Space are back with a new single ‘Strange World’. The band began their extensive UK tour of the same name in late October which sees them on the road until mid-December. The release a new album follows on February 22nd 2016 to coincide with an Irish and European tour. ‘Strange World’ combines Space’s signature sound with a Mariachi vibe, creating a record that could serve as the soundtrack to a David Lynch film. This is Space at their finest, a record set to delight their army of fans as well as winning many more.
Watch the video for Strange World here:
A Brief History of Space…
Space formed in May 1993 when Liverpudlian musicians Tommy Scott and Andy Parle recruited teenager Jamie Murphy and Kraftwerk fanatic Franny Griffiths to help translate the sounds in Scott’s head.
The band’s first single ‘If It’s Real’ was released on manager Mark Cowley’s own label Hug Records, with The Farm’s bass player Carl Hunter designing the artwork. This release led to Gut Records discovering the band.
A low key single ‘Money/Kill Me’ was released in November 1995 – it left the shops as quickly as it had entered. The band cut their teeth on the live scene around this time too, but it was the release of ‘Neighbourhood’ that really kicked things off for Space. It told the tale of Tommy’s childhood street in Liverpool, but with serial killers and transvestites in the starring roles. This was pop music with a dark and sharp edge, a taste of things to come.
Second single ‘Female of the Species’ was a bolt from the blue. Scott wrote this song for his late father, who had always hated his music. He wanted it to sound like a Burt Bacharach tune sung by Frank Sinatra. The results were wonderful. ‘Female of the Species’ was an instant classic, staying in the UK top 40 for an astonishing three months. The song that catapulted Space to a whole new audience and their debut album ‘Spiders’ was a resounding critical success.
Three sold out tours, three further Top 20 singles (‘Dark Clouds’, a re-released ‘Neighbourhood’ and the Top 10 hit ‘Me and You Versus The World’) along with triumphant festival appearances followed.
Old acquaintance Dave Palmer, better known as Yorkie, joined the band in late 1997. After helping out with the album, Yorkie was asked to become the bands’ full time bassist, allowing Tommy to concentrate on vocals.
Internationally, things began to happen for the band, already a massive hit in the UK ‘Female of the Species’ also gained airplay on college radio and MTV in America. With success comes touring, with touring comes stress… A tour of the US followed in mid-1997. Jamie, the youngest member of the band at only 21, found it all too much. He took a break, missing some live shows and TV appearances. The death of Palmer’s mother, legendary Liverpool singer Gladys Palmer, also devastated the band.
Jamie returned for the recording of Space’s second album ‘Tin Planet’. This darker, more song-focused album put Scott’s voice to the fore. The band mixed the classicism of his songs with Griffiths’ keyboard backdrops, Murphy’s energy and Parles’ solid rhythms.
Tommy describes ‘Tin Planet’ as, “More darkness, but the songs are pure love songs. Our first songs used to be trying to be like Speedy Gonzales or Peter Lorre. Now its more Marlene Dietrich.”
In early 1998 after finishing Space’s second album Tin Planet, drummer Andy Parle left. He was immediately replaced by Leon Caffrey.
The first single from ‘Tin Planet’ was ‘Avenging Angels’ which was released in December 1997 and went straight into the charts at No. 6. Next came ‘The Ballad of Tom Jones’, a duet with Cerys Matthews from Catatonia, which was released in February 1998 and entering the charts at Number 4. The album itself was released in March 1998 and entered the album charts at Number 3!
During 1999 Space took a well earned break from the rigours of touring and concentrated on writing material for their third album. ‘Love You More Than Football’ was due to be released in the UK in mid 2000 but was delayed indefinitely by Gut records.
Between record companies Space took time rewriting material for their new album and at the end of 2001 announced a free intimate gig for the fans, scheduled for the 26th January 2002 at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool. However with just a week to go before the performance news broke that Jamie Murphy had left the band again. The show went ahead regardless and was enjoyed by all, with Space giving a superb performance.
Fast-forward through 2003 with a series of Music For Aliens releases to keep the loyal fans happy and we arrive in November 2003, when Space signed to Randm records.
The first single release under Randm came in February 2004, with the title track from the new album, “Suburban Rock ‘n’ Roll’. It reached 16 in the UK Indie charts. This was closely followed by ‘Suburban Rock ‘n’ Roll’ the album in March, the first Space album to hit the shops in five long years, described as “eleven brilliant trips into the crazed mind of Tommy Scott”, this was the new Space sound at its best. The last release under randm, and the last to date, was the single ’20 Million Miles from Earth’, released in May 2004. It reached 35 in the UK Indie chart.
Following months of speculation by fans, Space were finally declared to have parted ways in an email from Yorkie to a fan. An unfortunately low-key and quiet ending for a band that was still beloved by many.
Following their split the group went separate ways musically. Tommy formed a new band called The Drellas, to be later joined by Leon. Franny produced under the name Subway Showdown, then reunited with Jamie as band members in Dust. Yorkie continued to produce music and work on his solo project Moongoose.
In August 2009, Space’s former drummer Andy Parle sadly passed away. The remaining original members met at his funeral and this broke the ice between them. This encounter sowed the seeds for what was to follow.
In November 2011 the big news hit that Space were back. The new line-up reunited original members Tommy, Jamie and Franny back together for the first time in ten years. They were joined by Phil Hartley (Bass / Double Bass), Ryan Clarke (Vintage Keys) and Allan Jones (Drums). Space’s return was cemented with a reunion gig at the O2 Academy Liverpool in December 2011. The show was a quick sell-out, and gave fans an early taste of the band’s new material and sound.
Throughout 2012 Space worked on their latest album ‘Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab’, as well as performing at various venues and festivals. Although Jamie has now left the band, Space continue to work on their new material, they’re preparing to release new matieral and will embark on their ‘Strange World’ tour this Autumn.
Fri 20 /November WIGAN OLD COURTS
Sat 21 /November CREWE THE BOX
Sun 22 /November MANCHESTER FAC 251
Tue 24 /November SWANSEA SIN CITY
Wed 25 /November CARDIFF THE GLOBE
Thu 26 /November READING BOWERY
Fri 27 /November BRISTOL FLEECE
Sat 28 /November COVENTRY KASBAH
Mon 30 /November SUNDERLAND THE POINT
Tue 1 /December EDINBURGH ELECTRIC CIRCUS
Wed 2 /December ABERDEEN TUNNELS
Thu 3 /December GLASGOW CLASSIC GRAND
Fri 4 /December LIVERPOOL EPSTEIN
Sat 5 /December LONDON BRIXTON JAMM
Thu 10 /December TUNBRIDGE WELLS FORUM
Fri 11 /December WOLVERHAMPTON SLADE ROOMS
Sat 12 /December LINCOLN PLATFORM
Fri 18 /December GLOUCESTER GUILDHALL
Sat 19 /December NORWICH UEA