Tag Archives: Kevin Armstrong

Bowie and Iggy Pop icon, Tony Fox Sales, celebrates 45 years of Lust For Life with UK tour

Tony Fox Sales featuring Clem Burke from Blondie – UK tour March 2023

Marking forty-five years since the release of the all-time classic Lust For Life album, esteemed former Iggy Pop and Tin Machine bass-player, Tony Fox Sales, sets out on a rare UK tour next Spring, his first in the UK since 1991. With an all-star line-up, Sales is joined by legendary Blondie drummer, Clem Burke; vocalist, renowned broadcaster and Pet Shop Boys dancer, Katie Puckrik; Iggy Pop and David Bowie guitarist, Kevin Armstrong;  guitarist, Luis Correia, who’s toured internationally with Earl Slick; and classical pianist, composer, and touring member of Heaven 17, Florence Sabeva.

Tony Fox Sales will perform the Lust For Life album in full, as well as revisiting songs from across the individual band members’ careers with legendary artists such as Blondie and David Bowie. The eleven-date tour also includes a special one-off date in Dublin.

The full tour dates are as follows:

Wed 1 March – The 100 Club, London: Ticket link

Thur 2 March – The Cavern, Liverpool: Ticket link

Fri 3 March – Social, Hull: Ticket link

Sat 4 March – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge: Ticket link

Sun 5 March – The Vodoo Rooms, Edinburgh: Ticket link

Mon 6 March – Arts Centre, Norwich: Ticket link

Wed 8 March – Whelan’s, Dublin: Ticket link

Thur 9 March – Arts Centre, Colchester: Ticket link

Fri 10 March – The Piper, St Leonards: Ticket link

Sat 11 March – The Lexington, London: Ticket link

Sun 12 March – The Lexington, London: Ticket link

Announcing the tour, Tony Fox Sales comments: “I look forward, with great anticipation, to returning to England to tour this coming year. The Lust For Life album was the recording highlight of my fifty-eight year career in music for me. It was an amazing experience artistically, and personally. Memories not too soon forgotten. Though, as of now, I have not worked with the entire line-up of players for this tour, I have no doubt, that this will be an ass-kicking event! Lust For Life!”

Katie Puckrik: “I’m a show pony from way back: along with my broadcast career covering pop culture, I performed onstage with The Fall and Michael Clark Company, I toured the world dancing with Pet Shop Boys, and I sang in Sparks’ opera The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, both on the original cast recording and in performance. I have worked with towering icons of music, but taking on the magnificent Iggy Pop’s vocal duties for this Lust for Life re-make/re-model is an electrifying opportunity like no other. Not only do I get to sing anthems like ‘Lust for Life’ and ‘The Passenger’ (as well as my personal fave from the album, ‘Success’), but I’m surrounded by some of Iggy, Bowie and Blondie’s key players, including Tony Sales, Clem Burke and Kevin Armstrong. So strap on your horse tails and join me in celebrating Lust for Life.”

The Tony Fox Sales band members are:

Tony Fox Sales – Bass and Backing Vocals: Growing up in Detroit, bass-player, Tony Fox Sales, and his drummer brother, Hunt, formed their first band in the mid-1960s. As a rhythm section Tony and Hunt would go on to work with David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, Bob Welch, Andy Fraser and many others. After recording a couple of albums with Todd in the early 1970s, the two brothers recorded the Kill City album with Iggy Pop in 1975 followed by Lust for Life in 1977. They both joined Iggy on his subsequent tour, recorded as TV Eye Live 1977 and released the following year. In 1982 Tony joined Chequered Past, which included singer/actor Michael Des Barres (later of Power Station); ex-Sex Pistols guitarist, Steve Jones; Blondie’s drummer, Clem Burke, as well as their bass player, Nigel Harrison. In 1988 Tony then joined forces with David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels and Hunt Sales in Tin Machine. Bowie later acknowledged that it was Tony and Hunt’s contribution to Lust for Life that led him to invite the brothers to join him.

