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Lighthouse Family new tour and album

Simon Binns talks to one of the most successful bands of the 90s

Written by . Published on January 6th 2011.

Lighthouse Family new tour and album

Lighthouse Family may never have been one of the more fashionable bands to admit to liking, but they sold records. A lot of records.

Ten million or so, at the last count, including their six-time platinum debut Ocean Drive, released in 1995. Their last tour was only outsold by the Spice Girls. Respectably massive, it’s fair to say.

And now they’re back. Vocalist Tunde Baiyewu and keyboard player Paul Tucker are back together and set for a string of dates in march 2011. They’ve also signed a record deal with Sony for a new album.

I caught up with the band at a stripped-down acoustic performance over at Smooth FM. Lifted, Ocean Drive and High sounded fresh, and bizarrely, altogether darker acoustically. Tunde’s quiet, echoed vocals are really quite menacing, in a good way.

“We thought that,” said Tunde afterwards. “It’s funny what you hear in song when you go back to it after a while. We might throw a bit of that into the live shows, but it’s going to be mostly big band stuff.”

So why the seven-year hiatus? “We just wanted out lives back,” said Paul. “We’d been touring for nearly ten years, non-stop. It was full on.

“It’s a difficult thing to just keep going and going. We did way more than we could have ever expected and sold more records than we ever dreamed. Live, we’d gone from really small gigs straight to arenas. We were happy with what we’d achieved.”

Paul claims the new songs will be ‘big, uplifting’ numbers, even though he admits that the band can’t get too caught up in the past.

“We know it’s not 1995 anymore, but the DNA of the band will always be the same,” he said. “We write feelgood tunes. We want to feel excited about the new stuff, just as we still are about the old songs.”

The band rolls into Manchester Apollo on March 5, and are looking forward to a retrospective trip through some of their biggest hits.

“Some of those songs are inescapable, and it’s nice to be playing them again,” said Tunde. “We’d talked about getting back together for a while and just felt it was time. We’ve got a new album to make and we feel fresh. We didn’t just want to go through the motions one more time. We’ll tour the new record after we’ve finished it. We’re back and we’re doing it properly.”

Tickets for the new Lighthouse Family tour are on sale now and available at www.gigsandtours.com / 0844 811 0051.

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