Deuce

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Deuce

They swore on the bible that they needed you. Call that love? Now do you remember Deuce?

Now let’s begin with a bold statement and say that pop quartet Deuce SHOULD of represented the UK at the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest! Their song “I Need You” had winner written all over it, and I’m sure would of fared much better than the joint ninth place we came that year with that “Love City Groove” thing.

Deuce On The Loose

Deuce were the product of Tom Watkins, a hugely successful manager and promotor behind groups like The Pet Shop Boys and creator of successful groups like East 17, 2wo/3rds and Bros. In 1994 he recruited Kelly O’Keefe, who had been on work experience at his office, and decided to put together another group, this time of two boys and two girls. She brought along her school mate Lisa Armstrong and half the group was already in place. Watson advertised for two boys and after many auditions, dancer Craig Young and Paul Holmes were recruited.

A mid-90’s pop/dance sound was selected for the group involving coordinated dance routines and catchy anthems that would appeal to the teen-early 20’s market. The group released their debut single “Call It Love” at the beginning of January 1995. After five weeks of climbing the UK singles chart, it peaked at No.11. Their second single “I Need You” was entered into the selection can for the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest and whilst having a very Euro-style beat, came third in the audience telephone vote. The song was released as a single in April and entered the UK chart at No.10, one place higher than “Call It Love” had peaked.

The group’s third single “On The Bible” was released at the end of July 1995 and speedily rose to No.13 in the UK. The group released their debut album “On The Loose” the following month and it peaked at No.18 in the UK, gaining a Silver certification for sales of over 60,000 copies.

The ballad “Let’s Call It A Day” had been scheduled as the fourth track to be taken from the album in the late-Autumn of 1995, but Kelly O’Keefe quit the group that November and the single was shelved. O’Keefe was swiftly replaced by Amanda Perkins and the group participated in the Childline charity single “The Gift Of Christmas” that December, along with the likes of The Backstreet Boys, Peter Andre and Boyzone to name but a few. The song peaked at No.9 in the UK.

The group were dropped by London Records at the end of that year but with the new line up, were next signed up by non other than Mike Stock of Stock Aitken Waterman fame and his Love This record label. A new single “No Surrender” was released in July 1996 but could only manage No.29 in the UK. The group was heavily promoted in Australia at the same time, where “On The Bible” reached No.27 there. Craig Young left the group after this and was replaced by ‘Clinton’. “No Surrender” was released ‘down under’ but failed to chart. Deuce did call it a day, and the group parted company, apparently forever.

Young has become something of a celebrated actor appearing on the London stage as well as in a number of TV series including crap football ‘drama’ Dream Team, Lost and Charmed. Paul Holmes went on to become a songwriter and has written for the likes of late Bee Gee Robin Gibb. Lisa Armstrong went on to become a make-up expert would marry Ant McPartlin of Ant and Dec fame in 2006. The couple separated in 2018. And Kelly…well, Kelly just likes a good glass of wine! Cheers!

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Where Are They Now?

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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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