Café were formed in 1976 when two Manchester bands
merged (Gyro and Mandella). The original line-up included
Wythenshawe vocalist Paul Young, guitarists Ian Wilson and
Ashley Mulford, bassist John Stimpson, Vic Emerson (keyboards)
drummer Tony Creswell and Lenni (saxophone).
Their debut album, the brilliantly
pure Manc-titled "Fanx Ta Ra", didn't score much
success but did represent the bands brilliant hard rock and
adult pop style.
It was the second album though,
"Misplaced Ideals" that achieved international success
thanks to the US hit single "Run Home Girl'. The album
appeared new drummer David Irving in replace of Tony Creswell.
UK success followed in 1979
with the UK Number 3 single "Every Day Hurts" taken
off their third album, "Facades". The album was
produced by 10cc's Eric Steward and recorded at Strawberry
Studios in Stockport. It also spawned the UK Top 40 singles
"Strange Little Girl" and "My Oh My".
The 1980 self-titled album "Sad
Café" failed to capitalise on the success and
John Stimpson became the band's manager as a result, replacing
himself as bass player with Dave Tong for the 1981 'Ole' album.
The "Sad Café - Live" album followed later
that year to as little chart-success, and the band slowly
faded away completely.
Paul Young joined Mike &
The Mechanics in 1985 for their self-titled debut album which
reached No.26 in the US and spawned the hit singles, "Silent
Running", "All I Need Is A Miracle" and "Taken
In". He returned to Manchester in 1986 to reform Sad
Café with Ian Wilson and new bassist Michael Byron-Hehir.
The album "Politics Of
Existing" guest starred Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack
and would have been equally at home under the 'Mike &
The Mechanics'-banner as Paul again scored success two years
later with his other much bigger band. "The Living Years"
album was a huge success (UK No.2) and produced the brilliant
title-track (a UK No.2/Us No.1 single).
In 1989 the trick was repeated
when Paul and his guest-star mates re-joined Ian to record
the superb "Whatever It Takes" album under the name
of 'Sad Café' and followed it up with Mike & The
Mechanics' hit "Word Of Mouth" album.
Various compilation albums,
including "The Masters" and "The Best Of"
finally closed the Sad Café story in 1997. Paul Young,
an ardent Manchester City fan, went on to enjoy massive success
with his other projects.
Mike & The Mechanics scored
hit after hit including "Beggar On A Beach Of Gold",
"Hits" and "M6" albums.
Paul's final work was to perform
live for the superb SAS Band (the group formed by the brilliant
Spike Edney, the 'fifth' member of the largest ever super-group
Paul Young died suddenly of
a Heart Attack in Manchester, July 2000. He was only 53. He
will be sadly missed by many on the Manchester music scene.
A tribute concert was arranged for him on December 15th 2000,
at the Manchester Apollo.
The Forever Young concert included
a performance by original members of Paul's first successful
group, the Toggery Five, who were joined by Dave Berry. There
was a performance from Queen's Roger Taylor, and The SAS Band,
which on the night included Spike Edney, Roy Wood, Fish, and
Stevie Vann. Mike & The Mechanic's performed an emotional
set but the highlight of the night was the performance by
the remaining members of Sad Cafe. A wonderful tribute to
one of Manchester's greatest rockers.
Paul Young - R.I.P - Everyday
Hurts without you