So it’s been reported today that Craig Young and Lisa Armstrong of mid-90s pop four piece Deuce are keen on getting the band back together for the second series of The Big Reunion.
So who were Deuce and what were their plethora of hit singles then? All four of them. Well discounting their contribution on charity single ‘The Gift of Christmas’, where Kelly O’Keefe’s deep, sultry vocals were pitched against those of pre-pubescent Hayden Ultimate Kaos to give the effect of a sped up/slowed down contrasting couplet.
Deuce were formed in 1994 by Tom Watkins, former manager of Pet Shop Boys, East 17 and Bros, who spotted O’Keefe when she was doing work experience in his office. She roped in fellow Brit School alumni Lisa Armstrong, and Watkins recruited Paul Homes and the rather hot Craig Robert Young to create the four piece.
Their sound was very europop and an early precursor to the kind of music that you’d hear later from Steps and Scooch, yet possibly slightly more credible. Debut single ‘Call It Love’ climbed to #11 on the UK Top 40 chart, whilst the follow up, ‘I Need You’ was put forward to represent Eurovision – losing out to Love City Groove – and became their only Top 10 hit as a band.
This however is the video for their third single, the #13 smash ‘On The Bible’. It’s my personal favourite and goes down a treat thanks to seductive lyrics such as ‘if you eat my apple, I’ll eat your’s…’ I’m a sucker for the inappropriate.
Their debut album ‘On The Loose’ was a collection of similarly sounding songs, the stand out being the penciled-in fourth single ‘Let’s Call It A Day’, a pretty immense ballad. Thanks to O’Keefe’s decision to leave, the group were dropped by London Records and plans to release the track were shelved. Thanks for that.
The remaining three continued with new recruit Amanda Perkins and were signed up to Mike Stock’s (of SAW fame) label, ‘Love This’. New single ‘No Surrender’ made #29 in July 1996 but when Young then decided to leave, the group disbanded.
My final mention must go to the unreleased demo recorded shortly before O’Keefe left, called ‘Rock The Disco’. It resurfaced online in 2007 and it’s an absolute treat!!
Deuce, I shall never forget.