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I.R.S. Records Biography - "Friends"

The Bolshoi signed to I.R.S. last summer, and have since released an EP (Giants) and now their debut album Friends or Fiends. Based in London, the band consists of Trevor Tanner (lead vocals, guitar), Nick Chown (bass), Jan Kalicki (drums) and Paul Clark (keyboards).

Both in music and image, The Bolshoi does not subscribe to any one trend or style. In the past year they have built up a very strong live following and continue to tour the U.S. and U.K., where they recently packed two nights at The Marquee. Their live shows are acclaimed for their riveting impact. Lead singer Trevor is a charasmatic frontman who is at least manipulating audiences large and small. As noted by Melody Maker, October 1986: "Before this man had a following, he must have incited riots." Or Record Mirror the same month: "Trevor Tanner, the pivot around which the Bolshoi revolve, demands that his audience care, too." Music Week described the audience as "immediately caught up in their powerful performance . . . the singer.guitarist dramatically controlled the show."

The Bolshoi are, however, not simply just an entertaining live act. They've also shown that their powerful and effective fusion of a rock 'n' roll dance beat and guitar, plus the benefit of catchy songs with memorable choruses, comes across equally well on vinyl. Their first single, "Sob Story"/"Ports of Amsterdam" (the B-side usually being the set opener), came out in Spring '85 on Situation Two and gained several radio one daytime airplays. "Happy Boy" was taken from their first mini-LP Giants, released in September last year, and both single and album were well received by the music press and radio. The Beat, November '85, said of Giants: "Strong on brooding melodies, driven along by forceful rhythms and crashing splinters of trebly guitar, all showing enough fire to crash through the dark undergrowth of the post-punk jungle . . . admirable stuff." Praise indeed, and as Melody Maker underlined, "The Bolshoi have vision and lyrical flair -- a refreshing alternative to some of the rancid pap that currently clogs up the charts" (October '85). "Happy Boy" was variously described as "an accessible introduction to their subtle charms" (RM), "impressive and charismatic" (City Limits), "fabber than before . . . entirely confident" (Zigzag). Their third single "A Way," out at the end of last year, also captured this feeling. Produced by Mich Glossop, it received much airplay as an import, as well as some good press reviews. Sounds: "An understated mini-epic which easily overruns the chronically abbreviated runway of charts '80s style."

The Bolshoi now unveil their second album Friends or Fiends. Friends comprises ten tracks produced by Mick Glossop, including "A Way" and the newest British single "Books On The Bonfire" and many live favorites.

Trevor Tanner's aim for worldwide domination by the end of the year seems to be running to plan. As Sounds quoted six months ago, "Mr. T is a star -- It's just that not a lot of people are aware of the fact . . . as yet."

I.R.S. 9/86

- Click the image on the left for a printable PDF version of the original press kit bio, or CLICK HERE for a .gif image.


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