Fay Ray was formed in 1979, from the ashes of two Bangor-based bands – John, Sheila & Jeff from the multi-instrumentalised Hot Water – who were a John Peel favourite – plus Owen & Tony from garage band Dick Dick & The Dicks – who John Peel [and most other people for that matter] had never heard of.
In those pre-internet days the only way to get known was by doing lots of gigs all over the place. We spent hours in smoke-filled backs of Transits, sprawling across mattresses on top of amps, cabinets and case, and many a night on generous friends’ (and kind strangers’) floors. We played the northern English cities (Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds) and inevitably London. Which is where we were “spotted”, and offered the chance to record some demos.
Doctor-turned-Record-Producer Nigel Gray had hit the jackpot producing the first three Police albums, and then “Kaleidoscope” for Siouxsie and the Banshees, in his Surrey Sound studio above the local dairy depot in Leatherhead. Nigel wanted his own band to produce, and with the demos in the bag, we were signed to his Surrey Sound Records. We were now apparently New Wave.
Within a few months of the release of the first single, Surrey Sound had licensed us to WEA International, a deal which resulted in Contact You. With hindsight, it was a great album that has stood the test of time, while other 1980s material sounds… well… 1980s.
Wrangling about money, management, deals to get FM play in the U.S., and the departure of key A&R personnel in New York meant that the WEA promotional machine remained resolutely in park, (if not reverse in the UK). Despite four strong demos, the label politely declined, over an expensive dinner in a swish rural hotel, to take up its option for a second album.
Over the years, we have all kept in touch, and played the odd gig here and there.
We had no inkling that the arrival of the internet would mean that The Dead Can Be Reborn. The response to our YouTube videos prompted us to release a remastered version of the album, plus four bonus tracks. We have tried to make the sound as good as possible. We hope you like it.
Owen Hughes Drums
John Lovering Guitars
Sheila Macartney Vocals & guitar
Jeff Taylor Sax, Organ, Flute, Accordion, Backing Vocals
Tony Travis Bass, Backing Vocals