The Fizz chat to Michael about why they renamed the band, their new album and Eurovision
UNITED KINGDOM – Bucks Fizz are a British pop group that achieved success in the 1980s, most notably for winning the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Making Your Mind Up”. The group was formed in January 1981 specifically for the contest and comprised four vocalists: Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston. They achieved instant attention with the dance routine which accompanied the song, involving a skirt-rip. The group went on to have a successful career around the world (albeit ignored in the United States), while the UK remained their biggest market, where they had three No.1 singles with “Making Your Mind Up” (1981), “The Land of Make Believe” (1981) and “My Camera Never Lies” (1982) and became one of the top-selling groups of the 1980s. They also had UK Top 10 hits with “Now Those Days Are Gone” (1982), “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” (1982), “When We Were Young” (1983) and “New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)” (1986). Their worldwide record sales have exceeded 15 million. The line-up of the group has changed a number of times over the years, most famously when Jay Aston quit the group in 1985 and was replaced by Shelley Preston. Today, two versions of the group exist: the official version, which includes original member Bobby G, and a version comprising the other three original members who tour alongside Bobby McVay under the name “The Fizz”.
In December 2004, G, Nolan, Baker and Preston reformed briefly after 15 years to be part of ‘The Here and Now Tour’ of the UK. To distinguish this line-up from G’s other group, they renamed themselves The Original Bucks Fizz (although Preston was not in the original four, she was the only other member to have been in a recording contract with chart success whilst in the group). Due to prior commitments with the current lineup of the group, G could not make all of the dates played, but did appear at some shows. Following this, Nolan, Baker and Preston subsequently performed more shows together as a three-piece under the same title and featured in the Congratulations show, the 50th Anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. In September 2008, Preston, Baker, Nolan and Aston reunited for a makeover show Pop Goes the Band for Living TV, which was screened in March 2009.
On 3 April 2012, the group re-launched as OBF. They performed some shows around the weekend of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and released the debut album on Saturday 26 May. It was made available through their official website. As of 2014 the group have been rebranded Cheryl, Mike and Jay – Formerly of Bucks Fizz. In 2014, the group gained a temporary fourth member, singer Stephen Fox who had been a member of their supporting band at live shows. In 2015, the group embarked on an extensive tour of the UK, now officially as a four-piece with former vocalist of 1980s group Sweet Dreams, Bobby McVay. This was the group’s biggest undertaking with more than 40 dates throughout the year, ending on the 30 October 2015. Rebranded “The Fizz” the group are releasing an album “The F-Z of Pop” via Pledge Music in September 2017. The album, also produced by Mike Stock, will contain three reimagined Bucks Fizz tracks and other new music, some co-written by the band. The group are also performing a third tour throughout 2017.