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Haircut 100 Biography

Can you guess the year? Excitement is building for a new, much-anticipated album and gigs by one of Britain's most-loved and creative pop bands. They are Haircut 100, and actually, there are two correct answers. One is 1982, and the other is 2024. 

The exuberant reaction to last year's live reunion by the British tunesmiths, who played selected shows in the spring followed by an equally rapturously-received tour in the autumn, underlined the sheer timelessness of their appeal. The same went for the expanded, 40th anniversary reissue of Pelican West, their one and only album with original frontman and songwriter, Nick Heyward. 


That cherished LP contained their trademarks "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)," "Love Plus One" and "Fantastic Day," all UK top ten singles in the 1982-83 season. Soon they added a fourth, "Nobody's Fool," By which time, Pelican West was already platinum-certified in the UK, only three months after release.

The album spent 11 consecutive weeks in the British top ten and twice reached No. 2. It also charted in the US, Australia and beyond, after which Heyward left for a distinguished solo career, which included another top ten title, North of a Miracle, in a collection of nine LPs in his own name to date.

Heyward told Classic Pop of Haircut 100's unique recipe: “I’d come up with songs to inspire everyone else to get colouring them in. Everyone played their role. What I wrote was different and mixed up. This wasn’t The Carpenters.” Added bassist Les Nemes: “It’s only recently that I realised we had our own sound. But we never questioned that we were going to succeed. We never said: ‘If we make it,’ it was always: ‘When we make it.’ We always had the confidence that we were something special.”  

Pop songwriting this imaginative and uplifting has simply never been replaced, so the prospect of H100's reawakening, Heyward and all, was always going to be seized upon by original fans and inquisitive newcomers. "A fun, breezy treat," enthused Dave Lawrence in the York Press about the final night on the 2023 tour, noting with some delight that it was a little over 15,000 days since he'd last seen them play live.

Other reviews noted, for example, that the Cardiff show was full of "good showmanship," while in Bournemouth the band "settled into old grooves and friendships". All agreed that the signature singles and adored album tracks sounded fresher than ever, as they did in a memorable collaboration with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the hallowed Maida Vale Studios for Radio 2's 2023 Piano Room Month. 


During the tour, there was also plenty of enthusiasm for the new songs that accompanied their catalogue of hits, and that's where the 2024 chapter of the Haircut 100 story begins. Heyward is collaborating with fellow founder members Nemes, Graham Jones and Blair Cunningham on what will be their collective follow-up to Pelican West, and festival dates as well as a tour of North America are also being lined up for the year ahead. Plenty more fantastic days beckon for Haircut 100.    



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