Peddling a kind of jangly guitar pop not dissimilar to their Scottish contemporaries Aztec Camera and Orange Juice, they had three hit singles in the UK, all written by guitarist and founder member Bobby Bluebell (aka Robert Hodgens) - "I'm Falling" with Ken McCluskey , "Cath", and their biggest success "Young At Heart". The latter was co-written with Siobhan Fahey (with whom Hodgens was romantically linked for a while) and made it to No.8 in the UK singles chart on its original release in 1984. The band also released two albums, "The Bluebells" and "Sisters". The band split up in the mid-1980s, but enjoyed an unexpected - albeit brief - revival in 1993 when "Young At Heart" was used in a Volkswagen TV commercial. Re-issued as a single, it was No.1 for four weeks and led to the band reforming temporarily to perform the song on Top of the Pops.
A singles collection followed. At the time of the 1990s revival, band member Lawrence Donegan - who trained as a journalist after the band's demise and is now golfing correspondent for The Guardian - wrote a newspaper article reminiscing about his days as a Bluebell which caused some friction between himself and the rest of the band. Amongst other anecdotes, he claimed that the group took part in a talent contest in Los Angeles in 1984, where a fellow contestant - an up-and-coming singer called Madonna - blew cigarette smoke into the band's faces and declared them to be "losers". The other ex-Bluebells are adamant that no such incident took place. Donegan has also published 'California Dreaming', a book based on his experiences selling used cars in Los Angeles. The other members of the band stayed in the music business after the split.
David McCluskey and his brother, Ken, formed a folk duo (www.myspace.com/mccluskeybrothers). Robert Hodgens formed Up. Craig Gannon briefly filled in for bassist Andy Rourke in The Smiths on tour, then stayed as a second live guitarist; he joined The Adult Net after being fired from the Smiths in 1986. Read more on Last.fm.
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