Lighthouse Family replay the hits at Sheffield City Hall

Lighthouse Family.
Lighthouse Family.

Lighthouse Family will be playing their hit songs in Sheffield next week when they plug their first album for 18 years.

One of the most successful bands of the late nineties and early noughties, Lighthouse Family are at the City Hall on Monday, February 17.

Their latest album Blue Sky In Your Head was released last summer and include the band’s classic songs remastered to celebrate their 25-year recording history.

The long-player includes the singles Light On and My Salvation and the hits Lifted, High and Ocean Drive.

Tunde Baiyewu and Paul Tucker formed Lighthouse Family after meeting at Newcastle University in the early 1990s.

Their 1995 debut album Ocean Drive was a slow-burning success, going six times platinum while staying in the album charts for almost three years. Lifted became one the defining songs of the era, a pop-soul classic that was inescapable on radio, becoming the soundtrack of high street Britain, drivetime Britain and night-out Britain.

The 1997 follow-up, Postcards From Heaven, featured three top ten singles – Raincloud, High and Lost in Space – and also went six-times platinum, charting across Europe, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

Their third album, Whatever Gets You Through The Day’ (2001) produced another top ten single in the shape of ‘(I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be) Free/One, but by this time the band were at breaking point, their friendship burned out after years on the road living in each others’ pockets. And Tunde was dealing with the grief of losing his mother, a situation complicated by the fact that his stepfather, Olusegun Obasanjo, was at the time the President of Nigeria. Little wonder the duo badly needed a break.

In the intervening years Paul formed a band, The Orange Lights, while Tunde released two solo albums, but the old connection between the pair remained, and in 2010 they got back together with a view to making a fourth album.

“Somehow we couldn’t knock it together in the studio,” says Paul. “So we decided to go and do some shows, to remind ourselves who we are and what we do. As one of the Duran Duran guys said to me: ‘What do you want to go in the studio for? That’s where all the arguments happen! Go and do some gigs…’ So, that’s what we did, and it was great.”

The old itch was still there, though, and by the time the band reunited again in 2016 they were determined to make a record, something that was classic Lighthouse Family, but also sounded like it could be made today. Bunkered in a north London studio, the old friends and collaborators quickly found their groove.

“What happens when Tunde and I get in the studio is, we just drift off – we don’t ever row!” says Paul. “There’s no shouting or throwing things. In fact we only ever had one argument - but it lasted 20 years!"

Tickets to see the Lighthouse Family at Sheffield City Hall start at £29.95. Go to www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or call 0114 0114 2 789 789.

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