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The Lilac Time

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Malvern, England (1987 – 1991, 1998 – present)

The Lilac Time is a band from Birmingham, UK (though based in Malvern, England), formed by Stephen Duffy and his brother nick duffy in 1987. The name is taken from a line in the Nick Drake song River Man: “Gonna see the River Man/Gonna tell him all I can/About the plan/For Lilac Time”.

The initial line-up for the debut album, entitled The Lilac Time, released in November 1987 was the two Duffys and keyboardist Michael Weston. Subsequent line-ups have revolved around the two brothers and included drummer Michael Giri, bassist Micky Harris, multi-instrumentalist Caroline Radcliffe, pianist Cara Tivey. Nick Duffy briefly left in 1990 and was replaced by guitarist Sagat Guirey. Later members post ‘91 split include backing vocalist & keyboardist Claire Worrall and pedal steel guitarist Melvin Duffy (no relation!).

The band’s activity is intertwined with Stephen’s solo career, waxing and waning as his time and attention permit. The longest gap between Lilac Time records was 8 years - 1991’s Astronauts to 1999’s Looking For A Day In The Night.

Now, Stephen Duffy is perhaps best known as the co-songwriter and producer for Robbie Williams, and after many years of obscurity, a series of reissues now means that the entire Lilac Time back catalogue is available to buy in the UK for the first time ever. His three later solo albums (1993’s Music in Colors, 1995’s Duffy & 1998’s I Love My Friends) have also been reissued with extra tracks.

From 2003 to 2009 the band released records as Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time and has stabilised with the permanent line-up of Stephen Duffy, Nick Duffy and Claire Worrall (who married Stephen Duffy in 2008).

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  • bingbongbilly

    Can't believe 'The Road To Happiness' has so few listeners. Puzzling.

    27 Jun 2013 Reply
  • flemoaus

    its all been said ,the writings on the wall,<or is it julie on the fence > most underated talent britain has ever produced!! get on it

    17 Mar 2012 Reply
  • radioheaddict

    :notbad:

    27 Feb 2012 Reply
  • gareth69

    Rather ironic Stephen Duffy has made more money writing inferior songs for Robbie Williams.

    2 Nov 2011 Reply
  • an_outlaw

    Loved the debut on first listen. I should go listen to more of their songs.

    11 Jan 2011 Reply
  • diepaprikantin

    29 Nov 2010 Reply
  • mvldk666

    love, love, love etc ... ... and even more love

    8 Sep 2010 Reply
  • Mirabilis1

    Black Velvet is just sublime. :)

    25 Aug 2010 Reply
  • Alfredo_Poo

    The Nursery Walls is my favourite song! It's just beatiful!

    20 Aug 2010 Reply
  • captainraymond

    got You've Got To Love/Railway Bazaar/Trumpets twelve inch if anyone's interested? Moving into a small flat and need to lose my much loved records

    15 May 2010 Reply
  • cruz992

    UnsungBlues wrote- "'WHY ARE THERE SO FEW FANS'. Because like House of Love, another original, underrated band, they never got any airplay, exposure, or media attention." I agree about Lilac Time/Duffy lack of exposure, but House of Love got plenty of airplay and exposure (at least in SoCal and SF) back in the day...great band, HofL, maybe "their appeal has become more selective"...

    20 Aug 2009 Reply
  • Johnnybosox19

    Never heard this band, but I'm looking forward to becoming acquainted with them..

    19 May 2009 Reply
  • djjjk

    vastly underrated…

    5 Mar 2009 Reply
  • fergusmcphail

    <3

    7 Feb 2009 Reply
  • SG64

    Stephen is quite simply the greatest living Englishman.......

    8 Jan 2009 Reply
  • morningside24

    'Love Becomes a Savage' is my favourite song of theirs. Really beautiful and intense. 'The Lost Girl in the Midnight Sun' comes in a close second place....

    15 Oct 2008 Reply
  • ffion_nia

    I also love trumpets from montparnasse.. really lovely. (:

    20 Sep 2008 Reply
  • banrab

    I really love their instrumental song 'Trumpets from Montparnasse,' so good..

    29 Aug 2008 Reply
  • UnsungBlues

    'WHY ARE THERE SO FEW FANS'. Because like House of Love, another original, underrated band, they never got any airplay, exposure, or media attention.

    30 Jul 2008 Reply
  • morningside24

    What's 'Runout Groove' like, UK listeners? I am holding out on buying it until it is released in the US because it is so expensive here as an import.

    9 Dec 2007 Reply
  • All 28 shouts