MUSIC: Then Jerico are back touring after 23 years

FOR Then Jerico singer Mark Shaw, playing in Glasgow always feels a little bit like home.

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n Then Jerico are back after first finding fame in 1986
n Then Jerico are back after first finding fame in 1986

With a Paisley-born mum who also lived in the city, it felt natural for the frontman to kick off the band's first proper tour in 23 years in the country.

Beginning in Aberdeen the reformed 80s rockers will play a gig in Glasgow's O2 ABC2 tonight as part of the 'Reprise' tour.

"Scotland is always been somewhere we've loved playing and we've always had a great reception in Scotland," says Mark.

"I've always got a special connection with Glasgow and I felt our music always had a bit of a Celtic edge to it, that's part of what we're about.

"Perhaps where the stadium power thing comes from, the whole idea of the grand, sweeping enormity of what we create.

"It's not the exactly the type of music you can ignore. If you hear Jerico you get a belt round the lughole. I think it suits Scottish people and they suits us."

Then Jerico first found fame in 1986 with the release of the debut album 'First (The Sound Of Music)', and had a succession of hits including the biggest, Big Area, before disbanding in the late 80s.

But it was only recently that Mark started talking with guitarist Scott Taylor again about re-establishing the group and decided to really give things a go again.

And now, after playing a series of warm-up gigs last year to test the waters, almost all the original line-up is back and doing what they do best (original drummer Steve Wren has had to stay at home in New Zealand for the tour to look after his wife who is recovering from a major operation).

Mark said: "There was tremendous support and demand from the fans and the time felt right.

"We had so much encouragement that we decided we didn't want to come out and jump on the 80s reformation bandwagon, we wanted to go out and do a ground-level tour and go out and earn our credibility back and work it that way.

"We've been building up to this over the last eight months, so it's really nice to get out there and do what we do and shake our thing.

"We love playing live, and there's a certain amount of nerves as it's the first time we're playing together with our [replacement] drummer John Miller.

"So it's a matter of getting back in the saddle and playing with each other comfortably again."

The band are already writing new material and hope to record something new at the end of the year.

But for this gig, they will play songs from their new album, 'Reprise', a compilation of hits, rare mixes and album tracks, which will be released on Monday, May 20 in both standard and deluxe editions.

Mark added: "There's something for the general public if they like Then Jerico, and something for the hardcore fans who want everything we've ever done but perhaps couldn't have access to all of those things.

"It's something we've worked long and hard at, so we're excited it's going to be released, and is something that we know people will like.

"We really enjoy it and the magic's still there for all of us, so we're not going to walk away from it easily.

"We want to show everybody we've still got something to say."

n Then Jerico will be playing at the O2 ABC2 tonight. For more information, visit www.thenjerico.com.

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