Deuce were pop’s brightest and kitchiest band ever created (yes, even more than Steps). I LOVED them, and I’m not alone. Dig enough on the internet and you’ll find a few fan accounts on social media. They were very similar to Steps but their singles had a slightly more credible club vibe to them.
Kelly O’Keefe was the heart of this operation. A work experience placement with Massive Management mogul Tom Watkins, former manager to Bros and East 17, gave her the opportunity to put the band together. Lisa Armstrong, dancer friend of Kelly was recruited and they held auditions to find Craig Young (sexiest man in pop, ever, IMO) and Paul Holmes to finish the line up.
Call It Love hit in January 1995, did really well for a debut single and gained them enough attention to be considered as the UK’s entry for The Eurovision Song Contest. I Need You gave them a Top 10 hit but lost out as the Eurovision song to Love City Groove.
On the Bible followed, which I believe to be their best single. It had a concept of a wedding which was featured in the video, as promo shoot and their TOTP performance.
They also featured in the charity single A Gift of Christmas, which also featured Peter Andre, Dannii Minogue, Michelle Gayle and East 17. It performed well, reaching no.9 in the UK Top 40 and is, to this day, featured in my Christmas playlist!
Even though the album On The Loose charted at no.18 in the UK Top 40, and spawned 3 Top 20 UK hit singles, it sold less than 25,000 copies and was deemed a failure. After a massive spend on their campaign, they were running at a loss and were dropped by London Records. Boo!
Minus Kelly O’Keefe (why oh why did she leave! Pop’s greatest tragedy!) they signed to Love This Records with Mandy Perkins as a new member. New single No Surrender flopped and that was the final nail in the coffin for this much loved band. There was also a 3rd line up, when Craig Young left; he was replaced with a random, but the less said about that the better!
When I think of what they could’ve achieved it makes me sad. Their album got me through my last year of school, offering some light through the stress of revision and exams, and still one of my all time favourites. I really do feel that they paved the way for Steps who pinched the whole wedding concept for Tragedy from On The Bible. I believe that the world was not ready for them. OK their first album and 3 singles weren’t absolute smash hits, but they did well enough and did not deserve to be dropped. If only Kelly hadn’t have left, I feel their second album would’ve been incredible. Kelly has one of my favourite vocals of all time, very original. Paul’s vocal was very strong too, I love his voice. Such. A. Shame.
Craig Young moved to LA and became a successful actor appearing in many programmes and films such as smash hit tv show Lost, Charmed and Fringe. He married his partner (the proposal of which was a flash mob filmed and posted on social media), can be seen on social media quite regularly and writes a long running blog Brits In LA. He’s a really nice bloke, still sexy as hell and has chatted to me on twitter a couple of times over the years.
Lisa Armstrong is now a very successful make up artist, heading the team behind one of the UK’s most successful TV shows of all time and my favourite show: Strictly Come Dancing. I was lucky enough to meet her at The Big Reunion show in 2014 and she was very happy to chat and is a very lovely lady (Didn’t think Deuce would ever reunite for the next season-boo!).
Paul Holmes was still singing and producing until a few years ago, but has since disappeared into the ether. No one ever heard from Kelly O’Keefe again…
RIP Deuce. You were loved. Especially by Me! Let’s end on a high. This is my fav performance. Enjoy!
Trust, I know you regard the PWL material as the #HolyGrail so coming from you that’s #ReallySayingSomething! 😉
I was so hoping this would be your #1. It’s my #1 too! By far the best song of 2020…
It’s now 5x platinum 1.4 made it 4 times platinum. 1.5 makes it’s 5 times platinum
A brilliant achievement with the highest first week sales this year so far! It really is a fantastic album
Great selection. Quite a few similarities. A couple of yours nearly made mine too!