Clem Burke – Drums: Answering an ad in the New York newspaper, Village Voice, for a band seeking a ‘freak energy’ rock drummer, Clem Burke became the drummer of Blondie in the mid-1970s. The band recorded their first album in 1976 and emerged as the great pop icons of New York’s celebrated late 1970s new wave punk scene, achieving huge commercial success with the number one hit singles ‘Atomic’, ‘Heart of Glass’, ‘Sunday Girl’, ‘Call Me’, ‘Rapture’, and ‘The Tide is High’. When Blondie temporarily broke up in 1982, Burke joined Tony Fox Sales in Chequered Past and has also played with a plethora of music legends, including Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, The Eurythmics and Joan Jett. In 2006, along with the other original members of Blondie, Clem was inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Blondie already having sold over 42 million records.

Katie Puckrik – Vocals: The performer, broadcaster and writer made her TV breakthrough hosting The Word in the 1990s. As a vocalist she sang in Sparks’ opera The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, and her presenting work includes a two-part BBC TV documentary on yacht rock, a four-part BBC radio series on power pop, and her ongoing role as a commentator on Channel 5’s popular Greatest Pop Songs/Videos franchise. Her modern history podcast We Didn’t Start the Fire, based on the Billy Joel hit, was named one of The Observer’s top ten podcasts of 2021. She still considers her favourite career achievement performing with Pet Shop Boys on ‘West End Girls’. “This sexy, sinister lullaby was my ‘I’ve made it!’ anthem when I scored my best job ever: dancing on Pet Shop Boys’ 1991 Performance world tour.”

Kevin Armstrong  – Guitar and Musical Director: Kevin began his musical life with his own band Local Heroes SW9. After two albums his career began thriving as a writer, producer, bandleader and guitarist. Most notably, Kevin met David Bowie in late 1984 and worked with him on various projects, including putting together his band and performing at the legendary Live Aid in 1985. Bowie introduced Kevin to Iggy Pop as guitarist on the 1986 album Blah Blah Blah and Kevin became Iggy’s bandleader in 86/87. He put together Iggy’s touring band again from 2014 until 2019. Kevin has worked with Morrissey, Grace Jones, Sinéad O’Connor, Prefab Sprout, Thomas Dolby, Transvision Vamp, Brian Eno, Paul McCartney, Sandie Shaw, Gil Evans, Alien Sex Fiend, Keziah Jones and many more.

Luis Correia – Guitar: Luis is a London-based guitarist, producer and songwriter. Originally from Portugal, where he started his career as a session player, Luis moved to the UK over a decade ago and has since performed alongside names like Earl Slick (David Bowie), Bernard Fowler (The Rolling Stones), Erdal Kizilcay (David Bowie), Martin Lister (Alphaville), amongst others. His musicality and soulful playing make Luis a sought after muso on the London scene, where he’s often seen with various bands. He’s currently working on his own music and preparing for a tour with Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet later this year.

Florence Sabeva – Keyboards: a London based pianist, film composer and singer-songwriter, Flo started her career as a session pianist and has played alongside artists like Tom Bailey, Earl Slick (David Bowie) and Bernard Fowler (The Rolling Stones) and currently tours with Heaven 17. Also a very active film composer, she wrote her first score for ‘Wax, We Are The X’ and was then commissioned to write the soundtrack for the Gravity Field Festival in Guildford and to score the German movie ‘Mireille and Angelique’. Flo released her first studio album ‘The London Sessions’ in 2017, featuring eclectic works with European songwriters and artists that reflect her various music influences.

Tom Wilcox – Curator and Producer: Tom was the front man of 90’s art punk band Maniac Squat finding notoriety with their 1995 ‘hit’ F**k Off (Single of the Week in Kerrang!). Tom has since produced albums for Gillian Glover and Lisa Ronson; the latter, co-produced with Paul Cuddeford, receiving a 4-star review in Mojo and widespread critical acclaim. As a music curator, Tom’s credits include Blondiefest, Princefest and Iggyfest at the ICA, as well as conceiving and introducing bands/tours such as Tony Visconti’s Holy Holy.

