Clive Wilson and Phil Fursdon attended the same school in Taunton Somerset, they were good friends and from a mutual interest in music formed a band in 1967 called ‘ Phoenix Press’.
Phoenix Press’ played the length and breadth of the Country including such famous venue’s as The Marquee Club in London where they were spotted, which later lead to the band being signed to WEA Records. ‘Phoenix Press’ found themselves up against stiff opposition, they were 1 of 2 new signings fighting for fame in the tough music industry, the rival band was ‘America’, unfortunately for ‘Phoenix Press’, ‘America’ won the deal.
Clive was so determined not to fail knowing the talent the group had, he persisted until he got another recording deal with E.M.I. Records. A single ‘ Jerusalem’ was recorded and released but again sadly ‘Phoenix Press’ seemed fated, the single was deemed as inappropriate for radio air play due to the 7 day Arab Israeli war in the Middle East. After these disappointments the band members went in different musical directions but Clive and Phil stayed faithful to ‘Phoenix Press’. They were later joined by Harvey Coles on bass and Gary Coombes on keyboards. Times were hard for the band, Gary Coombes eventually left to work on a cruise liner so auditions were held and thus Keyboard player Gary was replaced by Richard Gower.
After Richard Gower joined the group, Harvey Coles only stayed for a short while, more auditions were held resulting in Pete Miller’s arrival. The band had evolved through many band members and band name changes but eventually the four-some settled with the new name of ‘Alive ‘n’ Kicking’.
Alive ‘n’ Kicking’ built up an excellent reputation Country wide, they also successfully toured Germany & Denmark on a number of occasions; but were best known for making the Three Queens in Weston-Super-Mare into the most popular pub in the South West.
With their Beach Boy style harmonies and playing cover songs of Eagles, Steely Dan & The Beatles, ‘Alive ‘n’ Kicking’ were in great demand attracting audiences from as far away as Taunton, Bath & London; they packed the pub 5 nights a week; night after night for over a year.
During this time the band was not only working by night but by day they were writing and rehearsing their own material. Using their hard earnt money they hired Recording Studio’s to record their songs; the main aim was to get a recording deal.
It was at this time a fan decided to take a demo tape to London to try to track down Mickey Most, who was a judge on a TV Talent Show.
To cut a long story short, he found Mickey Most’s house & presented the bands tape to Mickey’s wife. The very next day a phone call was received from Mickey Most requesting to see ‘Alive ‘n’ Kicking’ play live.
Three weeks later on a Saturday night, totally unannounced, Mickey arrived on his motorbike with his wife at the Three Queens to watch ‘Alive ‘n’ Kicking’ play; he was so impressed by the band, that he invited them to his new recording studio in London to try out some songs and the rest, my friends, is history.
The Band changed its name to ‘Racey’ & had great successes. Total world wide record sales for ‘Racey’ were approximately 5 million covering the U.K. Europe, Scandinavia, Australia & New Zealand. Lay your Love on Me’ and ‘Some Girls’ were both awarded Gold discs. The bands chart success finally dried up, and in mid ’85’ ‘Racey’ split.
Until 1990… ‘Racey’ reformed ……………….. Clive and Phil were approached to play at a 4th July party and decided to reform ‘Racey’ – they had been asked on numerous occasions before but due to business commitments the timing had not been right.
Along with the other original member of ‘Racey’ Pete Miller plus new Key board player Ian Hewitt; ‘Racey’ played to a sellout crowd, went down a storm, the boys felt great to be back, and back they are with a vengance.
Pete Miller sadly died on May 6th 2003 after losing his battle with cancer. His wit, musical love, and great voice will be deeply missed. GOD REST YOU PETE!
Racey continue to play throughout the UK and Europe to large audiences and loyal fans. Matt Venn our new bass player is also from Weston-super-Mare, Racey’s home town. Look out for Matt on our next tour. The band have also appeared on lots of different TV shows,in Europe and England, so keep an eye out for Racey on your TV screens.
When Clive, Phil, Ian and Matt are not touring, the boys can be found hard at work in their recording studio…. So stay switched on & tuned in & remember…. Some Girls Do!!