North Herts’ new wave darlings set to re-release 35-year-old vinyl

PUBLISHED: 13:15 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:15 22 May 2020

John Claridge, from Letchworth, Mark Lay from Stevenage and Jonathan Dickinson from Offley. Picture: Cry

John Claridge, from Letchworth, Mark Lay from Stevenage and Jonathan Dickinson from Offley. Picture: Cry

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An underground 1980s new wave band from North Hertfordshire is set for a sensational re-release later this year.

'Looking To The Future' double A-side was originally released in 1983. Picture: Cry'Looking To The Future' double A-side was originally released in 1983. Picture: Cry

Cry, a much-vaunted live band who disbanded in 1984, are now back by popular demand after a European record-collecting community has its sights on their 35-year-old record.

John Claridge from Letchworth, Mark Lay from Stevenage and Jonathan Dickinson from Offley, played the circuit from 1982, hitting their zenith in late 1983. The trio become darlings of local press, keeping their fans up to date with what was “hip and happening with the boys.”

Cry took to stage in their glam rock Bowie/Ferry suits and Japanese-style make-up, finding an eager audience among the thriving new romantic and new wave scene of the age. They were cited as a cornerstone of the live music scene north of London in the early 80s.

The band made their debut live appearance at North Herts’ first video bar ‘Jeans’ in Hitchin – supporting none other than Tears for Fears, whose debut single had just charted.

Their double A-side single ‘Looking to the Future’ / ‘Alone’ was played on the fabled John Peel show on Radio 1, and was entirely crowdfunded by fans – unheard of at the time.

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Cry’s bare synthesiser drums and lively guitars attracted interest from underground labels such as Cherry Red, Mute and Beggars Banquet – though the band was never picked up.

Singer Mark said it is “just amazing” that “after all this time, fans still want our songs”.

He continued: “The original 2” master tapes and original artwork are being reproduced as near to the product as possible.

“We started receiving strange emails from all over the world about two years ago. Thinking it was a practical joke, we disregarded them. But then we were contacted, and started a conversation with a wonderful guy in Sweden.

“It was him who convinced us there was a massive underground market in Europe for 1980s English music – especially synth bands. There is a community who self-finance releases from bands not signed to major labels back in the day, but released their own material like we did.

“How anyone ever found the single is still a mystery – although every one of the ‘Looking To The Future’ singles in 1983 did sell out.”

Mark said that each of the new released 7” vinyls will be given to a fan on the waiting list.

“It is strange, very very strange, but most gratifying after so much time,” Mark adds. “Cry was a very important step for me in my musical awakening. It was an early form of DIY music made for us, by us.”


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