Jane catches up with Eddie Amoo of The Real Thing to talk about opportunity knocking, and playing the Here & Now Concert at Meydan
Great to hear you guys are coming to Dubai.
We are very excited to be performing in Dubai and particularly at the magnificent Meydan stadium, we hear Dubai is planning quite a welcome for us and there is going to be quite a crowd there.
I was really surprised to read you’re a UK band - from Liverpool, discovered by Hughie Green when Opportunity Knocked for The Real Thing.... did it feel like the X-Factor of it’s time?
Not really, because it had none of the hype and gloss of X factor. It was preliminary a live show, warts and all; if you couldn’t cut it live you were dead in the water. I suppose it was more like Britain’s Got Talent and there are similarities - the public certainly loved it and the show founded some great acts, artists and entertainers. Yes, absolutely, some of those are entertainers who appeared included Su Pollard, Paul Daniels, Los Caracas, later to become Middle of the Road, Mary Hopkin, Bonnie Langford, Les Dawson, Royston Vasey (later to find fame as Roy 'Chubby' Brown), Little and Large, Bobby Crush, Berni Flint, Tony Holland, Millican & Nesbitt, Neil Reid, Peters and Lee, Lena Zavaroni, Frank Carson, Max Boyce, Pam Ayres, Gerry Monroe, Debra Stephenson, Tammy Jones, Champagne and Tony Monopoly. Several winners of Opportunity Knocks (notably Tammy Jones, Champagne, Tony Monopoly, Sweet Sensation) later represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, taking part in the A Song for Europe competition.
The 80’s must have been a great time to enjoy success along side Tavares, Rose Royce, Shalamar.... were you a close-knit bunch doing the circuit at that time?
We all became very good friends, they are all quality performers who gave a lot to the music industry, and we are delighted that the music lives on for all of us. When we look back we feel very proud that we made it along side such quality and even more proud to still be getting people dancing and singing along to our hits. We can’t wait to perform in Dubai alongside Belinda, Paul Young, Kid Creole, Boy George and of course Curiosity killed the cat – it is going to be a great night.
Is it true with a previous band, Chris Amoo was backed by a little-known band called The Beatles at The Cavern Club?
Actually that was me! At that time I was a member of an accapala group called The Chants and yes they were virtually discovered by The Beatles. The Real Thing has of course been touring a bit longer than they did.
... and Chris is a regular on the dog show circuit, with the highlight of his career – an Afghan hound, Champion Viscount Grant crowned Supreme Champion at Crufts 1987. It’s just not very rock and roll, is it?
Ha, Chris actually started his love of Afghan hounds when we first met Ken Gold (the writer of You to Me)
You are going to be singing all our old favourites aren’t you? Are we going to feel the force?
Ha Ha, good one, yes, you most certainly are going to feel the force and with the line up we have that night I don’t think there will be many people sitting down.
Looking forward to meeting you Dubai!
We hope you all enjoy being here!