A GLAM rock ‘band of brothers’ from Burton who once performed to packed houses across the land are digging out their make-up and spangly costumes for an emotional reunion.
In their 90s heyday, Glamarama boasted a fan club of more than 1,200 admirers and regularly performed to crowds of up to 500 at the town’s now demolished Ind Coope (later Belvedere Park) Club.
The band, who called it a day in January 1999, were prompted to pick up their instruments again for a birthday bash for a band member’s daughter last year, and will take to the stage at the Brewhouse arts centre next weekend.
Guitarist Will Salt, aka Willie Little, tells the Mail: “It was emotional, to say the least. We came off stage and we said to each other: ‘Why did we ever split up?’ “We are like brothers — we all gel so well — and this gig will give us a chance to say thanks to all the fans who supported us for all those years, because we never had a chance to say ‘tara’ to Burton we just split up.”
The band, who perform hits from 70s stars such as Slade, The Sweet, Mud, T-Rex and Mott The Hoople, parted company after five years on the road as a professional touring band took their toll.
“I remember one incident in particular where we performed two dates in Scotland,” says Salt. “We got stopped twice by the police on the way and then we saw a sign saying ‘Perth — 135 miles’ and I thought ‘Jesus, when we get to Perth we’ve still got to go further north from there.”
Having recaptured their dormant passion for performing, the band’s reunion gig will be even more poignant for Salt as among the audience will be his two longlost brothers who recently made contact with his family, his late mother having been forced to have them adopted as infants.
“My sister was first in the queue for tickets for the Brewhouse gig and got tickets number one and two for my brothers,” says Salt. “It will give them a chance to see what their brother did in the 1990s and it’s going to be emotional — I can’t wait for the gig.”
The band’s line-up features all but one of the original members, with Salt joined by singer Curtis Divine, guitarist Sam Telegram, bassist Alex Stardust, drummer Remo Sweet and pianist George Eveleigh, a former teacher at the Birmingham Conservatoire, who is still waiting to be assigned his rock ‘n’ roll stage name - plus three backing singers.
Tickets for the Brewhouse gig are selling fast, so what is it about the glam rock era which makes it so enduringly popular? “I think it’s to do with the glitter - and the fact some of the songs are quite good,” says Salt.
“For me the 50s, 60s, 70s and to some degree the 80s were good for music but as a musician by trade I despair of some of the stuff I hear now.
“The thing about us is we’re not just five guys on stage in jeans and T-shirts — we dress the part, with the make-up and the glitter jackets and everything.
“It’s a fun atmosphere, everyone has a great laugh and we always get the audience involved.” So could the Burton gig be the precursor to a fully-fledged comeback for the band? “That’s what we secretly desire,” admits Salt.
“Before, we did it for a living whereas now we don’t have to because it’s not our job anymore — we’re just doing it for fun.”
Glamarama play at the Brewhouse, off Union Street, on Saturday, October 6, at 7.45pm. Tickets, priced £10, are available from the box office or by calling 01283 508100, with advance booking strongly recommended.
More information is available online by searching on Facebook for ‘Glamarama gig forum’.