Living In A Box


They were Living In A Box. They were living in a cardboard box! I’m sure there is “Room In Your Heart”!

The year is 1985. The location is Manchester, England. Richard Darbyshire, Tony ‘Tich’ Critchlow and Marcus Vere meet up and decide to start a band, but they don’t know what to call themselves. Vere and Critchlow have written a song called “Living In A Box” and invite Darbyshire to perform vocals on it. They decide to call themselves after the song! But it won’t be released until 1987. When it does, it does pretty well making the top ten charts across Europe and reaching No.17 in the US!

The following month they release an album, called…err…”Living In A Box”(!) and that too does rather well, breaking the US album chart as well as charting across Europe. Three further singles come during 1987 and the beginning of 1988, “Scales Of Justice” (UK No.30), “So The Story Goes” (UK No.34, US No.81) and “Love Is The Art” which just missed the UK top 40.

The trio returned in 1989 with their second assault on the global charts beginning with “Blow The House Down” which put them back in the top ten across Europe.

Their second album “Gatecrashing” came in June that year and preceded the title track which was released as the second single reaching No.36 in the UK. The album again performed well across Europe and like their debut, was certified Gold in the UK for sales of over 100,000 copies.

That Autumn they released the down tempo number “Room In My Heart” which matched their debut in the UK by peaking at No.5 and becoming their biggest seller there. It also charted high in Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and Australia. A fourth single “Different Air” was released at the end of 1989 but only made No.57 in the UK.

The band began recording a third album the following year but due to ‘artistic differences’ it was never completed and Darbyshire left to pursue other avenues. He released his debut album “How Many Angels” in 1994 and has since released two others in 1999 and 2009, although he has found greater success as a songwriter most prolifically with Lisa Stansfield on four of her studio albums.

In 2016 Vere and Critchlow reformed Living In A Box with 90’s singer Kenny Thomas as the replacement for Darbyshire on vocals. They have since toured extensively and there are rumours of new material being recorded!

Living In A Box 2018

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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!