Live Music Photography: The Fixx with Bad Root Revival at City Winery 8/30/18
Currently featuring the band’s most successful and beloved lineup — founding members Cy Curnin (vocals, guitar) and Adam Woods (drums) with Rupert Greenall (keys), Jamie West-Oram (guitar), Dan K. Brown (bass), The Fixx can trace their origins back to 1979 when its founding duo formed the band, initially under the name Portraits. Curnin and Woods placed an ad seeking band members with Greenall, Tony McGrail (guitar), and Russell Mckenzie (bass) replying and eventually being recruited. And as Portraits, the band recorded and released two singles through Ariola Records — “Little Women” in 1979 and “Hazards In The Home” in 1980.
A few months after the release of “Hazards In The Home,” McGrail left the band and was replaced by guitarist Jamie West-Oram, who was a member of Philip Rambow’s band and Mckenzie was replaced by Charlie Barrett (bass) — and coincidentally, the band then changed their name to The Fix. And with a lineup of Curnin, Woods, Mckenzie, Greenall and West-Oram, the band released “Lost Planes” in February 1981 through 101 Records, along with several live tracks on various compilations — and early on the band, received some airplay on BBC. With a growing profile, MCA Records offered the band a contract but because the label was worried about the potential drug-related implications of the band’s name. insisted on a name change — with the end result being a compromise, the band renaming themselves The Fixx.
1982’s full-length debut Shuttered Room featured the band’s first international hits “Stand or Fall” and “Red Skies,” which charted in the US, UK and Canada; in fact, “Stand or Fall” reached #37 on the Canadian charts. Barrett left the band shortly after the Shuttered Room sessions and was replaced by Alfie Aguis, who was with the band for the Shuttered Room tour, and for a handful of songs during the sessions for 1983’s sophomore album Reach the Beach. Interestingly, Reach the Beach is the band’s most commercially successful album, as it was certified Platinum the following year, as a result of three Top 40 hits — “Saved by Zero,” and their biggest ever hit “One Thing Leads to Another,” which hit #1 in Canada and #4 in the States. Dan K. Brown joined the band during the Reach the Beach sessions and played bass for the band’s Third top 40 single “The Sign of Fire,” eventually joining the band full-time.
1984’s Phantoms featured “Are We Ourselves,” a track that peaked at #29 on the Canadian charts, and for those trivia buffs out there, the accompanying video was the first one ever in which a mobile phone — a modified Motorola KR999 — ever appeared. The album also featured “Sunshine In The Shade” and “Deeper and Deeper,” which eventually appeared (as an edited version) on the soundtrack of the major motion picture Streets of Fire. And perhaps because of the movie, “Deeper and Deeper” received substantial airplay on US and Canadian rock stations.
The band’s fourth album, 1986’s Walkabout, featured “Secret Separation,” a Billboard Album Rock Chart #1 that peaked at #49 on the Canadian charts and “Built for the Future.” After the release of 1987’s compilation of live and studio material, React, the band left MCA Records for RCA Records, who released 1988’s Calm Animals, which featured their second Billboard Album Rock Chart topper, “Driven Out.”
1991 saw the band returning to MCA for that year’s Ink, an album that featured “How Much Is Enough,” a track that peaked at #27 in Canada and #35 here in the States. But by 1994, Brown left the band and was replaced by a series of session bassists — including Chris Tait, who played bass on most of their recorded output and live shows between 1995 and the early 2000s. As a core quartet, the band released 1998’s Elemental and 1999’s 1011 Woodland, an album that featured a re-recorded selection of previous recorded hits and album tracks.
Gary Tibbs, who played with Roxy Music, The Vibrators and Adam and the Ants joined the band for the sessions for the band’s ninth full-length album, 2003’s Want That Life; however, Brown returned to the band in 2008 — and with the official reunion of their most successful and beloved lineup, the band celebrated its 25th anniversary with the release of the double CD compilation titled, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Anthology.
The band released their tenth full-length album Beautiful Friction back in 2012, and since the release of that album, the band has been regularly touring; in fact, the band’s most recent spate of touring, which included a headlining set at City Winery last week was a bit of a victory lap, celebrates the band’s 35+ years together and was a career-spanning set featuring their biggest hits and some of their most beloved deep cuts. Check out some photos from the show below.
Opening the night was the Austin, TX-based roots duo Beat Root Revival. Comprised of British-born guitarist and singer/songwriter Ben Jones and Irish-born percussionist and vocalist Andrea Magee, the duo have received attention for a stomping and melodic sound that combines elements of folk, blues, country and rock centered around the Jones and Magee’s harmonies. As the story goes, the duo moved to the States three years ago in search of a new life — and for a chance to share their music to the widest possible artist — and in that time they’ve written and recorded 3 albums, and have toured nationally with Nashville‘s Jonathan Jackson, Brian Wilson and Brian Setzer. The duo’s 30 minute set featured a handful of earnest and folksy originals and some rootsy mashups of classic rock standards that included The Beatles “Come Together,” and Led Zeppelin‘s “Kashmir” among others.