The ’80s revival rumbles on in rude health, as the tour hitting the Kings Theatre on Wednesday proves.
The night’s line-up includes four big-hitters from the era, with more than 20 million record sales between them. Big Country, Midge Ure, Nick Heyward and Curiosity Killed The Cat are all playing on a night that promises wall-to-wall hits.
WOW247 caught up with Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot, the frontman of the latter band, which had huge hits with the likes of Down to Earth, Misfit and Name And Number.
First off he clarifies how the tour works: ‘It’s just me that sings with the backing band for the tour, which is the case with Midge Ure and Nick Heyward too. I wouldn’t want to upset the other guys or the band.’
Although Curiosity Killed The Cat burned brightly, they split after three albums.
As Ben says: ‘When the bass player Nick left just after the second album, from then we never really called ourselves Curiosity Killed The Cat because it wasn’t the original line-up. We shortened it to Curiosity because the dynamic wasn’t the same.
It’s a friendly crowd, and everyone knows every word to every songBen Volpeliere-Pierrot
‘Since then, I’ve been carrying on the name, if you like, doing these gigs, but maybe it should be just Curio or something because we’ve lost another couple of members,’ he chuckles.
Ben is a veteran of these package tours though, and he enjoys the way things have changed between the various bands since the first time round.
‘It’s very interesting, because back then we didn’t really speak with each other – maybe you’d bump into someone at an airport, hotel, or TV station or something, but it’s great to be able to reminisce about the old days and look at things in a different way.’
And the reception from the fans has been excellent: ‘It’s kind of a friendly crowd, and everyone knows every word to every song, it’s pretty positive.’
But doesn’t he miss his old bandmates?
‘It was the camaraderie of the whole band. We had quite a big band when we played live and needless to say we used to have a right laugh. It was priceless to travel and meet new people, experience new things. It was magic really.’
For a group that operated at the poppier end of the spectrum, Ben and co fully embraced the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle.
As he says now: ‘I think there are a few different types of success – there’s notoriety, there’s exposure, and then there’s sales. We had two out of three at least. We had notoriety and exposure, maybe a bit too much exposure – half the time we spent doing press and photoshoots, we could have been in the studio writing songs.
‘But we were young and having fun and not paying much attention to the whole gameplan and the whole management side of things. We would get bored at official meetings and things with the lawyers and accountants, falling asleep and that.
‘Partly the industry broke our band up, but also because we weren’t really taking it that seriously, we were quite happy-go-lucky and that’s the way it was, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
‘When people say they’re regrouping for the fans or whatnot, it hasn’t worked up to now for the Curiosity lads and I don’t know if it will, but never say never, and I always feel it was an unfinished story.’
The Kings Theatre, Southsea
Wednesday, March 2