Kajagoogoo….On This Day in History VI
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.
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 Doss. John Read was on hand as bass support for Nick Beggs who now had full vocal duties in Limahl’s absence.
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!
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!