Sad Café Live!

Sad Café - New Lineup! New Gigs 2019

L2R: Matt Steele kybds, Dave Day lead guit vox,Ian Wilson rhythm guit vox, Des Tong bass vox, Barry James lead vocals perc, Neil Shawe Hulme sxes vox, Sue Wilson Quin lead vox guit, Dave Irving drums sweat strange faces

From 1977-1981 Sad Café looked likely to have a long-term and highly successful career ahead of them. Reaching their height with the deluxe combo of the top 3 hit single “Everyday Hurts” and hugely popular album “Facades”, they weren’t bolted too closely to any of the dominant trends of New Wave, Post-Punk, what has become known as Classic Rock, or Progressive Rock and so they looked likely to survive as the waves and trends ascended and descended. However, record company and management difficulties took them increasingly out of the spotlight in the next five years and by 1990 they were gone. With the death of lead singer, Paul Young (also of Mike and the Mechanics) in 2000 and with the passing of ace keyboardist and soundscape-maker, Vic Emerson (who had also worked with 10CC), it very much seemed that their time had gone. Several attempted re-launches proved to be false starts and delivered little. But now in 2019, the band have been doing some warm-up gigs near their hometown of Manchester and the invited press and fans are liking what they see. With the rhythm section driven by the long-term pairing of drummer, Dave Irving and bassist, Des Tong and with the band led by founder Ian Wilson on guitars and vocals, this comeback seems very likely the real thing. Ian’s wife, Sue Wilson-Quin augments the vocal sound, which is filled out by new lead singer, Barry James Thomas. The seven-piece band is completed by Dave Day on lead guitars, Neil Shaw-Hulme on saxophones and Matt Steele on keyboards. An exciting band with a great past and the possibility of a wonderful future ahead, if I were you, I would catch them when they come to a town near you

  • Darren Hirst Journalist
  • For full review of recent shows, please go to March 2019 gig reviews
  • Paul Young of Sad Café sadly passed away in 2000, but in 2009 and early 2010 the band gathered to complete an album using the vocal tracks that Paul had just finished at the time of his sudden passing.

    Browse the site for news of the new album, photographs taken over more than 30 years, biographies of every band member, video archives, latest news from Dave Irving and more.

    Sad Café’s new activity means that there is no better time than now to discover this band who were without doubt one of Manchester’s finest.