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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
The Blue bands compared

Pop group Blue - and EMI/Virgin - have agreed with a 1970s music trio of the same name that they can both use the same name.

"Old" Blue had argued unsuccessfully that their career was being hampered by confusion over the name, saying they had to scrap plans to release new material and that the "young pretenders" should call themselves something different.

Old Blue

  • Formed: 1973.

  • Style: Seventies rock/pop. Marmalade meets Pilot meets Smokie.

  • Hits: Gonna Capture Your Heart went to number 18 in 1977. They have released 16 singles, seven albums and several remixes.

  • Members: Hugh Nicholson, 53, Ian MacMillan, 55 and David Nicholson, 51.

  • Origins: The group's founder members started out in the Glasgow clubs. In the late 1970s they moved to the US for three years. Two original members - Hugh and Ian - remain plus Hugh's brother, David.

    "We weren't formed for any specific market," said Hugh Nicholson. "Nowadays, they manufacture a lot of bands."

  • Fans: Rolling Stone magazine once hailed their music as "the kind of record I can't get enough of".

    Now they have a loyal following who continue to buy CD versions of their recordings via the internet.

  • Highlights: Gonna Capture Your Heart making the top 20. Working in the US in the late 70s.

  • Venues played: Reading festival, Central Park, New York; London Palladium; Royal Albert Hall, among others.

    No longer play live but still record.

  • Sir Elton John connection: Sir Elton produced and played keyboards on their albums Another Night Time Flight and Fool's Party. He is expected to give evidence on their behalf.

  • What they say about the court case: Hugh Nicholson said: "Personally I found it difficult... it seemed apparent to me that EMI and the people working there must have been aware of the fact that Blue had been around for a long time.

    "When we signed for Rocket, they were distributed by EMI, so it seemed quite bizarre to me that these things were never noted.

    "Don't get me wrong, there's nothing personal with these boys. This is a name thing."

  • New Blue

  • Formed: 2000/1.

  • Style: Boy-band pop with a touch of R&B.

  • Hits: Seven top 10 hits including three number ones. They are currently working on their third album.

  • Members: Lee Ryan, 20, Duncan James, 24, Anthony Costa, 22, Simon Webbe, 24.

  • Origins: Hand-picked for their boy-band looks, youth and appeal? Not a chance.

    A band spokesman said: "They were on the auditions circuit; two of them formed a band, they met a manager and were put in touch with each other.

    "It happened over a period of months. They aren't a manufactured band."

  • Fans: Mainly teenage girls, but their more soulful music attracts a wider audience, of both sexes.

    Their collaboration with Sir Elton John may have broadened their appeal still further.

  • Highlights: Include recording Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word with Sir Elton, which topped the charts in the run-up to Christmas 2002.

  • Venues played: Wembley Arena, Manchester Evening News Arena and Birmingham NEC.

    Anywhere big.

  • Sir Elton John connection: Performed on their Christmas version of Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.

  • What they say about the court case: A spokesman said: "Blue have no comment on the court case at all."

    Court set for Blue name battle
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    15 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
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