Website: https://tonyfoxsalestour.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonysalestour/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonysalestour

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Kevin Armstrong at the Kino, St Leonards 2018

Mike Garson performs Aladdin Sane at Birmingham O2 Institute 2017

Holy Holy perform Ziggy Stardust at Shepherd’s Bush Empire 2017

Holy Holy perform The Man Who Sold The World & Ziggy Stardust at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill 2019

Live review: Kevin Armstrong at the Kino, St Leonards 15/2/18

This review was originally published by The Stinger here

Kevin Armstrong’s guitar playing has accompanied stars including David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Morrissey, Prefab Sprout, Sinéad O’Connor, Roy Orbison, Brian Eno, Grace Jones, Paul McCartney and Gil Evans. For one night only Kevin guides us through his legendary career.

As a child Kevin Armstrong grew up with Beatlemania. By his teens he was buying his first guitar and living and breathing music. Experiencing life as a professional musician in the post-punk scene of the late 70s/early 80s he then found himself in a band that suddenly got dropped by their record label and, looking around at the changed Duran Duran/Spandau Ballet era-music scene, it became, in Armstrong’s words, “all c*nts in suits singing about their holidays.”

A new opportunity arose, however, when Armstrong was ushered in to Abbey Road studios to do a session to find out he would be working with David Bowie on songs for the Absolute Beginners film. Although the film would be critically panned on release, the title track was a commercial success and, importantly, got Armstrong noticed by Bowie as a musician he could work with and was asked to put a band together for Bowie’s Live Aid appearance. Breaking from his easy chat tonight, Armstrong reads out a passage describing in detail the emotions running through his head on that momentous day. Highlighting Bowie’s generosity, Armstrong talks of him taking the trouble to introduce each member of his band on stage at Wembley that day, knowing full well the impact it would have on their careers; as well as personally thanking Armstrong for the role he played in putting the band together in interviews afterwards.

In spite of being a Beatles fan Armstrong’s collaborations with Paul McCartney proved less personally rewarding, however. “We had to sit around all day listening to these very long Beatles anecdotes that never seemed to have a punchline,” he reveals to tonight’s audience, emphasising the importance of a personal spark in a relationship for a musical collaboration to really work.

What did turn out to be a very enduring collaboration though was when Armstrong was invited to play guitar on the Bowie-produced Iggy Pop album Blah Blah Blah and to subsequently tour with him. That musical collaboration was rekindled in recent years with Armstrong putting a band together and touring with Iggy once more. There are many amusing anecdotes this evening but one of the funniest is Armstrong’s description of the metamorphosis that the normally urbane, well-spoken James Osterberg goes through in the hours leading up to a show as he transforms into the crazed madman called Iggy Pop.

Armstrong is one of rock’s archetypal great side-men, a musician with that instinctive feel for what the headline artist needs and delivering it with style and creativity rather than ego and me-too-ism. By way of illustration, he plays us a clip from the Tin Machine tour that Armstrong was briefly involved with, which was the sound of every musician on stage competing against one another in a wall of noise and pretty much drowning Bowie out completely.

I’ve seen many of these type of artist talk events over the years. But with a mix of live songs, film clips, spoken passages and lots of relaxed informal chat this was genuinely one of the most thought-provoking, funny and insightful that I’ve experienced. Gavin Martin (renowned former NME journalist and now music editor for the Daily Mirror and himself, like Armstrong, a local Hastings resident) is a skilled operator at teasing out revealing nuggets from his on-stage guests at events like this. But he hardly needs to say a word as host this evening. I was surprised afterwards that this was Armstrong’s first ever gig of this type. However, if it was a case of starting out with a friendly home crowd he has absolutely nothing to worry about in taking this format elsewhere. An evening with Kevin Armstrong like this is going to be well-received by audiences wherever.

http://www.kevin-armstrong.com/

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Photo: artist publicity

Related review:
Mike Garson performs Aladdin Sane at Birmingham O2 2017