying Headlines”.
In 2004, VH1’s Bands Reunited managed to bring everyone together for the TV programme. Was this the defining moment that reconnected the band, and ‘planted the seed’ that a reunion would be a great idea and opportunity, for not just the fans, but for the band members as well?
Absolutely, yes. Whilst after the VH1 show there still was some distance to cover regarding the commercial agreements etc, we certainly knew that there was a golden opportunity presenting itself to us. It actually took a further 5 years before it happened!
Please tell our readers (in brief) what else you’ve all been doing over the past 25 years when Kajagoogoo ended, for those that don’t know.
25 years in one paragraph….not easy. Well basically I came out of the music industry after several years following the Kajagoogoo split in around 1986/87. Some musical projects a solo album, and various projects with other artists. I ultimately moved into OCR/ICR software (ReadSoft) in 1992 and in Nov 2008 moved to a new company TIS in the same industry. Music has stayed close to my heart and I have continued to work in bands outside of my IT position, having worked with Steve Askew in a band on a part time basis for nearly 20 years.
Have you any/many fond memories of Aylesbury and/or performing at Friars in the early 80’s?
Oh yes, Friars was a regular venue for me and my circle of friends in the mid to late 70’s. I saw people like John Otway, Hawkwind and Budgie to name but a few. I loved the gig – even if the sound was rather unusual (it had certain places in the auditorium where it “phased” and sounded hollow). Probably the building shape I guess. That whole vibe reminds me of the Hunt hotel in Leighton Buzzard which was promoted by Chris France and bands like Caught in the Act with their guitarist ‘Dusty’. Heady days but they really influenced my musical upbringing. We did of course have a great gig at Friars ourselves when we supported Fashion on their UK tour, and again I think with Howard Jones supporting us…(I may be wrong there). Anyway, I remember our families and friends from Leighton Buzzard coming along.
What are your current plans?
My ambition is for Kajagoogoo to be working more frequently with the hope of going to the States and Japan.
A huge thanks to the ‘New Roxette’ magazine for giving their kind permission for KajaFax to publish this interview.
As some KajaFax readers may be aware, the ‘New Roxette’ and ‘Aylesbury Showcase’ have an upcoming gig on July 21st and 22nd called ‘The Aylesbury Festival Weekender‘. The ‘weekender’ is the 5th consecutive FREE annual music festival and will be held in the middle of Aylesbury Town Centre between 11am and 4pm.
Please show your support for this great event – sure to be both a fun day of great music!
More details can be found here:
It’s sure to be a great day! Put a note in your diary!
If Stuart is your favourite member of the ‘Goo, why not subscribe to KajaFax? We have more great Stuart news to bring you within the next few days, when we will be showing him in a musical role that may surprise you…..