Growing up in Peterborough as the eldest of six children Andy Bell always wanted to be a singer. Moving to London with a friend in his teens he joined a synth-pop band, called The Void. However it was to be an ad in Melody Maker, that rather than that project, which set him on the path to stardom.
When former Depeche Mode and Yazoo star Vince Clarke advertised for a singer for his new project Andy responded. He has said that he practiced for the audition listening to Alison Moyet, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Communards. It did the trick and Erasure was born.
It took them three singles to break through but when they did, they did it with a bang. Sometimes stormed into the Irish and UK charts peaking at number 2 in both.
They had finally arrived and this was the beginning of a hugely successful period for the group as their album The Circus spawned three other hits: It Doesn’t Have To Be, Victim of Love, and the titular track.
They were on a roll and their next album The Innocents gave them another first when it broke them in the US gaining platinum status! Chains of Love and A Little Respect both hit top twenty over there. The album reached number six in Ireland and on April 27th 1988 they played a gig in Dublin’s Olympic Ballroom to support it. A Little Respect reached number 5 in Ireland and has become one of the groups signature songs.
They followed this with the huge hit albums Wild and the Mercury Music Prize nominated Chorus. But it was to be a tribute EP that would finally get them to the top of the UK singles charts.
Abbaesque saw the duo record four ABBA tracks with their own unique spin. The video for their version of Take A Chance On Me saw the pair don colourful spandex and red and blonde wigs to replicate the Agnetha and Anni Frid from ABBA. The hugely camp and brilliantly executed short helped the EP soar to the top of the charts.
They followed this with the huge hit albums Wild and the Mercury Music Prize nominates Chorus. But it was to be a tribute EP that would finally get them to the top of the UK singles charts.
Abba-esque saw the duo don colourful spandex and red and blonde wigs in the video to replicate the Agnetha and Anni Frid from ABBA. The hugely camp and brilliantly executed shorts helped the EP soar to the top of the charts.
As a group they have gone on to release another 14 albums and in total have written over 200 songs and have sold over 25 million albums worldwide.
That would be enough for most artists but not Andy. Outside of the band he is kept busy with his advocacy work and a burgeoning solo career. He released his first solo album, Electric Blue in 2005. In 2010 he released his second offering Non-Stop. He has released 18 singles outside of Erasure in total.
We’re looking forward to hearing some of them as well as Erasure classics when he takes to the stage as our Saturday headliner at Forever Young this year.
Andy Bell headlines the ‘Forever Young’ festival in Palmerstown House Estate on Saturday July 15th, 2023. ‘Forever Young’ is a three-day celebration of the music of the 1980s featuring artists such as Bananarama, Squeeze, Billy Ocean, Tony Hadley, ABC and many more.
Full line-up and tickets are available here