|Tours, photographed Summer of 1979 by Paul Slattery (L to R: Richard, Ronnie, Mark & Steve)|
Tours "Language School" heard live again for the first time in almost 40 years! I went down to Poole with writer Dave McCullough back in 1979 to photograph the band Tours for a feature in Sounds magazine. They were unusual because there were two songwriters and two lead singers, Richard Mazda singing his own songs and Ronnie Mayor singing his. However unusual, they were a really excellent band with great tunes and a fantastic sound. The following is from journalist Derek Hammond’s sleeve notes for Tours "Album of The Year That Never Was": "In 1979, there was a buzz about Tours that made them one of the hottest properties in the music industry. John Peel played the self-released "Language School" single for 50 consecutive nights on Radio 1, declaring it at the time his second favourite 45 of all time behind the Undertones "Teenage Kicks". The band were tracked down to Poole, Dorset by labels including Virgin, Polydor/Fiction, EMI, Sire and others – and a feeding frenzy ensued. "The songs are the best you’ll see this side of the Undertones for sweet melodic genius…reincarnating the spirit that the Beatles early singles" (-Sounds 1979). Signed personally to Virgin by Richard Branson on a £225,000 six-album deal, the dual singer-songwriter attack of Ronnie Mayor (rhythm gtr/vocals) and Richard Mazda (lead gtr/vocals) led Virgin CEO Simon Draper to describe the pair as "the Punk Lennon-McCartney".
|Tours, Autumn 2017 (L/R Mark, Richard, Ronnie, Steve & John) - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
|Tours, Summer 1979 (L/R Mark, Richard, Ronnie & Steve) - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
|Tours, Rehearsals Autumn 2017 - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
|Richard Mazda, Tours - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
|Mark Spiers, Tours - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
|Steve Jeff, Tours - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
|Ronnie Mayor, Tours - Photographed by Paul Slattery|
You can hear "Tourist Information" and also listen to Paul talking about Tours before the reunion was announced in Episode 26 of Retrosonic Podcast here.