Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Swinging Laurels

swinging laurelsLeicester England's The Swinging Laurels reached No 1 on the U.K. independent charts with their first single "Piece of Mind" (1981 Albion). The song, a pleasant a mix of sax, voice and percussion, defined the bands sound. In 1982 they signed with WEA Records and their second single "Lonely Boy" was produced by Culture Club producer Steve Levine. The track initially featured a vocal contribution by Boy George but due to the contractual obligations of Boy's record label the song was released without his vocals. In 1983 Boy George requested that the Swinging Laurels open for them on Culture Club's sold-out UK tours. After leaving WEA Records the band formed their own label, released a few singles and fizzled out.

The Swinging Laurels were :
John Barrow - Tenor Sax, Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Gaz Birtles -Vocals, Alto SaxGuitar, Programming
Dean Sargent - Trumpet, Bass Synth, Keyboards
Mark O'Hara - Keyboards

John Barrow has written a book based on his music industry experiences called How Not to Make It in the Pop World and Gaz Birtles plays sax for The Beautiful South.

Visit the Swinging Laurels website.

The Swinging Laurels released a "Greatest Bits" collection CD but it appears to be out-of-print.

Go to the download page to get the Swinging Laurels - "Piece of Mind"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great little piece of research and a well deserved nod to a truly great lost band.

The Laurel Webmaster

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Gaz has just turned 50 and the party in Leicester was a real occasion, if featured Gaz's current band Yellowbelly and the first appearance by The Swinging Laurels in 22 years.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw them at the Hope and Anchor in Angel, Islington. Absolutely brilliant.

7:58 PM  

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