1981 – present (39 years)
Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
- Carmel McCourt
- Gerry Darby (1981 – 2000)
- Jim Paris (1982 – present)
There are several artists that go under the name Carmel:
1) A British female singer, her eponymous band Carmel uniting bassist Jim Parris, and drummer Gerry Darby.
2) An electronic pop duo from Argentina.
1) The band formed in Manchester twenty six years ago during an interesting time when punk had lost steam, and change was in the wind. Two students with music in their soul, Carmel McCourt and Jim Parris got together and with drummer Gerry Darby (Jim's cousin) began a long career of defeating definition.
Their first single - "Storm" - reached No. 1 in the independent charts and Carmel was signed immediately to London Records. Their first album "The Drum is Everything" (produced by Mike Thorne) drew praise for the fiery passion of all three members. Parris and Darby remarkably conjured the effect of a full ensemble backing to McCourt's powerful vocals and were able to alternate between soulful ballads, gospel, blues and stomping jazz. The singles "Bad Day" and "More More More" both went Top 25 in the UK. The following album, "The Falling" (produced by Brian Eno, Hugh Jones, David Motion) made Carmel one of the biggest names in France achieving Gold status as well as charting in Belgium, Germany and Holland. "Sally" the first single lifted from the album sold 500.000 copies in France alone. With the critical and commercial success awarded both "The Falling" and the next album "Everybody's Got A Little Soul", producers queued up to work with Carmel.
1989 saw the release of "Set Me Free", with the likes of Brian Eno and veteran R&B producer Pete Wingfield adding their individual touches to the broad range of their material. The critics were bowled over with a Five Star Q review describing the album as "incendiary". 1990's best-of compilation "Collected" put the band's career into perspective culling songs from all their albums and highlighting the breadth, depth and vitality of their sound, while 1992's "Good News" saw Carmel moving to East West with Jim producing. In 1997 Ronnie Scott provided the venue to record their last album, "Live at Ronnie Scotts", which was a collection of their work and some previously unreleased material.
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