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Q-Tips

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Biography

Q-Tips were an English blue-eyed soul and rock band, first formed in 1979 from the remnants of the 1970s rock outfit Streetband which had Paul Young as lead singer. Saddled with the novelty song “Toast”, a B-side made successful from incessant airplay by Capital Radio’s’s Kenny Everett, and despite two albums, Streetband had failed to find any commercial success. Drummer Chalky and guitarist Roger Kelly departed, leaving the remaining trio of Paul Young on vocals, Mick Pearl on bass guitar, and guitarist John Gifford.

The ex-Streetbanders, added new recruits Dave Lathwell on guitar and Baz Watts on drums. In addition, a four piece brass section was created by Steve Farr (baritone saxophone), Richard Blanchchard (tenor saxophone), Stuart Van Blandamer (alto saxophone) and Tony Hughes (trumpet) who all hailed from the North London and Hertfordshire area, while organist Ian Kewley, lived in Essex. The Q-Tips name derived from a well-known brand of cotton swab.

Despite an ill-fated tour with After The Fire, also in 1981 they played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, having supported The Who on their twelve date UK tour the previous year. As record sales evaded them despite the release of two albums and seven singles, the Q-Tips broke up in early 1982 when Paul Young signed a solo recording contract with Sony/CBS. In late 1982 and early 1983, the brass section and drummer of the Q-Tips toured with Adam Ant on the UK and US legs of his Friend or Foe tour, and some remained for Ant’s 1984 Strip tour.

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