Fuzzbox

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Fuzzbox

We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It! What a name for a group! Calling international rescue…

SH 1989

“Pink pink sunshine, pink pink sunshine, pink pink sunshine”. Could a song’s lyrics be any more simple? Well that’s how it was in 1989. Loud, highly individual and simple. Yet effective. Welcome to the mad, mad, mad world of Fuzzbox!

Fuzzbox were formed in 1985 and originate from Birmingham. The original line up were Victoria ‘Vix’ Perks (born 1968), Maggie Dunne (born 1964), Tina O’Neill (born 1969) and Jo Dunne (born 1968). Apparently they ‘found’ their name after band member Maggie bought a distortion pedal for her guitar and promptly stated “we’ve got a fuzzbox and we’re gonna use it”!

The group released their debut single “Rules And Regulations” in March 1986 which climbed to No.41 on the UK singles chart. Their second single “Rockin’ With Rita” fared less well, stalling at No.56. The group released their debut album, the oddly titled “Bostin’ Steve Austin”, in late 1986. Things were going to be very different from now on! The album failed to chart in the UK and their US label Geffen decided to release the album Stateside in the title “We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It”. The saying third time lucky certainly applies to Fuzzbox as their third single release “Love Is The Slug” entered the UK top 40 and peaked at No.31 in January 1987. A fourth single “What’s The Point?” reached No.51 in the Spring of 87.

The group moved to WEA Records in 1988 and began recording their second album “Big Bang”. The first taster of which came in February 1989, with the release of cult TV puppet show ‘Thunderbirds’ titled “International Rescue”. With great marketing and MTV exposure, the group enjoyed their first taste of chart glory as the song wound its way up to No.11 on the UK chart. Interviews in pop magazines like Smash Hits and appearances on Top Of The Pops ensured that “Big Bang” was a huge success and the album eventually reached No.5 on the UK chart.

The success continued with the next single “Pink Sunshine” in May 1989 which would reach No.14 in the UK with its happy, sunny lyrics (as quoted above), just right for the steaming hot Summer that ensued that year.

“Self” was the third single lifted from the album and it reached No.24 in late August 1989 as well as hitting No.35 on the US dance chart and No.16 on the US alternative rock chart. The group covered Yoko Ono’s “Walking On Thin Ice” and released it a fourth single in late 89, but this only managed No.76 in the UK.

Writing and recording for a third album, to of been titled “Out Of This World”, began the following year. The lead single “Your Loss, My Gain” was released later in 1990 but could only reach No.100 in the UK. The group parted company after ‘musical differences’ and the album was canned. And that was it. Until 2004 when a compilation entitled “Look At The Hits On That!” was released. In 2008 the girls, or rather ladies now, reunited for a series of gigs and the release of another greatest hits album “Fuzz And Nonsense”, which also included many tracks recorded for the ill-fated third album.

In 2010 they undertook a thirteen-date tour of the UK (less Tina O’Neill) and recorded their version of the classic “Pop Muzik” by M, which was released on iTunes.

Sadly, guitarist Jo Dunne passed away in October 2012 having been diagnosed with cancer. She was just 43 years of age.

Jo Dunne 1968-2012

Vix and Maggie returned to performing in 2015 with a new line-up that included Megan Burke on guitar, Sarit Black on bass and Hannah Layhe on drums and played their first gig in November of that year. In 2016 they released a single “Let’s Go Supernova” and supported The Wondersuff on a UK tour. The group took to the stage this year (2018) as part of the annual Let’s Rock 80’s tour of the UK with a host of other great artists that have included Hazell Dean, Kim Appleby and Jason Donovan. Fuzzbox have also released a new single “WGAF…. AWGUI!” And there always the hope of a full album, perhaps in the not too distant future…!

Fuzzbox 2018

Remind yourself of the awesome music of Fuzzbox and keep in touch with Fuzzbox via their TWITTER account and their FACEBOOK page.

Take a look at all our other Where Are They Now posts and don’t forget to follow the playlist!

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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