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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
The return of Then Jerico
Joanna Wilson
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Then Jerico in 2003
Shaw (second left) and the new Then Jerico line-up
BBC News Online talks to singer Mark Shaw as his band Then Jerico returns with a new line-up.

Earlier this year Mark Shaw hit the headlines after he quit ITV1's reality show Reborn In The USA, which took a group of 1980s stars across the Atlantic to see if they could succeed for a second time.

Shaw withdrew from the series just 24 hours into filming, following a meal-time slanging match with fellow contestant Michelle Gayle.

"I'm glad I got out when I did," he recalls.

"I was made out to be this scumbag. So I said 'Sod the rest of you, I'm out of here'. Then I got more press than I've had since 1989!"

The whole Reborn In The USA experience left Shaw, 42, with a bitter taste in his mouth.

New line-up

Six months on, he is concentrating on the future with a new line-up of Then Jerico.

He has been joined by guitarists Matt Cheadle and Clayton Moss, plus bassist PJ Phillips and drummer John Miller.

Shaw and the band recently played a string of small venues around the UK.

Second time around, Shaw is having a "fantastic" time.

"Matt, Clayton, PJ, John and myself did one rehearsal together and it worked - the chemistry was there. I've been very lucky to find these guys," he says.

"We're really good mates - we all talk about football, we've got the same hobbies."

Mark Shaw on Top of the Pops in 1989
Then Jerico enjoyed chart success in the late 1980s

"They won't let me get egotistical," he adds.

"If I start getting cheeky, they cut me down, which is what I need."

Shaw says it was a different story when the original Then Jerico line-up achieved chart success in the late 1980s with songs like The Motive and Big Area.

"We were fine on stage, but we weren't really hanging out together," he says.

"When I auditioned them I just looked for their playing ability, not personality."

In 1990, Shaw disbanded Then Jerico and embarked on a solo album, Almost, which was co-produced by Duran Duran's Andy Taylor.

I'm trying to bring the edge back - it's full-on rock, but it's still melodic
Mark Shaw on Then Jerico's new material

The album failed to make any real impact in the charts. However, Shaw struck up a friendship with Andy Taylor and the pair continued to work together throughout the 1990s.

After releasing another album, Orgasmaphobia, in 1998, Shaw went on tour in Europe and fulfilled an ambition by peforming at the Edinburgh Festival.

He also set up his own record label and appeared in Sky One's football drama Dream Team.

"I then went back to the drawing board and started writing again," he says.

Different sound

"Now in 2003, I've got an album of new material that I'm ready to record, and hopefully it's going to be released before the end of the year."

The material on the forthcoming album has moved on a little from the Then Jerico of old, explains Shaw.

"I'm trying to bring the edge back. I've finally found the sound I was looking for for years. It's full-on rock, but it's still melodic," he says.

"It's something between The Cure and the Lo-Fidelity Allstars. It's a bit different from the old stuff.

"But you've got to move forward."

Singer quits 'has-beens' TV show
05 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Hadley wins Reborn contest
27 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Reborn contest dies quietly
27 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Reborn in the USA: Your views
17 Mar 03  |  Entertainment

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