For anyone not entirely convinced of the power of Fate, the story of Cutting Crew could be an interesting one, for they are a band that came together almost entirely because of unforseen events.
Although the band has only been together a few years, it took years of individual experience to make them collectively, what they are today. Lead vocalist Nick Van Eede’s musical background stretches back to the late seventies, when he was managed by ex-Animal Chas Chandler, who sent him on a tour of Poland as support for Slade. Nick recalls “I went with a kazoo and an acoustic guitar and opened for Slade in amphitheatres in front of 18,000 people. I went down as a storm and had the loudest kazoo in Europe, because Slade took their own PA on the road!” His career continued with tours supporting headliners like David Essex, Hot Chocolate and Alan Price… but there was always the desire for his own band. The Drivers seemed for a while to be that band, and in the early eighties, they took off for Canada, to a new life and a promising deal. Things were looking good, The Drivers had a couple of hits and went on the road, this time with a support of their own… and it was around this time that Fate came up trumps, with the introduction of Kevin MacMichael.
Canadian Kevin was at that time in a band called Fast Forward… the band that was to support the Drivers on the tour. He had gained invaluable experience in Halifax, Nova Scotia, working the cabarets that go on seven nights a week, until three in the morning! Kevin remembers the tour; “By the end of it, I knew The Drivers’ songs really well and Nick used to say, ‘why don’t you come up and sit in?’ They were a three piece band and had always wanted to work with another guitarist.”
Commitments meant that a musical relationship got no further than the discussion stage at that time, and after the tour, the pair went their separate ways. However, shortly after their return to the UK, The Drivers disbanded and with nothing to stop him, Nick returned to Canada and began working on his own music. He approached Kevin and more or less told him that if they didn’t get together now, they might as well forget it… but Fast Forward were about to tour again and it looked like there was no solution. It was now that Fate really took an upper hand, for on the brink of the tour, the band were involved in a serious car crash… and Kevin was the only one who escaped unhurt. It meant freedom for Kevin and Nick to begin working together and soon after they began writing songs and working on demos in Toronto… but because of existing contracts it was some months before they were able to drop everything else and form a group. “We said it was time to stop talking about it and do it, so we set ourselves definite goals and began auditioning players,” says Kevin.
Here Martin Beedle comes into the story. Martin is from Hull and drummed his way around the world before emerging as drummer for Cutting Crew. When he was seventeen, he landed a job in the resident band on the QE2, went wild in many ports in many countries, and followed up with stints backing artists like Dennis Waterman, The Three Degrees and more recently, John Parr. While playing in a pub in Lewisham, he was spotted by the fourth member of the band, Colin Farley.
Bass player Colin grew up with his family encouraging his interest in music, and reckons he got the music bug from his Dad who played in a show band for many years. He turned professional as a teenager and the early days found him working in various studios as a session musician. He was discovered a few years later, by Kevin and Nick, serenading senoritas in a castle in Spain. When Colin happened upon Martin in the pub, he dragged him in quick… “I just knew he was going to be the guy for the band.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Cutting Crew signed to Siren Records at the end of 1985, and the first fruit of the relationship was the stunning “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”, which took Europe and Britain by storm, and reached number four in the UK national charts. The second single, “I’ve Been In Love Before”, was released to coincide with the release of the album, “Broadcast”. The band’s first nationwide tour, which ended triumphantly at the Astoria in London’s West End, could only be deemed a huge success.
Cutting Crew have only just begun to edge their way into the international music scene… today it’s Europe, tomorrow without any doubt and if there is any justice, it will most certainly be the world.