Black aka Colin Vearncombe returns with UK 2012 tour
Posted: 25th July 2012
The man celebrates his Wonderful Life with old and new classics, tickets on sale now
It has been a little over 30 years since Liverpudlian singer Colin Vearncombe first issued a single under the nom-de-plume of Black, beginning the sort of musical journey that others might have paid to avoid. 'Human Features' appeared to little fanfare in 1981 on the tiny Rox Records imprint, but US giant WEA took note of Vearncombe's expressive vocal tones on this and follow-up 'More Than The Sun' and signed him. But, as major labels did at that time (and still do), they dumped him after just two singles, 'Hey Presto' and a re-recording of 'More Than The Sun'.
As a retort to his rotten luck, an ironic little tune appeared in 1985 on the equally miserably-named Ugly Man indie imprint. Called 'Wonderful Life', the song has become something of a backbone for Vearncombe's career, perhaps his signature tune and certainly his saving grace. But the song didn't hit pay-dirt until its reissue on A&M in 1987, his third single release for the label who eventually stuck with him for three albums and several more singles, including the charmingly sad 'Sweetest Smile', the absolute belter 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' and the anthemic 'Paradise'. 'Wonderful Life' has soundtracked adverts (chocolate, insurance, airlines and ham(!)), idents and promotional film scenes, all of which have, in turn, earned Black hits across Europe.
But to single out one song is unfair - throughout his three decades, Colin Vearncombe has been uniquely transforming gloom into gleam by simply opening his mouth and singing. His more plaintive songs such as 'Stephen' and 'Now You're Gone' evoke comparables with Marc Almond and I'm sure Twin Shadow and the like have been sniffing around the first WEA mini-album for inspiration - 'Liquid Dream', I'll say no more. Follow-up album 'Comedy', as wry a title as you could wish to have for a 'difficult' second album, didn't quite scale the same heights as 'Wonderful Life' and after one more (self-titled) album, Vearncombe parted company with A&M and continued with his own self-financed Nero Schwarz label and a string of low-key, high-quality albums, including last year's 'Any Colour You Like'.
This autumn, Black aka Colin Vearncombe will be back on the road for a clutch of shows throughout October, including Newcastle, Airdrie, Liverpool and Camden on Halloween night. We have tickets on sale now, priced from £12.50 to £15. Expect more dates to be announced soon.